Posted on May 14th, 2017

By Ravi Ladduwahetty Courtesy Ceylon Today

Visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invited former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to India for a deep political dialogue.

The invitation was extended to the former President at a closed door meeting with the visiting Indian Premier, which took place at the Indian High Commission premises, 44, Galle Road, Colombo 3.

It was a closed door one- on- one chat where no politics was discussed, but, according to top political sources, the meeting had lasted for a little over an hour.

It was a very friendly and cordial chat but politics was not discussed, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa told Ceylon Today by telephone last afternoon, but sibling and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa told Ceylon Today that Premier Modi had invited former President Rajapaksa to India for a deep political discussion.

When pointed out to the former President, by this newspaper, that the friendly chat with visiting Indian Prime Minister, which was said to have lasted for a little over an hour at 1 a.m., could not have been idle prattle or inane gossip, Rajapaksa said “Various newspapers have reported that the meeting lasted one hour, others said 30 minutes and someone else said 15 minutes and I cannot truly say how long the meeting lasted and I can’t remember what was discussed. But, no politics was discussed.”

The Sri Lankan delegation to the meeting comprised former President Rajapaksa, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and former External Affairs Minister of that Government and incumbent Chairman of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Prof. G.L. Peiris.

The members of the Indian delegation who accompanied Modi to that meeting were, National Security Adviser to the Indian Prime Minister and former Director of the Indian Intelligence Bureau Ajit Kumar Doval, Foreign Secretary Subramanyam Jaishankar and the incumbent Indian High Commissioner to Colombo Tharanjit Singh Sandhu.

However, it was a closed door meeting between Rajapaksa (Senior) and Modi inside the conference room while the others had to wait outside, Gotabaya Rajapaksa told this newspaper.

Mahinda Rajapaksa praised India- Sri Lanka bilateral cooperation over the years. “Rajapaksa’s talks with Modi were a very cordial discussion and he was happy with India-Lanka cooperation over the years,” Indian High Commissioner Taranjith Singh Sandhu said.

Modi met Rajapaksa at the latter’s request, the High Commissioner said. Earlier, Rajapaksa claimed that India and Sri Lanka may have signed deals on economic cooperation before Prime Minister Modi’s arrival in the country.

“The information I have is that all deals have already been signed. So, the Indian Prime Minister’s arrival or non- arrival would be immaterial,” Rajapaksa told reporters in Kandy, hours before the Air India special aircraft flying Premier Modi to Colombo landed at the Bandaranaike International Airport .

Rajapaksa said he held nothing against Modi’s visit. “The problem will be only if they sign agreements. I understand these have already been signed,” Rajapaksa Senior said in Kandy.

Prime Minister Modi has expressed India’s commitment and support to Sri Lanka and added that India will be a strong development partner for the island nation’s growth and prosperity.


  1. Dilrook Says:

    If Mahinda believed all agreements had already been signed, then it is much worse on his part to meet Modi.

    In another newspaper it was revealed that Mahinda had requested India to agree on projects that only benefit the people of Sri Lanka. If he believed all agreements were already signed, why did he request it now?

    Then it gets stranger when he says, “I cannot truly say how long the meeting lasted and I can’t remember what was discussed. But, no politics was discussed”. This is the first time I hear a leader saying he cannot remember what he discussed merely hours after the discussion!

    If the JVP refrained from meeting Modi, they must be commended for their stand.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    “Various newspapers have reported that the meeting lasted one hour, others said 30 minutes and someone else said 15 minutes and I cannot truly say how long the meeting lasted and I can’t remember what was discussed. But, no politics was discussed.”

    MR is telling the truth.

    He cannot remember a thing from the meeting with MODIYA. He is 72 years old and his memory is FAILING which is VERY COMMON among people of his age. You can dye the hair and moustache but you CANNOT dye the brain to look young! This is why he FORGOT what WW said on May 1. He also forgot who DOVAL is. On May 1 he forgot there was a rally to go to. Instead he went to TAJ SAMUDRA the Endian hotel in Galle Face. Then he saw large crowds and his friends! Then he decided to come and speak.

    He won the war. That is more than enough for him to RETIRE gracefully now before he does something embarrassing with this forgetfulness.

    Modi had no time even to SLEEP. ALL SL political leaders lined up to see his holiness MODIYA. They even forgot to take SIL for Wesak day. For them MODI was MORE IMPORTANT than Buddha.

  3. Senerath Says:

    If he cannot remember what he discussed he should retire NOW. That is really too much from him.
    Modi’s next choice could be anyone who agrees with India. It could well be MR. However, it will not be easy for anyone to win with proper majority. He will have to negotiate with evil to form a government.

    Unless a new 1956 type slogans come up here and now, we are gone forever after the next elections. All these Indian Colonial Parasites (of all races including Sinhalese) shall be defeated.

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    I have done elections in SL and I can tell you ONLY SARATH WEERASEKERA or someone like him can WIN the next election beating RUN-NIL + SIRA.

    People want NEW FACES and SURNAMES. They are TIRED of OLD SURNAMES.

    Endia wants GR, MS and RW to appoint MANO GONASON as PM if they win the next presidential election. This is a STRICT condition.

    THONDA is isolated.

  5. Vaisrawana Says:

    To me it appeared that MR’s facial expressions on the occasion of the main event that Modi was supposed to preside over (International Vesak Day) in Colombo were a picture of deep frustration, anger and helplessness. It was probably there that he determined to request a meeting with the Indian leader. MR’s refusal (during the phone call from Ceylon Today) to be drawn on what they were actually talking about should not be read as a mark of senility on his part. Both Modi and MR have already demonstrated qualities of real statesmanship and they are not likely to have wasted their time talking nonsense. A few minutes would have sufficed for an insignificant casual conversation. But here the exchanges were between two important groups of people, and lasted a little over one hour. And there was even a closed-door tete-a-tete between MR and Modi. Obviously, the Sri Lankan leaders (MR, Gota, and GL P) and their Indian counterparts were not joking.
    MR has already warned that agreements considered detrimental to Sri Lanka’s national interest could be reviewed by a future government. Presidents and prime ministers do not remain in power for ever. MR has learned this by experience. That MR was ousted through intrigue is a different matter. Who can say when Modi will leave the stage? But the fact that Sri Lanka is for Sri Lankans cannot be refuted or changed. Modi has invited MR to India, probably to win him over to his way of thinking. But MR has a brain to think unlike the scarecrow that has been placed at the helm of the Sri Lankan ship of state.

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