India is Sri Lanka’s “relative and closest friend” and the island nation’s growing close ties with China are not in any way a contraction to that, the Sri Lankan envoy in India said yesterday.
Addressing the Foreign Correspondent’s Club, High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam said that Sri Lanka’s ties with India and with China are “not a zero sum game”.
“This is not a zero sum game. We consider India a relative and closest friend with whom we should have avery robust relationship” that should provide “net security in the region and in the maritime domain as well,” said Kariyawasam.
He added that while ties with China are “very important and very old”, the relationship was mainly concentrated on developmental opportunities.
“China is involved majorly in infrastructure development in Sri Lanka,” he said.
His comments came as Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited China and held talks with the Chinese leadership. China has granted Sri Lanka a development loan worth $2.2 billion for infrastructure projects and agreed to provide defence technology as well as training to the island nation’s army.
According to media reports, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told Rajapaksa during their meeting that China will explore the possibility of establishing an industrial zone in Hambantota and also support Sri Lanka to develop capabilities in satellite communication, space technology and maritime industries.
“We don’t see any contradiction in this (ties with China),” said Kariyawasam, adding that Sri Lanka was “very clear that any project undertaken by any other country would not affect the strategic balance and peace and security in the region”.
He said Sri Lanka is “very conscious that if India is in trouble we will be in trouble too, we are next to India, so why would we make any trouble for India,” he added.(IANS)
Agree friendship is vital. But why crawl? Stop stooping.
Pearl Saturday, 01 June 2013 08:36 AM
He does it purposely. He only cares about himself, not about our country. He wants to get some post in UN after retirement
BuffaloaCitizen Monday, 03 June 2013 08:58 AM
Bcos India is the big boy of this region similar to China in the China Sea, USA in the Pacific and Atlantic.
Punny Pellow Monday, 03 June 2013 02:21 AM
It is not possible to fool every one all the time even diplomatically.
ANTON Saturday, 01 June 2013 05:20 AM
DO WE NEED PERMISSION FROM INDIA TO MAKE ANY TRANSACTION WITH CHINA, WHY ARE WE GETTING SO MUCH HUMILIATED TO INDIA.
Suq Madique Sunday, 02 June 2013 01:58 AM
Kariyawasam must be having relatives and friends who back-stab and bully to even think of comparing India to them.
Joe Saturday, 01 June 2013 06:33 AM
I think Kariyaswamy is still speaks in a diplomatic way just to show the media and public ,what we call as talk for the sake ... If the government is able to sign so many contact with China ,then why is that there is always a delay in signing any development project with India alone.I hope Mr. Kariyaswamy should realize there is more thinker's in Sri Lanka than he thinks lol...
Grace Saturday, 01 June 2013 06:55 AM
Srilanka is relative ? you are provoking Tamil Nadu politicians again.
sg Saturday, 01 June 2013 07:25 AM
Best thing is "diplomacy"...
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