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SL rejects Chinese request for submarine visit: sources

11 May 2017 07:26 pm - 14     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lanka has rejected China's request to dock one of its submarines in Colombo this month, two senior government officials said on Thursday as the Indian prime minister landed in the island nation.

Sri Lanka last allowed a Chinese submarine to dock in the capital of Colombo in October 2014, a move that triggered fierce opposition from its northern neighbor India, which worries about growing Chinese activity in a country it has long viewed as part of its area of influence.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Sri Lanka on Thursday for a two-day official visit.

A senior Sri Lankan government official said China's request to dock one of its submarines in Colombo this month had been rejected. He said Sri Lanka was "unlikely" to agree to China's request to dock the submarine at any time, given India's concerns. The official asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.

The second official, at the defense ministry, also said China's request to dock this month had been rejected but that a decision on a further docking had been postponed.

"It might happen later," the second official told Reuters, adding that China had requested approval to use the port around May 16 "sometime back".

A source close to the Chinese embassy in Colombo confirmed that China had requested permission for the submarine visit but was still awaiting a response.

China has invested heavily in Sri Lanka in recent years, funding airports, roads, railways and ports, unsettling India, traditionally the closest economic partner of the island nation of 21 million people.

More than 70 percent of the trans-shipment in Colombo port comes from India.

Sri Lanka is finalizing a plan to lease 80 percent of its loss-making Hambantotata port to China for 99 years, but the deal has been delayed because of opposition from trade unions.

The Sri Lankan government also wants to establish a petroleum hub with the help of India in the eastern port city of Trincomalee, where Lanka IOC, the subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation, handles 15 out of 99 oil tanks.

A 1987 accord between India and Sri Lanka provides that their territories not be used for activities deemed prejudicial to each other's unity, integrity and security. (Reuters)

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  Comments - 14

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  • Mason Friday, 12 May 2017 12:24 PM

    This is welcome if it is the policy of the Government and will be so at all times. You do this just to please visiting Modi, it is mockery and we look like cheap jokers.

    JAN Thursday, 11 May 2017 08:03 PM

    welcome Back Chinese Nuclear Submarine to our Colombo Port Foreign relationship with India must tightened as Asias Superpower via DM Android App

    Kadiya Thursday, 11 May 2017 09:00 PM

    Now Gammanpila will ask 'why'!!!

    ceylon Thursday, 11 May 2017 09:34 PM

    submareins are for military reasons.if give to onemust give others too.all powers helped srilanka developments in big ways from its independence. via DM Android App

    Haramanis Thursday, 11 May 2017 09:55 PM

    This is how we treat friends who truly helped us in time of need.!!.

    Hilla Thursday, 11 May 2017 10:32 PM

    SL is not anyone slave to come and go as they please. They can come after Modi left

    Lal Thursday, 11 May 2017 10:40 PM

    What does Gammanpila know about Geopolitics and diplomacy?

    pras Thursday, 11 May 2017 11:22 PM

    Very bad move will have repercussions via DM Android App

    JO Supporter Friday, 12 May 2017 01:14 AM

    China > India. Imperial India is jealous of Chinese superiority. Sri Lanka are better of with China.

    Sylvia Haik Friday, 12 May 2017 02:42 AM

    I hope this doesn't antagonise China because when times were hard, China had been a worthy friend as opposed to "good weather" friends like India.

    Booruwa Friday, 12 May 2017 03:25 AM

    We embrace our enemy who created and unleashed terrorism and ditch our true friend who helped us to eradicate terrorism. INSANE foreign policy by the YAHAPAALUWAs!

    wow Friday, 12 May 2017 04:28 AM

    This spineless government!! India is the reason we had problems with LTTE, they screwed us with there peace keeping forces, stopped selling weapons to SL during the last period of the war, voted against us in the UN voting. As long as SL politician heeds to india we cannot go forward!! Well that plus the quick forgetting nature of Sri Lankans..

    Titanic Friday, 12 May 2017 06:32 AM

    Both are same we cant say India is our good friend or china both have its own agenda via DM Android App

    S.P.Ramumar Friday, 12 May 2017 07:35 AM

    Sri Lanka can set up Submarine service Dockyard in Colombo with commercial purpose.


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