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India must examine itself in dealing with neighbours - Rajapaksa

In an interview with the Times of India, Mahinda Rajapaksa shared his thoughts on India and its decision to support the UNHRC resolution earlier this year.

"Any good intentions and actions are always appreciated. But I must add that if India stood by us and supported Sri Lanka's request for more time and space, who knows, there may not have been a resolution at all."

"The region looks up to India but India must examine itself whether or not it is doing the right thing in dealing with its neighbours... what they are doing is the best thing or not."

Asked about the anti-India sentiment on the island as a result of India's vote in favour of the resolution, Rajapaksa said,

"All I can say is that we are not a nation and people without feelings. India and Sri Lanka share common cultural and historic values and so we can feel deeply about such moves."

Dismissing Sri Lanka's trade relations with China, Rajapaksa said,

"The way India is doing business with China, Sri Lanka is not."

"Whether it is Sri Lanka's exports or imports, wholesale business or investment in land and hotels, it is India which is the main power involved. It is only India which is involved in the telecom sector too,"

"India could have participated in the tender but it did not. These are commercial interests and not a sign of any Sri Lankan strategic drift."

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