South Asia and Beyond

When Doval Met Gotabaya

India and Sri Lanka hope to further bolster cooperation in the area of national security among other things. India’s National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval and Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa flagged it as a priority area during their meeting in Colombo on Saturday.

“Strengthening of bilateral cooperation on national security, intelligence sharing, maritime security & fostering of regional collaboration, were some of the key points of discussion,” tweeted Gotabaya. Sources in New Delhi told StratNews Global that counter-terrorism, intelligence cooperation and economic development in the Indo-Pacific region were also discussed.

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The brisk Indian outreach to the Sri Lankan government began soon after the election victory of Gotabaya, who was defence secretary under the presidency of his elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa. The NSA, StratNews Global learns, also spoke to Mahinda, who is now Sri Lankan PM, over the phone. A face-to-face meeting couldn’t happen as the older Rajapaksa was not in Colombo.