Government rejects undermining India

Saturday, 15 November 2014 00:30 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Government yesterday rejected claims that attempts are being made to undermine India by getting China involved in several local projects. External Affairs Minister Professor G.L Peiris condemned attempts to give the impression that China has hidden interests in Sri Lanka. He told Parliament that China’s ties with Sri Lanka go back several years before the current Government came to power in 2005. Meanwhile External Affairs Ministry monitoring MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, speaking in Parliament, said that Sri Lanka needs to take advantage of China offering assistance to developing countries. The MP noted that Indian aid was more centric towards the north and is part of the importance India places on the redevelopment of the north. However he said the Government is looking to use Chinese aid to develop the rest of the country as that is part of the responsibility of the Government. “We have to develop the rest of the country as well. That is a responsibility of this Government as a whole. We do not do politics based on ethnicity. We do not do politics based on geographical locations. The responsibility of this Government is to ensure that this country is developed at once at the same pace,” he said. The MP said that if India offers to match or give more aid to Sri Lanka then the Government will welcome that and will not have any objections. “We are maintaining good ties with all countries. We know the importance of India. President Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have a good understanding and that is going well. We have no reason to get angry with any country,” he said. The MP also defended the decision to allow Chinese submarines to make a port of call in Sri Lanka, saying that even ships from other countries are also allowed to do so. Earlier the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had raised concerns over China’s role in Sri Lanka with TNA leader R. Sampanthan giving the opinion that Sri Lanka is attempting to use China to undermine India. Minister Professor G.L Peiris however said that Sri Lanka is maintaining a good relationship with India and India has also accepted this. (Colombo Gazette)  

 India has no issue with subs in Lanka

  The Indian Navy on Thursday played down the issue of the docking of Chinese submarines at Sri Lankan ports, the Press Trust of India reported. “They (Chinese submarines) are in Sri Lanka waters. They are visiting Sri Lankan ports. That is an issue between the Sri Lankan Navy and Chinese,” Indian Navy Chief Admiral R.K. Dhowan said, adding that the Chinese have never approached India for any replenishments for its submarines. “It is the responsibility of the Indian Navy to safeguard the maritime interests of the country and we monitor all the activities in the maritime domain in our area of interest,” he said. Meanwhile French Navy chief Admiral Bernard Rogel arrived in India yesterday on a six-day visit during which he will tour naval facilities in Goa and Mumbai, besides seeing the Mazagon Dock which is building six Scorpene submarines with help of a French firm. The Admiral was received at the South Block lawns in the afternoon by Navy Chief Admiral R.K. Dhowan and accorded a ceremonial guard of honour. Outlining the importance of his visit, Rogel said, “India has been a strategic partner to France for years.” Asked if he would be visiting the Mazagon Dock Ltd. (MDL), he said: “Of course. I am a submariner. We have several submarines and therefore it is important to have this sort of discussion.”