Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the former President of Sri Lanka and an ex-Sri Lankan army officer. He made headlines after fleeing his country on 14 July 2022.
Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa was born on Monday, 20 June 1949 (age 73 years; as of 2022) in Palatuwa, Matara, British Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s LinkedIn He completed his schooling in 1971 at Ananda College. In 1983, he earned an M.Sc in Defence and Strategic Studies (MDSS) from Madras University. In 1992, after taking early retirement from the Sri Lankan army, Gotabaya pursued a post-graduate diploma in Information Technology (IT) at Colombo University, Sri Lanka. Deccan Herald
Height (approx.): 5′ 10″
Hair Colour: Salt and Pepper
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Parents & Siblings
His father, D. A. Rajapaksa, was a freedom fighter and a politician.
His mother’s name was Dandina Rajapaksa.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa has eight siblings. Chamal Rajapaksa, the eldest of them all, was a former speaker of parliament and a lawyer.
His elder brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa, served as the President of Sri Lanka from 2005 to 2015. He also served as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka from 2019 to 2022.
His younger brother, Basil Rajapaksa, is the former minister of finance and a former member of parliament.
His younger sister, Gandini Rajapaksa, died on 8 May 2017. His sister, Jayanthi Rajapaksa, is a former member of parliament and a former deputy minister of water supply and drainage. His sister, Preethi Rajapaksa, was a teacher. His younger brother, Dudley Rajapaksa, is a vice president of QA/RA/Technical Service at Berlin Heart GmbH.
His brother, Chandra Tudor Rajapaksa, died in July 2022.
Wife & Children
His wife’s name is Ioma Rajapaksa. The couple got married to each other in 1980.
His son, Manoj Rajapaksa, is a systems engineer, working in the US.
He resides at House No. 26/A, Pangiriwatta Mawatha, Mirihana, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka.
On 26 April 1971, after completing his schooling, Gotabaya Rajapaksa joined the Sri Lankan Army Training Center as an officer cadet. He joined the fourth batch of officer cadets and completed his training on 26 May 1972. Gotabaya Rajapaksa was commissioned in the Sri Lankan Army’s Signal Corps as a second lieutenant.
A few months after joining the Sri Lankan Army, he was sent to the Military College of Signals in Pakistan to complete his signals young officers’ course. Upon returning from Pakistan, in 1972, he was posted to the Task Force Anti Illicit Immigration (TF-AII), where he served as a signal officer. In 1974, after getting promoted to the rank of lieutenant, he was sent to the Sinhala Regiment, an infantry regiment, as an infantry officer. In April 1975, he was selected to attend the infantry’s young officers’ course at the School of Infantry and Tactics in Quetta, Pakistan. In June 1975, after completing his course, Gotabaya returned to Sri Lanka after which he was posted as an intelligence officer and was promoted to the rank of captain. He remained an intelligence officer till 1977. In 1977, he was posted as a Grade 3 Staff Officer (GSO-3) of the administrative branch of the Diyatalawa Garrison. In the same year, Gotabaya was selected to attend a senior staff and tactics course in Sri Lanka. In 1980, he was promoted to the rank of major and was sent to the newly raised Rajarata Rifles, where he was made a battalion adjutant. In the same year, he attended a course in the Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School (CIJWS) in Mizoram, India. In 1982, he was selected to attend the Command and Staff Course at the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) in Wellington, India. In the same year, Gotabaya’s Rajarata Rifles and Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment were amalgamated, which led to the formation of the Gajaba Regiment (GR). In 1982, he was appointed as the second-in-command of the 1st battalion of the Gajaba Regiment. In 1985, he led his battalion successfully against the rebel faction, LTTE, and halted the LTTE’s advance towards Jaffna and Elephant Pass because of which Gotabaya was awarded a commendation from the then President of Sri Lanka J. R. Jayewardene. In 1987, the 1st GR was moved to Colombo to contain the second uprising of the JVP. Later, in December 1987, Gotabaya was posted to the Sri Lankan Army Headquarters as a Grade 2 Staff Officer (GSO-2). There, he was posted in the training branch.
In 1988, Gotabaya was selected to undergo an advanced infantry officers course held at the United States Army Infantry School in Fort Benning. Upon returning from the United States, in 1988, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. In June 1989, he was posted with the 1st GR as its Commanding Officer (CO). Under his command, 1 GR participated in Operation Strike Hard and Operation Thrividha Balaya. After completing his command, in January 1991, he was posted as the deputy commandant at Sir John Kotelawala Defence Academy before retiring in November 1991.
After retiring in 1991, Gotabaya joined a Colombo-based IT company named Informatics, where he worked as a Marketing Manager till 1998. After leaving Informatics, in 1998, he shifted to the United States of America. There, he worked as a system integrator and UNIX Solaris administrator at the Loyola Law School. He left his job in 2005.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa returned to Sri Lanka in 2005 to assist his elder brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa, during the 2005 Presidential elections in Sri Lanka. After Mahinda Rajapaksa secured a victory in the Presidential elections, he appointed Gotabaya as the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Defence.
Upon taking over the charge of the Ministry of Defence, Gotabaya oversaw the operations undertaken by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE). After defeating the LTTE in 2009, the Sri Lankan government decided to rename the Ministry of Defence as Ministry of Defense and Urban Development. In 2011, as a permanent secretary, Gotabaya undertook several projects focused on improving the standard of living in Sri Lanka. The projects led to Colombo becoming one of the fastest-growing cities in the world in 2015. Daily Mirror In 2015, Gotabaya was defeated in the general election in Sri Lanka. In 2019, Gotabaya participated in and won the Presidential elections of Sri Lanka, and on 18 November 2019, he was sworn in as the 8th President of Sri Lanka. With his election, Gotabaya became the first Sri Lankan military officer to become the country’s President. After taking over as the President, Gotabaya, in an interview, said,
I, as your new President, invite you all again to work together with me for the future prosperity of the country as true Sri Lankans. As the President, my responsibility is to serve all people in the country. Accordingly, I will protect the civil rights of all those who voted for me as well as those who didn’t.”
In 2020, after Ranil Wickremesinghe resigned from the post of Prime Minister, Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed his elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. After Mahinda’s appointment, Sri Lanka became the second country after Poland, where the two top political posts were held by brothers. Fox News
In 2022, amidst the Sri Lankan crisis, Gotabaya made some changes to his cabinet. He removed three of his close relatives from power and appointed leaders in their posts which appealed more to the Sri Lankan citizens.
Policies that led to the downfall of Sri Lanka
Policies related to the environment and deforestation
After Gotabaya took over as the 8th President of Sri Lanka, in 2019, he passed a bill in the parliament which allowed the government to cut and clear out the “non-protected forests” in the name of development and agriculture. This new policy was widely criticized by environmentalists because it led to the chopping down of a large number of trees. Responding to the criticism, the Sri Lankan government stated that deforestation was being undertaken to address the crop shortages faced by the country. Mongabay
In 2019, the Sri Lankan government introduced a bill in the parliament which reduced the tax slab. This led to a massive decrease in the revenue earned by the Sri Lankan government. The situation further deteriorated during the COVID-19 pandemic as the tourism industry in the country began incurring losses and more than 2,00,000 people lost their jobs. To recover the losses, the Sri Lankan government borrowed money from several sources and countries as a result of which, in 2021, the country was declared a sovereign default due to its inability to repay the debt of $51 billion. In 2022, the Sri Lankan government implemented several economic policies to revive the economy, but it all ended up depleting Sri Lanka’s Foreign Exchange (FOREX) and gold reserves. The situation further deteriorated when the Sri Lankan rupee recorded a 30% depreciation against the US dollar followed by a severe shortage of medicine, food, and fuel in the country. In March 2022, the fuel shortage led to a 13-hour-long load shedding in Sri Lanka which led to a nationwide protest in the country.
When the pandemic broke out in Sri Lanka in early 2020, Gotabaya refused to initialise a nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus. By May 2020, COVID-19 cases in Sri Lanka increased at an alarming rate as a result of which Gotabaya was forced to impose a lockdown in the country. The methods adopted by the Sri Lankan government to curtail the rise of COVID during the lockdown led to Sri Lankan economic and food crisis. The country nearly depleted its foreign exchange (FOREX) reserves during the Corona Virus pandemic.
Policies that led to the crop failure
In 2021, Gotabaya passed a bill in the parliament which called for an immediate shift towards organic farming. The bill was passed by the Sri Lankan government without acquiring any prior information about the agricultural sector. According to The Globe and Mail, after the passage of the bill, a majority of farmers claimed that “they received no training in organic techniques.” The Globe and Mail The policy led to a failure of the paddy crop in Sri Lanka which resulted in Sri Lanka starting a $1.2 billion emergency food aid program, a $200 million income-support program for the farmers, and importing hundreds of thousands of tons of rice from other countries. Talking about the crisis, Sri Lanka’s former plantation minister Ramesh Pathirana, said,
We will be importing fertilizers depending on the requirement in the country. So far, we don’t have enough chemical fertilizers in the country because we didn’t import them. There is a shortage there.” The New York Times
In 2022, the Sri Lankan government withdrew its policy of organic farming. This policy completely devastated the Sri Lankan agricultural sector following which the Sri Lankan government had to go to the World Bank (WB) to seek a loan of $700 million to revive the agricultural sector in Sri Lanka. The Sunday Times
Accusing the UN of being infiltrated by terrorists
In 2007, Gotabaya Rajapaksa accused the United Nations (UN) and said that the “UN primarily functioned on the false and fake information given to it by terrorists who had infiltrated it for thirty years or so.” He also accused the west, especially the United Kingdom, of bullying Sri Lanka to influence and dominate its foreign policies. Gotabaya also said that the aid given by the west to Sri Lanka was negligible, and the country did not need any assistance from any foreign country. Talking about it, Gotabaya said,
This is international bullying. We won’t be isolated. We have all the Saarc [South Asia Association of Regional Co-operation] countries, the Asian countries. Britain, or the Western countries, the EU countries, they can do whatever they want to. We do not depend on them. They think that they we get aid. No, they are not giving us anything.” BBC
Allegations of corruption in the MiG deal and the killing of a journalist
In August 2007, in his article titled The anatomy of the MiG deal, Lasantha Wickrematunge, a journalist from Sri Lanka, accused Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his cousin, Udayanga Weeratunga, of indulging in corrupt practices while procuring the Ukrainian-made Mikoyan MiG-27 for the Sri Lankan Air Force. Responding to the allegations against him, in 2008, Gotabaya Rajapaksa filed a defamation case for Rs 2 billion against Lasantha. During an interview, Gotabaya said that such “allegations had created adverse consequences to the war against the LTTE rebels on the battlefield.” Sunday Observer In 2009, a few days before Lasantha was to present evidence regarding the MiG-27 deal in court, he was murdered. Gotabaya Rajapaksa was accused by the Sri Lankan journalists of orchestrating Lasantha’s murder. Committee to Protect Journalists In 2019, when Gotabaya was in the US to renounce his citizenship, Lasantha Wickrematunge’s daughter Ahimsa Wickrematunge filed a lawsuit in a court in the US against Gotabaya and accused him of murdering her father. Daily Mirror After returning to Sri Lanka from the US, Gotabaya claimed that the cases against him were politically motivated and were a brainchild of the United National Party (UNP). Daily FT Talking about it, he said,
These lawsuits have been filed to delay the process and discourage me. I have handed the matter to my lawyers [in Los Angeles] to take care of and I am looking ahead to what needs to be done for our country. These are baseless allegations made by people outside our country to delay the process because I am a strong candidate. Let them attack, I am fully prepared.”
On 27 February 2020, the cases against Gotabaya were dismissed by the American Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as he was entitled to a foreign official immunity after becoming Sri Lanka’s President; however, the court, in its judgement, also stated that once Gotabaya steps down from the post of the President, Ahimsa Wickrematunga could file litigation against Gotabaya in the US. Colombo Telegraph Talking about the judgement, Ahimsa said,
This ruling is a victory, and a message to Gotabaya Rajapaksa: His maneuvers to escape justice for his role in my father’s assassination continue to fail. He will not enjoy immunity forever, and his presidency can only delay, not prevent, accountability. Those of us who lost everything to his barbarism and bloodshed will never give up our fight for justice.”
Allegations of kidnapping in a white van
In 2008, a Sri Lankan journalist named Keith Noyahr was abducted in a white van in Sri Lanka. The same van was found at the house of a Sri Lankan army major, who reportedly had close relations with Gotabaya. Several sources claimed that the same van was used to murder the Sri Lankan journalist named Lasantha Wickrematunge in 2009.
Open threats to the journalists of Sri Lanka
In 2008, Gotabaya Rajapaksa openly threatened the journalists of The Sunday Times during an interview. During the interview, Gotabaya expressed his anger at the articles on the Sri Lankan Army that were published in The Sunday Times. He asked the journalists to stop publishing articles which openly criticised the army for their role in violating human rights during the Sri Lankan civil war. He also said that if the journalists failed to adhere, they would face repercussions which would be out of Gotabaya’s control. The Sunday Times Talking about it, he said,
Don’t you understand what I am trying to say? If you do not agree and continue with what you are doing, what has to happen to you will happen. I am definitely not threatening your lives. I am not. It will happen from where it happens. Our services are appreciated by 99 per cent of the people. They love the Army Commander (Lt. Gen. Fonseka) and the Army. Those who love us do what is required. We cannot help that. Journalists: If newspapers and media are publishing falsehood, you can correct them. Those mechanisms are still in place in Sri Lanka. If you cannot correct them through the media, then file action in the courts. Otherwise, if some wrong information is printed, doing such things is not the answer.”
Later, in 2008, Gotabaya Rajapaksa introduced a bill in the Sri Lankan parliament in which he demanded that the media should not be allowed to report extensively from the war zones of Sri Lanka. According to an article published by The New York Times, the reason given by Gotabaya behind the introduction of the bill in the parliament was that “such negative reporting by the media from the battlefield demoralized the war effort and the military.” The New York Times
Giving a diplomatic post to murder accused
After the murder of Lasantha, in 2009, Bandara Bulathwatte, the prime suspect of Lasantha’s murder, was given a diplomatic position in Thailand at the request of Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Many media sources claimed that the request letter that was sent by Gotabaya was sent in a hurry, and it did not contain any biodata of Bandara. Media also reported that Bandara was given a diplomatic post hastily.
Accused of aiding a former LTTE commander’s escape
Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan, also known as Colonel Karuna, was a former commander of the militant faction LTTE, who defected from the LTTE in 2004 and founded the Karuna Faction, which helped the Sri Lankan government in securing a victory over the LTTE. In 2009, Vinayagamoorthi was arrested in London by the British authorities on the charges of procuring a fake diplomatic passport and was charged with human rights violations. During the interrogation by the British officials, Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan claimed that Gotabaya Rajapaksa had helped him to escape Sri Lanka by “arranging everything.” Reacting to the allegations, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied the allegations as “false and baseless.” BBC Sinhala
Human rights violations during the Sri Lankan civil war
In early 2009, a report surfaced that stated that the Sri Lankan Armed Forces frequently bombed the hospitals that were located in the war zones which was causing massive civilian casualties. When Gotabaya, who back then was serving as the defence secretary, was asked about the reports, he gave a controversial statement saying that any area or target which does not fall under the safe zone, designated by the Sri Lankan government, was a legitimate target and the Sri Lankan armed forces could bomb it. He also said that the Sri Lankan Armed Forces only attacked places which harboured LTTE sympathizers and collaborators. Gotabaya also told the media that the safety of the civilians stuck in the war zones could not be guaranteed as the civilians failed to reach the safe zones that were designated by the Sri Lankan government despite the government’s repeated warnings. Talking about it, Gotabaya, in an interview, said,
The government calls on all civilians to enter the demarcated ‘safety zone’ as soon as possible. It is unclear how the tens of thousands of people caught up in the fighting can escape. The rebels prevent people from leaving the area. We have demarcated a safety zone within the LTTE area and have asked all of the civilians to move into it. For the last two years we have had no civilian casualties. There was no place for civilians to go once the Sri Lankan military started moving up. We have provided medical facilities throughout and have evacuated Puthukkudiyiruppu where LTTE leaders are hiding. So how can we save the hospitals? We have stopped firing in the area.”
In 2013, while talking to WikiLeaks, the former Sri Lankan Army general turned politician Sarath Fonseka accused Gotabaya of ordering the armed forces to shoot and kill anyone who belonged to the LTTE and tried to surrender. When Gotabaya learned about Sarath Fonseka’s revelations, he openly threatened to hang the former Sri Lankan Army general. When told about the revelations, Gotabaya said,
He can not do that. He was the commander! That is a treason. We will hang him if he does that. I am telling you!…. How can he betray the country like that? He is a liar, liar, liar.”
In 2013, a Sri Lankan newspaper named The Sunday Guardian published a report in which it said that a Sri Lankan Army major general named Prasad Samarasinghe had passed several confidential documents to the United States through its embassy in Sri Lanka. The report also said that the documents, which were handed over to the US, contained the names of those who were abducted and killed because they fell out of favour with Gotabaya, Mahinda, and Basil. In 2013, when a United Nations official named Navanetham Pillay visited Sri Lanka, she gave a statement to the UN in which she criticised the abductions that took place in Sri Lanka. The Hindu In 2015, Gotabaya revealed that even though he holds citizenship of the US, he was banned from entering the country due to charges of alleged human rights violations. He also revealed that when he visited the US, in 2016, he was confronted by two US-based Tamil groups, demanding that the United States government should arrest and try Gotabaya for war crimes. Ada Derana YouTube video In 2016, the Sri Lankan State Intelligence Agency (SIA) in its affidavit accused Gotbaya of masterminding the murder of Nadarajah Raviraj, a lawyer and a parliamentarian, in 2006. The affidavit also claimed that Gotabaya paid Rs 50 million to Colonel Karuna, a former commander of the LTTE, for murdering Nadarajah. Colombo Telegraph In 2017, Gotabaya was also accused by the Sri Lankan CID of leading a military death squad; tasked with murdering and abducting journalists. The CID also claimed that Gotabaya ran the death squad with the help of the Sri Lankan military and as many as seventeen journalists were either killed or abducted by the squad. Al Jazeera
Accused of smuggling arms and ammunition for a private army
In 2015, Sri Lankan authorities discovered a merchant navy vessel named M.V. Avant-Garde; a shipping company believed to have close ties with the Rajapaksa family. On the ship, the Sri Lankan authorities found illegally smuggled 816 automatic rifles of different types and 2,02,674 rounds of ammunition. In 2015, Gotabaya was accused that while serving as a defence secretary, he used smuggled arms and ammunition to support his private mercenaries in Sri Lanka. After the allegations, a Sri Lankan court banned Gotabaya from travelling to a foreign country. The ban was lifted in 2016. The Hindu The Guardian BBC
Return of Gotabaya after escaping from Sri Lanka
In July 2022, due to the failure of Gotabaya’s agricultural and economic policies, the country plummeted into an economical crisis following which there was an outbreak of violent protests in Sri Lanka which resulted in many cabinet ministers resigning from their posts. Through the protests, the protestors demanded Gotabaya’s resignation and accused him of stealing money from the country. The Times of India On 9 July 2022, Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled his official residence in an attempt to leave the country. On 12 July 2022, the Sri Lankan Immigration Department did not allow Gotabaya to leave the country; moreover, the United States of America (USA) rejected his VISA and debarred him from entering the country. On 13 July 2022, Gotabaya fled Sri Lanka and went to the Maldives. Many sources claimed that he fled the country in the Sri Lankan Air Force’s Antonov An-32 aircraft. After reaching the Maldives, Gotabaya issued a gazette notification stating that he was “unable to exercise, perform, and discharge the powers, duties and functions of the Office of the President because of his absence from Sri Lanka.” On 14 July 2022, under Article 37 (1) of the constitution of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya appointed Ranil Wickremesinghe as the acting President of Sri Lanka. Tamil Guardian On the same day, Gotabaya left the Maldives for Singapore from where he sent his resignation through email to the speaker of the Sri Lankan parliament. Hiru News In his resignation letter, Gotabaya had written,
After sending his resignation from Singapore, Gotabaya Rajapaksa left Singapore and went to Thailand. Gotabaya Rajapaksa returned to Sri Lanka on 3 September 2022. BBC News Many reports surfaced that claimed that Gotabaya returned to Sri Lanka as he was allotted a VISA for Thailand for 90 days only. Some media houses also reported that another reason for his return was the unsustainable amount of money required to live in a costly place like Thailand with 24/7 VVIP security around him. DailyO The Week
- In 1978, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was awarded the President’s Inauguration Medal by the Sri Lankan government.
- In 1984, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was awarded the Sri Lanka Armed Services Long Service Medal by the Sri Lankan government.
- In the same year, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was awarded the Purna Bhumi Padakkama by the Sri Lankan government.
- In 1986, the Government of Sri Lanka awarded Gotabaya Rajapaksa with the North and East Operations Medal.
- In 1987, the Sri Lankan government awarded the Vadamarachchi Operation Medal to Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
- In 1994, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was awarded the Rana Wickrama Padakkama (RWP) by the Sri Lankan government.
- In the same year, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was awarded the Rana Sura Padakkama (RSP) by the Sri Lankan government.
- Later, in 1994, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was awarded the Desha Putra Sammanaya (DPS) by the Government of Sri Lanka.
- In 2010, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was awarded the Eastern Humanitarian Operations Medal (with clasp) by the Sri Lankan government.
- Later, in the same year, the Sri Lankan government awarded Gotabaya Rajapaksa with the Northern Humanitarian Operations Medal (with clasp).
Gotabaya Rajapaksa was fond of swanky cars. According to several news sources, when the mob stormed Gotabaya’s residence in July 2022, they found more than 50 luxurious cars parked in the residence’s parking lot. Kanak News
- On 1 December 2006, when Gotbaya was en route to a National Security Council meeting, which was to take place in Colombo, there was an attempt to assassinate Gotabaya Rajapaksa. At around 10.30 am, a suicide bomber drove a car through Gotabaya’s security detail in an attempt to detonate the bomb near him; however, the attempt was unsuccessful as the commandos guarding him intercepted the vehicle carrying the bomb, which led to the death of two Sri Lankan Army commandos.
- On 6 September 2009, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Colombo University. Colombo Telegraph
- Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s 2019 Presidential election campaign was recorded as the world’s first zero-carbon election campaign; therefore, he was awarded a Zero Carbon certificate for conducting his campaign in an eco-friendly manner. Daily News
- In 2019, Gotabaya Rajapaksa renounced his American citizenship before taking over as the President of Sri Lanka.
- In July 2022, when a mob stormed the Presidential Palace, they found cash worth Rs 17.85 million (around $50,000) that belonged to Gotabaya. The cash was handed over to the Sri Lankan police by the protestors. The New Indian Express The Hindu Talking about it, a police spokesperson said,
The cash was taken over by the police and will be produced in court today. The cash found was in mint condition and it mostly contained the new bank notes.”
- Gotabaya Rajapaksa is also known by his nickname “The Terminator.” He was given this name due to his reputation for a ruthless approach. International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
- According to several media sources, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was critical of the role played by the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF), which was sent to Sri Lanka to fight against the LTTE from 1987 to 1990. He also accused India of reversing the gains made by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces in the war against the LTTE. ThePrint Talking about it, he said,
Sri Lankan operations against the LTTE could not be sustained because the Indian government intervened in 1987. Vadamarachchi Operation was foiled by the intervention of the Indian troops in 1987. However, President Mahinda Rajapaksa went out of his way to brief New Delhi about all the latest developments.”