India reminds Sri Lanka on need to adhere to international commitments

India has reminded Sri Lanka on the need to adhere to international commitments.

Spokesperson at the Indian External Affairs Ministry, Anurag Srivastava said that the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo is in discussion with Sri Lanka on the matter.

He said that the talks include the need for Sri Lanka to adhere yo international commitments.

Srivastava said that India believes the East Container Terminal deal with India and Japan will be mutually beneficial.

The Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Gopal Baglay had urgent talks with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena on Tuesday.

The meeting took place a day after Sri Lanka made a u-turn on the East Container Terminal deal with India and Japan.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa had earlier announced that Sri Lanka will not go ahead with the agreement to jointly manage the East Container Terminal at the Colombo Port with India and Japan.

The Memorandum of Cooperation among the three Governments of Sri Lanka, Japan and India on the development of the East Container Terminal located in the Colombo South Port was signed in Colombo on 28 May 2019.

As per the 2018 agreement India and Japan were to have a 49% stake collectively in the Terminal Operations Company that was to be set up with the exclusive and explicit purpose of providing the equipment and systems necessary for the development of the ECT and managing the ECT for long periods.

Under the agreement the stake of 51% of the TOC was to belong to the Government of Sri Lanka under the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA).

Sri Lanka has sought to maintain close relations with India despite the issue over the East Container Terminal (ECT) of the Colombo Port.

Cabinet co-spokesman Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said that Sri Lanka respects its close relationship with India.

He said that the Government will look to negotiate and reach a settlement with India on the ECT issue.

Sri Lanka is to hold talks with New Delhi on the West Container Terminal of the Colombo Port. (Colombo Gazette)