Colombo (News1st): Leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa delivered a lecture on Indo-Sri Lanka relations on Saturday (Feb 9) at a forum organized by the Hindu newspaper in Bangalore.
Speaking at the forum Rajapaksa said that Sri Lanka is at a critical period and that it was important to have strong leaders to move forward. He also noted that this is an important time period as it is an election year in both India and Sri Lanka.
Commenting on the bilateral relations between the two countries he said that both India and Sri Lanka are one family and as with any family, the journey is not always smooth or trouble-free.
The Opposition Leader noted that an active dialogue would resolve any misunderstandings. H believed that a strong mechanism at a country-to-country level should be in place to clear any misunderstandings. While noting that there was a breakdown of bilateral relations in 2014 Rajapaksha wished that it would continue with the new government of India that came to power in 2014.
He believes that the opposition coalition that he now leads has a good understanding with the ruling party in India. He pointed out at the forum for the Troika system should have been continued, and that there is still was an opportunity to bring it back from 2020.
Rajapaksa also spoke about the national assets of a country. No country can achieve economic stability by disposing of national assets he said, adding that policies advocating the sale of national assets inevitably generates tensions among the people. He went onto note that it also has a negative effect on the relations with the country acquiring these assets.