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India breaks silence on Sri Lanka, calls for adherence to democratic values

Two days after Sri Lanka plunged into political crisis following the appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as prime minister, India’s Ministry of External Affairs has called for democratic and constitutional processes to be respected.

“India is closely following the recent political developments in Sri Lanka. As a democracy and a close friendly neighbour we hope that democratic values and the constitutional process will be respected. We will continue to extend our developmental assistance to the friendly people of Sri Lanka," the spokesperson for the India’s Ministry of External affairs, Raveesh Kumar said

Just last week Sri Lanka’s then prime minister Ranil Wikremeinshge met Prime Minister Modi in Delhi to smooth tensions and discuss to India Sri Lanka trade. Following the meet Mr Wickremesighe, said India had expressed disappointment at Sri Lanka’s backpedalling on bilateral negotiations. 

Last month Mahinda Rajapaksa met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi after he delivered a speech brushing off war crimes allegations as “false and malicious propaganda”.

Rajapaksa, who was accompanied on the trip by his son Namal, also met with other senior leaders including Rahul Gandhi, who heads the Congress Party and former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Prominent BJP government figure MP Subramanian Swamy, earlier said that Mahinda Rajapaksa had called him shortly after the appointment.

Being one of India’s first parliamentary commentators on Rajapaksa’s appointment, Swamy told press

“I’m happy because he is a staunch nationalist. He’ll not sacrifice his sovereignty even one bit for any country/terrorist group. India would benefit from good relations with him.”

Stating that he had been friends with Mahinda Rajapaksa for many years, Mr Swamy said he helped facilitate high level meetings during Rajapaksa's visit to India last month.