Voice Of The People

Sri Lankan Cabinet Minister opens up on his relationship with neighbouring countries

The Founder and CEO of Jan Ki Baat, Pradip Bhandari, interviews General Sarath Fonseka, the Sri Lankan Cabinet Minister of Regional Development about the his native country’s ties with India. Fonseka claimed that Sri Lanka maintains cordial relations with all the major powerhouses in the South-Asian region. When asked about the India-China tussle regarding certain issues, Pakistan being one, the Field Marshall observed that this was a sensitive issue amongst the Sri Lankans and they were trying their best to continue maintaining the peaceful relationship they share, both historically and strategically, with India: “We are living within the Indian strategy of security, indirectly as well as directly and thus, whatever pact we make with China would be done in a manner to continue the current stability within the region.” When questioned about the Indian PM Narendra Modi’s call for regional cooperation to deal with Pakistan’s endorsement of terrorism, Field Marshall Fonseka remarked that Sri Lanka’s bond with India is much deeper; though Pakistan had lent its support to Sri Lanka during the civil war it was drowned in, Pakistan hasn’t been an enemy, but its partnership with India has been a concrete and real one.

Sri Lanka and India have worked for an increased regional cooperation for decades, now. Though it has hit rough patches at times, for instance, Indian intervention in the Sri Lankan civil war was seen as an interference in sovereign matters of the nation; but the relations between the two nations have been cordial. India had abstained from voting at the UN for the organization’s intervention in Sri Lankan’s after-war peace project, instilling a sense of confidence regarding India’s intentions.

Fonseka’s remarks reveals his eagerness to continue enjoying the current, peaceful relations that his country shares with India. Hopefully, the two nations, under such friendly ties, would be able to push forward the idea of South-Asia as the emerging global model.


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