Rajapaksa says he heard of reports suggesting that he and his brother, former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa have fallen out and that Ram Madhav, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s special man for Sri Lanka, is involved in engineering some sort of a political arrangement which will include Gotabhaya and suit Indian interests.
“I didn’t see the report, only heard about it. But there has been no falling out between Gotabhaya and me in the past, in the present and there will not be one in the future either. Our relationship is based on love, mutual respect, shared patriotic values but also the dangerous shared experience during the war. Why, he had dropped in only yesterday,” he said.
Rajapaksa spoke to WION’s senior international correspondent Padma Rao Sundarji for the “World Is One: Global Leadership” series at his residence in Colombo.
In the interview, Rajapaksa said that China, Pakistan and even the US and UK helped Sri Lanka defeat the LTTE.
“We believe in improving relations with all countries in our neighbourhood, this I must tell you. Both India and Pakistan have helped us as best as they can, we have traditionally been friends of both. And that friendship has not been mutually exclusive and contradictory, that is, friendship with one has not been at the expense of the other. We are mindful of the sentiments of our citizens of Islamic faith. You will remember that our former PM, Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike was a close friend of the Islamic world. Of course, we have only one neighbour, India. It’s a subcontinent and where our Tamil citizens have cultural, linguistic and civilizational links. For all those reasons our relationship and friendship with India is quite special. Even unique, I would say,” Rajapaksa said.
Rajapaksa also said that he never left the political fray and as long as his country, his nation and people are in danger and need him, he will remain in the fray. (Colombo Gazette)