Let us enter into a treaty of Peace Friendship and Cooperation with India. India entered into such a Treaty with the Soviet Union in 1971 and that Treaty has stood the test of time. I do believe that we too should enter into such a Treaty with India and ensure that itinerant politicians are not able to interfere and spoil our relations. It could and should become a model relationship.
The Ministry of External Affairs today does have amongst its officers, professionals who have done post graduate studies in international relations and also possess experience in the practice of Diplomacy, a team of them should be tasked with preparing a draft of a Treaty. They would no doubt study the background and the recent history of our relations and would perhaps with the assistance of persons of the calibre of Jayantha Dhanapala, Nihal Rodrigo, Palihakkara and Rohan Perera, prepare a document which could be used for the purpose of entering into discussions with their Indian counterparts, for they are real professionals themselves. It is the officials in the Prime Minister’s Office, in the Ministry of External Relations and the National Security Advisor that formulates policy in India even though in recent times we have noted politicians dictating policy and spoiling relations with neighbouring countries including with our country. Such a Treaty could cover the whole gamut of our relations which would include political, Defence, including strategic issues of course, Economic, Joint Scientific and Agricultural Research, Human Resource Development and Cultural relations and ensure that there would be no ups and down or fluctuations in the relationship and most important of all, ensure non-interference in the internal affairs of our two countries. This would infuse confidence and ensure trust, which is vital for the development of the relationship, so important for both our countries. Let us therefore have a ‘Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation’ and consign all previous so called Agreements to where they belong.