The Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Bagley had wide ranging discussions with Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena on Friday evening, Daily Mirror learns.
Sources said that several matters were discussed at the lengthy meeting including Sri Lanka’s offer of the West Terminal at the Colombo Port to India and Japan.
“Bilateral relations, matters of mutual interest, and regional and international issues were discussed,” a spokesperson at the Indian High Commission told Daily Mirror when asked about the meeting.
India had recently raised concerns over Sri Lanka’s decision on the East Container Terminal and China’s involvement in some new projects in Sri Lanka.
Foreign Ministry sources said that the West Terminal offer, the upcoming Human Rights Council session and other issues were discussed during Friday’s meeting.
India is yet to agree to the West Terminal offer after Sri Lanka reneged on a deal to offer the management of the East Container Terminal to India and Japan.
Indian External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said on Friday evening that discussions on the matter are still ongoing.
“India’s interest for participation in the Colombo port is a long standing one since most goods handled there are from and to India. We had, in principle, an agreement from the Sri Lankan Government in this regard. The current Government has, however, expressed a preference in engaging investors directly.
I understand discussions are still underway,” Anurag Srivastava said.
Sri Lanka will be depending on India’s support at the Human Rights Council in Geneva when a Resolution on Sri Lanka is submitted at the Council. (EASWARAN RUTNAM)