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India in talks with Sri Lanka on development, operation of East Container Terminal of Colombo port

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 04, 2021

MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava   -  PTI

Development of infrastructure in Sri Lanka will be a mutually beneficial proposition, says MEA

India is in talks with Sri Lanka on matters related to development and operation of East Container Terminal of Colombo Port and the importance of meeting international commitments, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has said.

In response to the US State Department’s supportive comments on the on-going farmer protests, the MEA, at a press briefing on Thursday, also said the violence at Red Fort on January 26 evoked sentiments similar to the ones evoked by the incidents at Capitol Hill in the US on January 6 and were being addressed as per ``respective local laws’’.

“India has issued a Mutual Legal Assistance Request to USA for investigation in the matter of Sikhs for Justice/Referendum 2020. As per procedure, the request has been sent directly by the concerned authorities to the US Department of Justice,” MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said .

Trilateral framework

On the on-going controversy over Sri Lanka’s reported decision of developing the East Container Terminal (ECT) of Colombo port on its own, Srivastava pointed out that India, Sri Lanka and Japan had signed a Memorandum of Cooperation in May 2019 to develop and operate the ECT in a trilateral framework.

“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,” Srivastava said while responding to questions on Sri Lanka’s decision to develop the ECT on its own.

The Indian High Commissioner in Colombo is in discussion with the Government of Sri Lanka, including on the importance of adhering to international commitments, Srivastava added.

Sri Lanka has reportedly decided to renege on the trilateral agreement with India and Japan for developing the ECT at the Colombo Port following opposition from its trade unions. Instead, it may want India and Japan to assist in the development of the West Terminal at the Colombo Port.

Vaccine supplies

Giving an update on vaccine supplies to foreign countries, the MEA stated that supplies made under grant so far amount to 56 lakh doses and commercial supplies amount to over 100 lakh doses.

Vaccine supplies have so far been made to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, the UAE, Brazil, Morocco, Bahrain, Oman, Egypt, Algeria, Kuwait and South Africa.

“External supplies of vaccines are an ongoing process, depending on availability and domestic requirements. In the coming weeks, Indian vaccines are scheduled to reach CARICOM countries (the Caribbean), Pacific Island States, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Mongolia, etc.,” Srivastava said.

Published on February 04, 2021

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