moragoda: China investment footprint won’t undermine India’s security: Lankan envoy | India News


NEW DELHI: Amid growing unrest here around Sri LankaAlleged disinterest in India’s investment proposals, even as work on Chinese projects is hastily facilitated, Lanka’s new High Commissioner Milinda Moragoda, tried to reassure India on Friday that there was no “ external dimension ” to the delay facing Indian projects.
In an exclusive TOI interview, the high commissioner said that while China has “investment footprints” in Sri Lanka, the Chinese presence has not extended into the security domain in any way that undermines India’s interests.
During his visit to Sri Lanka earlier this week, Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla held meetings with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the prime minister. Mahinda rajapaksa He stressed the need to accelerate Indian projects and proposals. While Moragoda said there was indeed a “ trust deficit ” between India and Sri Lanka that needed to be addressed by both parties, he added that the bilateral ties were also marked by “ transparency, sensitivity and frankness. ”
“ We do not believe that any sinister motive (delayed projects / proposals) should be attributed to him. We have our own bureaucracy, politics, and system. This is more of a process related issue and things are getting fixed. The president himself is very impatient with the bureaucracy and took the initiative on the issue of the Western Container Terminal of the Colombo port (WCT, which will be developed by the Adani group), ” Moragoda said, adding that things are expected to improve in the next 12 years. 18 months.
Moragoda said that any concerns about the Chinese presence in Sri Lanka can be addressed through dialogue and that there should only be anticipation and commitment in the relationship and no surprises. “ China has investment footprints in Sri Lanka, but we don’t think that will translate into a security problem. There is already an open dialogue between India and Sri Lanka and there is enough frankness in the relationship. We have an asymmetric relationship and clearly Sri Lanka does not intend to strategically threaten India or allow it to be used against India, ” said the high commissioner, who asked the NSA Ajit Doval on Friday to discuss a number of issues related to the interests. strategic. ”
While India is still disappointed that Sri Lanka has breached the tripartite agreement with India and Japan to develop the Eastern Container Terminal (ECT), Moragoda said the agreement with the Adani group for WCT was better from the point of view of an investor. “ The opposition to ECT by the unions did not refer to any country, but the level of resistance was such that the government was willing to allow only 49 percent participation in the agreement. Given Japan’s long history in Sri Lanka, we would still like to work with Japan and India in sectors such as energy, especially electricity and oil, ” he said. The Adani group will have a 51 percent stake in WCT under the deal announced last week, days before Shringla’s visit.
While Shringla had called for the implementation of the provisions of the thirteenth amendment to the Constitution, including the devolution of powers and the holding “as soon as possible” of the provincial council elections, Moragoda said the deadlock in Parliament that resulted from The previous government’s efforts to change the electoral system had to be resolved first. “ There has to be some consensus in Parliament on the type of electoral system that would apply to the provincial elections. It is not about not wanting to hold elections but the stalemate must be resolved, ” Moragoda said.
When asked about Sri Lanka-related developments at the UN Human Rights Council, and also his support for China on issues related to Xinjiang and Hong Kong, the high commissioner said Sri Lanka would like to have a commitment with India to cooperation in the multilateral sphere. “ We have concerns about what happens in the Council. Both parties must be sensitive about each other’s interests, ” he said.

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