PM Khan invites new Sri Lankan president to visit Pakistan

To assume Gotabaya is fatalistically pro-China and thus anti-India is flawed

Sri Lanka's new President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will embark on his maiden visit to India later this month. "Confident that under his leadership, #IndiaSriLanka relations would reach greater heights", the foreign minister tweeted.

Jaishankar's two-day visit comes a day after Gotabaya, the former Sri Lankan defence secretary and younger brother of ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa, was sworn in as President after winning the national elections with around 52 per cent votes.

The Pakistan High Commission in Sri Lanka said Prime Minister Khan had said that the election reflected the trust reposed by the Sri Lankan people in the leadership and vision of President Rajapaksa.

Modi telephoned Rajapaksa on Sunday to congratulate him on his electoral win and invited him to visit India as his first official foreign tour.

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The minister said he conveyed Prime Minister Modi's message of a partnership for shared peace, progress, prosperity and security.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka bilateral relations were also discussed. He was a colonel in the Sri Lankan Army before leaving it to migrate to the USA in 1992. Mr Rajapaksa is admired by the Sinhalese majority and by the powerful Buddhist clergy for directing security forces to crush Tamil separatists and end a 37-year separatist war in May 2009 with his brother. In 2006, he survived an assassination attempt carried out by the LTTE with minor injuries.

On Monday, The Indian Express reported that the Rajapaksa camp, which was perceived to have been close to China, has reached out to India this time.

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