President Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that government will not allow Sri Lanka to be used as a base for any threats against India, underlining that the island nation is a "neutral" country and has no military agreements with China, Adaderana reported. Adaderana is Sri Lanka's 24/7 news portal.
Wickremesinghe rubbishes the military presence of China
President Wickremesinghe said that there is a lot of speculation on whether the presence of China in Sri Lanka is a military one. He said that there are several rumours about the Hambantota Harbour and added that, although being granted to China Merchants Group, the Sri Lankan government maintains responsibility for its security.
Assuring that Sri Lanka will not be utilised as a base for any threats against India, Wickremesinghe emphasised that his nation is a neutral one.
The Sri Lankan President addressed such queries while speaking in an interview with France24 on the sidelines of the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact in Paris recently.
Southern Naval Command to be shifted to Hambantota
He further emphasized that the Southern Naval Command will be shifted to Hambantota.
"We have got one brigade stationed in Hambantota and nearby areas, and there certainly has been no issue of military use by the Chinese. China has been there for 1,500 years. So far, there has been no military base", he asserted, according to Adaderana.
The President, who responded to a question on whether the country is being sold off, underlined that working with foreign economies does not mean that the country is being sold off, but it means that the country's economy is being developed.
Sri Lanka seeks World Bank Help
He further mentioned that the World Bank's assistance is much needed at the moment and will certainly help to boost Sri Lanka's economy. "We have so far met all the requirements in order to get funding from the World Bank. As a result, we are eligible for World Bank support," Wickremesinghe said, according to Adaderana. "It is much-needed money at the moment and will certainly help to strengthen the economy", he added.