''Relations with India were vital to Lanka's war against LTTE''

India-Sri Lanka flag
Colombo, May 31: Relationship with India was vital to Sri Lanka's war against the LTTE as Colombo did not want any Indian intervention as happened in 1987, defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said on Tuesday, May 31.

In his keynote address at a three day seminar titled ''defeating terrorism Sri Lankan experience'', the younger brother of the president Mahinda Rajapaksa who spearheaded the military campaign against the rebels, said "President Rajapaksa went out of his way to keep New Delhi briefed about all the new developments taking place in Sri Lanka." "He understood that while other countries could mount pressure on us through diplomatic channels or economic means, only India could influence the military campaign," he said.

Gotabhaya said Colombo-New Delhi relationship was "managed through maintaining clear communications line at the very highest level". He said Sri Lanka had learnt a lesson from the 1987 experience with India.

"The primary problem in 1987 was that the relationship between the two countries had not been managed very effectively," Gotabhaya claimed.

The international seminar, co-sponsored by China, is being boycotted by major rights groups and the US and Japan.


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