India wants Sri Lanka to adhere to port deal commitments

Anurag Srivastava

Chennai: India on Thursday stressed the importance of Sri Lanka adhering to its international commitments relating to development of the East Container Terminal of the Colombo Port, days after the island nation cancelled a trilateral agreement for the project.

India, Japan and Sri Lanka had inked an agreement in 2019 on development of the terminal project. The Sri Lankan government on Monday decided to hand over the project to a state-run company following an agitation against the venture involving India and Japan.

“As is well known, the governments of India, Sri Lanka and Japan had signed a memorandum of cooperation in May 2019 to develop and operate the East Container Terminal of Colombo Port in a trilateral framework,” External Affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.

“We sincerely believe that the development of infrastructure in Sri Lanka, in areas such as ports and energy, with foreign investment from India and Japan will be a mutually beneficial proposition,” he said.

Srivastava said the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo is in talks with the Lankan government on the issue.

Our High Commissioner in Colombo is in discussion with the government of Sri Lanka, including on the importance of adhering to international commitments, he said.

India considered the terminal project to be an important one and issues relating to it had figured during External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s visit to Colombo last month.

According to reports, Sri Lanka decided to hand over the project to the Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA).


NT Bureau