Sri Lanka boycotted SAARC to please India: Lawmaker

The Sri Lankan foreign ministry in a statement last week regretted that conditions were not conducive to hold the next summit in Pakistan.

By: PTI | Colombo | Published:October 3, 2016 8:31 pm

Sri Lanka’s decision to pull out from the SAARC summit in Islamabad was an act to “please” India and was a foreign policy “blunder”, an Opposition legislator close to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Monday. Udaya Gammanpila said the decision was a snub to Pakistan, which is a “friend” of Sri Lanka.

“Sri Lanka was aware of Pakistan’s decision to postpone the summit. Still they went ahead to announce that Sri Lanka was not taking part,” Gammanpila, a leading supporter of Rajapaksa, said.

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The Sri Lankan foreign ministry in a statement last week regretted that conditions were not conducive to hold the next summit in Pakistan.

Gammanpila said the Opposition maintains that Sri Lanka should not have announced a pull out from the Summit and the decision was a “foreign policy blunder”.

“It is a fatal mistake to take the side of India and boycott SAARC by hurting Pakistan”, he said.

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