India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met Tamil leader R Sampanthan on Sunday in the last moments of his two-day visit to Sri Lanka. This meeting was held in India House in Colombo. It lasted for about half an hour. Sampanthan has confirmed this meeting.
The Tamil leader said he talked about the development of Sri Lanka at the meeting. The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka shared this information by tweeting about the visit of Ajit Doval, meetings and conversation but has not said anything about the meeting with Sampanthan yesterday.
Ajit Doval, in this visit to Sri Lanka, took part in the triangular talks between Maldives, Sri Lanka and India. Besides, the Indian NSA had had bilateral meetings with Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maldives Defense Minister Maria Ahmed Didi.
It is not yet clear whether Ajit Doval ‘s meeting with the Sri Lankan Tamil leader involved talks of a political solution to the long-standing Tamil issues. Sampanthan has 10 MPs from the Tamil National Alliance and is considered an important Tamil leader of Sri Lanka.
The visit of Ajit Doval assumed significance because it happened within a month after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Sri Lanka. Pompeo had called the Chinese Communist Party a “predator” and Washington to be its “friend and partner” during his visit to the island nation. It took place immediately after he concluded the 2+2 ministerial dialogue with India.
Pompeo had said that a “strong, sovereign Sri Lanka is a powerful and strategic partner for the United States on the world stage. It can be a beacon for a free and open Indo-Pacific”.
India is now pro-actively making friends among its neighbours excluding Pakistan under the Indo-Pacific framework in a bid to relax China’s hold over countries in the region, official sources told ThePrint, requesting anonymity.
“4th Trilateral meeting on Maritime and Security meeting begins. India, Maldives and SL recognise their role and responsibility in keeping the region safe & secure,” a tweet by Indian High Commission in the Maldives said.