Sri Lanka doesn’t see world divided between India & China - Amunugama
May 18, 2017 06:19 pm
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Sri Lanka was a “grand success” and enabled both countries to finalise a number of projects, including the Trincomalee port project, Minister Sarath Amunugama said.
The Minister of Special Assignments, who was part of the official delegation headed by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremeshinghe that took part in the ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative in Beijing, said talks were underway with India for its participation in free trade zones in Trincomalee, Hambantota free trade as well as the Colombo port.
“Modi’s visit was a grand success. The chemistry between our President, Prime Minister and Modi was excellent… The interesting thing is that Modi made a clear statement that projects should be fast tracked,” the minister told PTI.
India and Sri Lanka are in talks to jointly operate oil tanks at the strategic Trincomalee port. At least 73 of the 99 storage tanks in Trincomalee are to be managed under a new equity arrangement between India and Sri Lanka.
Calling both India and China “friends”, Amunugama said Sri Lanka doesn’t see the world divided between the two countries. “Taking sides is not rational in Sri Lanka’s interest. No way we subscribe to the view that India and China have different interests,” he said.
“India is our brother, China is our friend. Our link with India is historical and geographical. Both are our friends. We don’t see the world divided between India and China,” he said. Modi wrapped up his Sri Lanka visit last week during which he took part in the International Vesak Day celebrations and addressed Indian-origin Tamils.