Sri Lanka wouldn’t be allowed for use as a base for any threats towards India, President Ranil Wickremesinghe has stated, asserting that the island nation stays “impartial”, having no navy agreements with China.
Wickremesinghe, who was on an official go to to the UK and France, made the feedback throughout an interview with France’s state media on Monday.
In an interview with France24, Wickremesinghe stated, “We’re a impartial nation, however we additionally emphasise the truth that we can’t enable Sri Lanka for use as a base for any threats towards India.”
Responding to a query about China’s perceived navy presence in Sri Lanka, the president stated that the Chinese language have been within the nation for about “1,500 years and, up to now, there was no navy base”.
Wickremesinghe asserted that the island nation has no navy settlement with China and stated, “There will not be any navy agreements. I do not assume China will enter into one.”
The president stated there have been no problems with navy use by the Chinese language of the southern port of Hambantota, which Beijing took over on a 99-year lease as a debt swap in 2017. He assured that though the Hambantota harbour has been given out to China’s Retailers, its safety is managed by the Sri Lankan authorities.
“The Southern Naval Command might be shifted to Hambantota, and we’ve got obtained one brigade stationed in Hambantota within the close by areas,” he added.
Final yr, Sri Lanka allowed the Chinese language ballistic missile and satellite tv for pc monitoring ship Yuan Wang 5 to dock on the Hambantota port, elevating fears in India and the US about China’s rising maritime presence within the strategic Indian Ocean area.
There have been apprehensions in New Delhi about the potential of the vessel’s monitoring methods trying to listen in on Indian installations whereas being on its technique to the Sri Lankan port.
The ties between India and Sri Lanka had come beneath pressure after Colombo gave permission to a Chinese language nuclear-powered submarine to dock in one in every of its ports in 2014.
Wickremesinghe, 74, was elected president final yr following the resignation of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who fled the nation amid the turmoil attributable to Sri Lanka’s financial disaster, its worst since its independence from Britain in 1948, triggered by foreign exchange shortages.