Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says Chinese investment in the Hambantota port is purely economic and not otherwise.
He says Sri Lanka has always pursued a non-aligned foreign policy, and its only interest is in its economic development.
Rajapaksa said this while making a statement at the Galle Dialogue today. Navy representatives from several countries including China are attending the conference in Galle.
“From Sri Lanka’s perspective, I wish to clarify that the Chinese investment in the Hambantota port is a purely economic one. On average, more than three hundred ships cross the Indian Ocean approximately ten nautical miles south of Sri Lanka every day. The economic potential this presented was identified long ago, and there has been considerable debate about the best strategy to commercially exploit this potential for many decades. Several previous Governments commissioned feasibility reports on establishing a deep water port in the south of Sri Lanka. However, due to various reasons, including disagreements between the foreign consultants and their local counterparts regarding the most suitable location, these early attempts to establish a deep water port did not succeed,” he said.