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Sri Lanka asserts Chinese presence purely economic

The Government has asserted that the Chinese presence in Sri Lanka is purely for economic reasons.

Sri Lanka assured India that neither will its land nor water around it be used for any activity against Indian interests, amid increased Chinese naval forays into the Indian Ocean, the Press Trust of India reported.

“We assure the Indian government that nothing against India will happen in Sri Lankan land and waters around it,” Sri Lankan Navy chief Vice Admiral R C Wijegunaratne said when asked about the docking of Chinese submarines in Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan Navy chief is on an official visit to India from January 29 to February 2. The visit is aimed at consolidating bilateral naval relations between India and Sri Lanka as well as explore new avenues for naval cooperation.

Speaking to the media in India, he asserted that Chinese presence in Sri Lanka was purely for economic reasons.

“We have also invited Indian firms,” he said.

Wijegunaratne said security at the Colombo Port City (renamed Financial City) would be entrusted to the Sri Lankan Navy and not the Chinese as is being speculated.

He also hoped that training of Lankan defence personnel at the Defence Service Staff College at Wellington in Tamil Nadu will restart. (Colombo Gazette)

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