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Ex-Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa in India Next Month on Subramanian Swamy’s Invitation

Mahinda Rajapaksa is set to visit India in September on the invitation of BJP MP Subramanian Swamy and will be addressing a public gathering in the national capital.

Aishwarya Kumar | News18.com@aishwaryak03

Updated:August 3, 2018, 7:58 PM IST
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Ex-Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa in India Next Month on Subramanian Swamy’s Invitation
File photo of Mahinda Rajapaksa. (Photo: Reuters)
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New Delhi: Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa is set to visit India in September on the invitation of BJP MP Subramanian Swamy and will be addressing a public gathering in the national capital.

Speaking to News18, Swamy said he had invited “great friend” Rajapaksa in his individual capacity. "Ties with Sri Lanka have been weak over the last two years and I think we need to strengthen it," he added. Swamy said that "an association with Rajapaksa would help improve ties between the two countries".

India and Sri Lanka are currently on opposite ends on the Mattala Rajapaksa Airport issue. Lanka's proposed deal with India over the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport will "unnecessarily" embroil the island national in India-China "regional power games", Rajapaksa had said last week.

Rajapaksa was underlining concerns that the current Lankan government, in a bid to balance India in Sri Lanka's "over dependence" on China, is to handover the Mattala airport to serve New Delhi's interests.

The $210 million facility, 241-km south-east of Colombo, is dubbed the "world's emptiest airport".

Infamous for alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, Rajapaksa been in the news lately over alleged charged of corruption regarding the Hambantota port, which has been leased out to China for 99 years.

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