Better relations with India and other nations in the region would be a vital part of Sri Lanka’s foreign policy if SLPP’s Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s comes to power, according to the party’s manifesto that was released here on Friday.
Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP)’s manifesto also highlights improving relations with the member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) nations on national security.
“We aim to foster better understanding with India, SAARC and BIMSTEC countries on regional security,” an extract from Mr. Rajapaksa’s manifesto released in the local Sinhala language said. Sri Lanka goes to poll on November 16. A total of 35 candidates would be contesting the election — the highest ever in Sri Lanka’s history.
Mr. Gotabaya, 70, who is the younger brother of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is the main Opposition challenger.
The manifesto emphasises that Sri Lanka wound not “cringe” before any foreign power in maintaining foreign relations and international trade.
“We will negotiate on equal terms as a sovereign nation to preserve the national pride,” it says.