Sri Lanka-India ties: Troika mechanism, MR’s top priority | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka-India ties: Troika mechanism, MR’s top priority

Former President and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa said the reintroduction of the Troika mechanism or a similar mechanism for the future of India - Sri Lanka relations is one of his party’s foremost plans. According to Rajapaksa, the Troika mechanism which helped sustain India - Sri Lanka relations during the war should have been continued. “Perhaps there is still an opportunity to reintroduce it in 2020,” Rajapaksa said referring to a possible change of political leadership.

He was speaking at ‘The Huddle 2019’ a two-day thought conclave organised by the national Indian publication, The Hindu, yesterdayld yesterday in Banglore where he was invited to deliver the inaugural speech.

“It is important for Sri Lankans and Indians to understand the trends that would shape their future relations,” he said adding that while at times, the friendship between the two countries had been fragile.

According to him, a strong mechanism is needed at country level, fully endorsed and supported by both governments to avoid misunderstandings.

Rajapaksa said the Troika mechanism helped to build a bridge between the leaders of the two countries.

“India’s deep understanding of our government’s aim was a key factor that helped eradicate terrorism,” he said.

Rajapaksa said traditional government to government dealings alone cannot give shape to future relations any more, and added that political leaders will play a key role as they would determine the policies, foreign, economic or security.

“Therefore, we need strong leaders with the will to move progressively in the right direction, this being an election year in both India and Sri Lanka.”

Though third-party entities may influence bilateral relations, if both countries understand the foundations it was built on then nothing can be done to jeopardise their close relationship, he said.