September 22, 2020

May have ‘India first’ coverage, China port deal a mistake: Sri Lanka

(This story initially appeared in on Aug 26, 2020)

NEW DELHI: Sri Lanka needs to pursue a “impartial” international coverage however will retain an “India First” strategy in strategic and safety issues, international secretary Jayanath Colombage has stated.

Talking to a Sri Lankan TV channel, Colombage stated on Monday, “President (Gotabaya Rajapaksa) has acknowledged that by way of strategic safety, we are going to observe an ‘India first’ coverage. We can’t afford to be a strategic safety risk to India and we don’t need to be. We have to profit from India. The president has clearly stated that you’re our first precedence so far as safety is anxious however I’ve to take care of different gamers for financial prosperity.”

Together with pursuing a impartial international coverage, Sri Lanka will shield India’s strategic pursuits, he added.

In his remarks, the international secretary, the primary from the armed companies, stated the choice to offer Hambantota port on a 99-year lease to China was a “mistake”.

Overseas minister S Jaishankar not too long ago reached out to his counterpart Dinesh Gunawardane after the Rajapaksa workforce returned to authorities in a powerful victory.

The Rajapaksa authorities, given its historical past, has been seen as nearer to China than to India, which supplies the Indian authorities a possibility to maneuver the connection.

The large difficulty that India would search to resolve is the Japanese Container Terminal the place a neighborhood protest has stalled the venture. Of their non-public conversations, Sri Lanka has assured India of defending its pursuits, however this must be formalised, sources right here stated.