Relations between Sri Lanka, India and China were once "misinterpreted" and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a "progressive approach" towards foreign policy, Namal Rajapaksa, the son of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, has told NDTV. Mahinda Rajapaksa, who led the island nation between 2005 and 2015, is perceived to have a tilt towards China and there were concerns about its effect on New Delhi's ties with Colombo.
An MP of Sri Lanka, Namal Rajapaksa told NDTV that at one point, "The relationship between Sri Lanka and India and China was misinterpreted and miscommunicated to the leaders".
"Prime Minister Modi has a more progressive approach and a very open minded approach towards foreign policy and he gives priority for the region. He has shown interest in establishing foreign relations with regional countries and across the border, which we believe," he added.
Lanka's new President Gotabaya Rajapaksa - the brother of Mahinda Rajapaksa, who named him the country's Prime Minister after his election - has accepted PM Modi's invitation to visit India next week.
Thanking PM Modi for accepting the mandate of the people of Sri Lanka, Mr Rajapaksa said "A stable government in Sri Lanka is important to India as well".
Gotabaya Rajapaksa, credited with helping end Sri Lanka's long civil war against the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) during his tenure as the defence secretary, was elected last week following a nationalist campaign promising security and ending religious extremism in the Buddhist-majority country.
Asked about his response to the misgivings of Tamil Nadu politicians about the Lankan elections, Namal Rajapaksa told NDTV that certain politicians from the state use the Sri Lankan Tamil issue for their "own personal gains".
"What have they done for Sri Lankan Tamils? There are many serious issues like the fishing issue but what have these politicians done to uplift the livelihood of Sri Lankan Tamils?" he said.
"We have to understand one thing - Sri Lanka went through a bad phase, went through a brutal war for the last 30 years. We were fighting against the LTTE. Unfortunately this fight against the Sri Lankans and the LTTE was portrayed by the LTTE as a fight between the Singhalese and the Tamil. It was totally wrong," he added.