India in quandary over new govt’s relationship with China – Gotabhaya
Posted on December 20th, 2016

by Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy The Island

Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday told The Island that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was certainly in a quandary over the Maithripala Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration’s partnership with China.

India had strongly opposed to the previous government’s relationship with China and thrown its weight behind the Opposition at the last presidential polls in January 2015, Rajapaksa said.

The former Defence Secretary said India couldn’t be happy that the government was going ahead with all Chinese projects launched during the previous administration.

Responding to a query, Rajapaksa asserted that India must be regretting its decision to back the then UNP-led Opposition at the presidential polls.

The former Defence Secretary said India’s former National Security Advisor (NSA) Shivshankar Menon, in his recently released memoirs, Choices: Inside the Making of India’s Foreign Policy had acknowledged the understanding between the previous government and India during the war and post-conflict period. Menon’s successor Ajit Doval had taken an entirely different stand, Rajapaksa said, adding that India’s stand on Sri Lanka’s relationship was explained twice.

Rajapaksa said India called for the cancellation of USD 1.4 bn Chinese flagship project Colombo Port City. In addition to that demand which Rajapaksa said was very unfair, India demanded that Sri Lanka take over Colombo International Container Terminals Limited (CICT), a joint venture between China Merchants Port Holdings Company Limited (CMPH) and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA).

CMPH holds 85% of the partnership whilst the balance 15% is being held by SLPA.

Rajapaksa quoted Doval as having told him that India wanted all Chinese funded infrastructure projects stopped and for Sri Lanka to have full control of the Hambantota port. Rajapaksa quoted Doval as having said: “Sri Lanka is a small country, you don’t need such development projects.”

The former Defence Secretary pointed out that India hadn’t been able to achieve its objectives by regime change. After antagonizing China immediately after capturing power in January 2015, the new administration had been bending backwards to appease the Chinese, Rajapaksa said. “The Port City project is underway,” Rajapaksa said, underscoring the recently concluded agreement between CCPH and the SLPA to run the Hambantota port as evidence of the strong relationship. The new agreement envisaged 80 per cent of the Hambantota port to the CMPH, he said, adding that the Chinese already operated Colombo’s third container terminal with a 2.4 mn TEUs capacity under the Colombo South Harbour expansion project.

Meanwhile, former External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday expressed serious concern over the new government modifying an agreement between Sri Lanka and China regarding Hambantota development project. Declaring that handing over 15,000 acres of land at one go to the Chinese instead 750 acres as originally planned wasn’t acceptable, Prof. Peiris described the project as a country within a country.

Addressing the media at Punchi Borella, Prof. Peiris said that during a recent visit to China by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, he had urged the Chinese not to modify the project. Prof. Peiris, who had been present at talks between the former President and the Chinese explained their efforts to discourage the investors not to expand the project.

Prof. Peiris said that successive governments had established special zones such as Katunayake and Biyagama Export Processing Zones without causing unnecessary complications.

Responding to a recent statement attributed to State Minister Range Bandara, Prof. Peiris emphasized that the former President hadn’t discussed a change of government or formation of new administration during his week long visit to China. The former President represented Sri Lanka’s interests and explored ways and means of promoting the country, prof. Peiris said. “The former President will not engage in party politics during overseas visits.”

7 Responses to “India in quandary over new govt’s relationship with China – Gotabhaya”

  1. Christie Says:

    I hope and wish all Sinhalese come to their senses and stand up to the sacred bull that is the Indian Empire and Indian colonial parasites.

  2. Christie Says:

    ගෝටාබය කියන්නේ සහතික ඇත්ත. අපිට කෙලින්නේ ඉන්දියානු ජඩයන්ය.මෙය වටහාගන්නා තුරු සින්හලයාට ගැලවීමක් නැත.

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    Looks like there is a BATTLE between ENDIAN-SIRA and US-RUN-NIL.

  4. Kumari Says:

    Sir, when you say we (the country) believe you. Indians are snakes under the grass. Never trust one. I am sure, Indians are more worried now that Trump is in office. Indians wanted another snake like them Hillary in the White House. I wonder what Bishwal’s new responsibilities are going to be.

    Starting with Milliband, now we have lost Cameron, Hillary and Jayalalitha. I like these scums to be followed by our trio Ranil, Sirisena and CBK (Ha, ha.. Ranil is supposed to be visiting Thirupathy, I wonder whether Jesus will bless this man for Xmas).

  5. NAK Says:

    Indians are mostly jealous of us being developed and doing well. One that will expose their inability and two they won’t be able to keep us under their thumb.
    Their security concerns then were all bogus just made up to sabotage our development of infrastructure and utilities.
    If not they must be breathing fire by now for what this ‘Jahapalanaya’ is giving the Chinese.

  6. Randeniyage Says:

    Are they bending backwords to appease Indians ?
    Looks like bothesides fighting to appease Indians and we suffer !

  7. Ananda-USA Says:

    Lame duck President Obama should DELIST and LEGALIZE the Islamic-State, Al-Quaida, Al-Nusra, Hamas, Hezbollah and the Taliban at the same time he DELISTS the LTTE!


    Sri Lankan LIVES are as VALUABLE to us SRi Lankans as American LIVES are to the Americans!

    Clearly, the European Union does not think Sri Lankan lives matter!

    Therefore, should we Sri Lankans consider the lives of residents in the European Union to matter?
    I would say NO, NO, and NO!

    Tamil diaspora group in U.S. urges Obama to delist LTTE
    Wed, Dec 21, 2016, 07:13 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Dec 21, Washington, DC: A Tamil diaspora group in the United States has urged the outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama to delist the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam from the U.S. Terrorist Organizations list.

    A spokesman for Tamils for Obama said many Tamils are suffering from the listing of Tamil Tigers as it creates pain for many US Tamils when they travel to abroad and when they return to US.

    “They have to go through many hours of interrogation. Some US Tamils have asked us to convince President Obama to help us by removing Tamil Tigers from the list,” the spokesman said.

    “Obama can give Tamils a little relief by de-listing the Tamil Tiger during this Christmas and giving season.”

    The group said there is no reason to keep the LTTE on the list since the Tamil Tigers were defunct and no more of them with no Tiger activities being reported for the last seven years

    They said it was a “mistake” by the Bush administration to support the “Sri Lankan genocidal war against the innocent Tamils.”

    Tamil spokesman continued that the “European Union’s top court took a step on September 2016, towards confirming the removal of the Tamil Tigers from an EU terrorism blacklist, despite protestations from the Sri Lankan government. ”

    The European Union delisted the Tigers in 2006.

    Apart from the U.S. and the EU, the LTTE is proscribed as a terrorist organization in India, Canada, the UK and Sri Lanka.

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