China informed no room for military facility in Hambantota

Sri Lanka will not allow China to set up a military facility at any port in the country, the Sri Lankan ambassador to Beijing said on Saturday, adding that Chinese investors have been informed that no civilian facility will be allowed to be used militarily, the Hindustan Times reported.

“We have to consider the concerns of the neighbours. We do not want to create any situation, which… may become (a source of) suspicion. We know the Indian Ocean is a very important ocean in international trade,” Sri Lankan ambassador Karunasena Kodituwakku said.

“We can have friendly joint exercises with India, US, Pakistan and with China. In case of Hambantota port, there will be a base for the Sri Lankan navy,” he said.

The terms of handing over the Hambantota port to the Chinese company, China Merchants Port Holding (CMPH) company have been broadly decided, Kodituwakku indicated.

“I do not know about other countries, but Sri Lanka has very categorically informed the investor that it (Hambantota port) will not be allowed to be used for any military purposes,” he said. “Not only the Hambantota port , any port in Sri Lanka will not be allowed to be used by any military.”

Kodituwakku said that the Hambantota port hasn’t been a viable project so far.

“Very small numbers (of ships). Even the incoming they have received is not even enough to maintain the port maintenance, forget the salaries about the people who are working,” he said.

With officials from both countries working to finalise a “free trade agreement” (FTA) this year, marking the 65th year of trade ties, unease over China’s financial influence could see a spike in the coming months.

The FTA and several facets of Chinese investment in Sri Lanka will be on the agenda when Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe visits Beijing in May to attend an international seminar on President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

In January, clashes between government supporters and protesters had erupted during a rally against the port deal in Hambantota, about 240 km southeast of Colombo.

1 COMMENT

  1. Ours nation position is very clear we do not want neither China nor either Indian or US military base in Sri Lankan soli..

    We respect all nation right to exist and while we do want Island is free from all military activities ,well any country can used Economic and Trade purposed benefit mutually boots economic gains as well.

    Needless to say ours economic sovereignty must respect and accepts by all trading partners without undermined political sovereignty and Territorial integrity Independent.
    These are three pillars of democracy as I said previous sentence.

    While we are not that threat to any nation near or far by exclusively neutral by in deeds of foreign policies of non-aligned is concern.

    We are democratic country that we follow the system of Parliamentary path of Democracy is well known fact last 69 years of modern political history since 1948.

    We do not want lose ours political identity democracy by any influence of big powers.

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