Mahinda Rajapaksa has won the confidence of India- Gotabhaya

[TamilNet, Sunday, 30 December 2007, 15:19 GMT]
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the Sri Lankan defence secretary and the brother of SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in an exclusive interview to state owned Sunday Observer, claimed that the relationship between Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is in an all-time high, and has reached the same level of trusted relationship that marked Srima-Shastri period. While, Rajapaksa, in 2006, demerged the NorthEast Province, breaching the Indo-Lanka accord, Gotabhaya has recently posted the U.S. trained Director of Military Intelligence as the Eastern Commander, expressing confidence that Colombo would be successful in holding elections in the East.

Manmohan Singh- Rajapakse
Brigadier Jammika Liyanage, who was the Director of Military Intelligence (DMI) was promoted to the rank of Major General and posted as the Eastern Commander, replacing Maj. Gen. Parakrama Pannipitiya who had "liberated" the East.

Informed military sources in Colombo said Maj. Gen. Jammika Liyanage was best fit to handle military issues in the east where Colombo is keen to establish a firm Sinhalese majority within a short period. The sources further said Rajapaksa has directed his officials to consider ensuring Sinhalese majority in the East.

Extracts from the Interview by Gotabhaya follow:

"India is a major factor and we have recognised it from the very beginning Lots of people talk about the international community but we believe that the India is the major factor in our entire problem. We have to realise the importance of the India because it is becoming super power. Our neighbour, the India, has a big economic power and also the military power.

"It is true that India has concerns over us. When they are powerful they have to think about their security and it is natural; they should be more concerned about what is happening around them. So we have to be concerned about their concerns. There are over 60 millions of Tamils living in India.

"The government, especially President Rajapaksa has a very good relationship with India during this two year period. He has build up a good rapport with India and I think this relation that the President has with the Indian Prime Minister is the best after Sirima-Shasthri time. We have already developed a good relationship and shown them that we are sincere and genuine.

"The President has told them that he will come out with a political solution to address the grievances of the Tamil people. Whatever the steps that we are taking we are briefing them. We do not have anything to hide and we have won their confidence. We do not want to do anything which will harm their security and their concerns. They know that we are not against the Tamil community and we are doing all these only to defeat terrorism."

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