‘President Gotabaya Understands India’s Strategic and Security Concerns’

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New Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa who was recently in New Delhi–his first visit abroad after being elected to lead his country–will have a pragmatic foreign policy. This is the view of Dr Harinda Vidanage, Director of the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In this interview with SNI Deputy Editor Parul Chandra, Dr Vidanage gives us an insight into not  just what President Gotabaya’s foreign policy approach is likely to be but also how he’ll look at Colombo-New Delhi relations. Dr Vidanage says that President Gotabaya understands how it is a very different India under Prime Minister Narendra and he is sensitive to New Delhi’s needs as per the prevailing regional dynamics. On the two Lines of Credit (LoC) announced by New Delhi during President Gotabaya’s visit–one of USD 400 million for infrastructure  development and the other of USD 50 million to meet Sri Lanka’s security needs–Dr Vidanage says it is an affirmation by New Delhi of its deep and long-term commitment to Sri Lanka under the Gotabaya government.

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