Sri Lanka has asserted that it is not a piece of real estate and so Sri Lanka’s National interests must be respected.
Foreign Secretary, Admiral (Prof.) Jayanath Colombage said that Sri Lanka will not cede control of strategic assets to another country, the Daily Mirror newspaper reported today.
He said that while investments are welcome Sri Lanka is not prepared to handover control of any property to another country.
He expressed these views while speaking at the Pathfinder Indian Ocean Security Conference held online yesterday (Tuesday).
Jayanath Colombage said that Sri Lanka follows five basic rules in its foreign policy.
“We don’t want to be caught up in the major power game. We don’t want to choose between countries. We don’t want to bandwagon with one against the other. We need to maintain our own strategic autonomy in the Indian ocean,” he said.
He also said that Sri Lanka does not want to be a strategic concern to India.
Colombage said that there needs to be a rules based order in the Indian Ocean.
He asserted that maritime trade should not be securitized as that would hinder development.
Colombage also noted that over 570 war ships from 29 countries visited Sri Lanka between 2008 to 2020.
Shivshankar Menon, who was the former Foreign Secretary and National Security Advisor to the Government of India, speaking at the conference said that security has become an issue in the Indian Ocean, in forms that are new and different to what we were used to.
He said that the security concerns includes ecological security.
However, despite all the complications Menon said that he is optimistic of Indian Ocean security. (Colombo Gazette)