- Says SL has chosen neutral foreign policy, given country’s strategic location
- Points out that Indian Ocean should be a free zone open to every country
While stressing on Sri Lanka’s neutral foreign policy, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday said the island nation is open for foreign investments.
“Sri Lanka is located in a place of strategic importance. Therefore, our country is attracted to many parties. In this context, Sri Lanka has chosen neutrality as its foreign policy. Our topmost priority is mutually beneficial development cooperation. This country is open for foreign investments,” Rajapaksa said during a brief cordial conversation with four newly appointed ambassadors to Sri Lanka, following the presentation of their credentials at the President’s House.
Ambassadors of Republic of Korea, Germany, Holy See and Switzerland presented their credentials to the president.
Explaining Sri Lanka’s policy towards the Indian Ocean during the discussion with the new envoys based in Colombo, the president said the Indian Ocean should be a free zone open to every country.
Five decades ago, it was Sri Lanka that proposed the Indian Ocean to be declared as a zone of peace, the president recalled.
While paying attention to the development efforts of Sri Lanka in the recent past, the president said after defeating terrorism in 2009, the priority of the government as well as the people of Sri Lanka was to achieve a
“The economy was weakened due to terrorism. We required foreign investments for speedy development. China came forward to invest in the development projects in the country.
It was only a commercial transaction between our two countries. But some described this as a manifestation of a pro-China policy. Sri Lanka is a friend of all countries,” the president explained.
Rajapaksa pointed out that the construction of the Hambantota Port, with the funding from China, was a project with enormous development potential, although some call it a ‘debt trap’.
He said the previous government leased the Hambantota Port to China but it is being used only for commercial purposes.