Amid increasing unrest here over Sri Lanka’s alleged disinterest in Indian investment proposals, even as it hurriedly facilitates work on Chinese projects, the new Lankan high commissioner, Milinda Moragoda, sought to reassure India Friday there was no “external dimension’’ to the delay Indian projects were facing, Times of India reported.
In an exclusive interview to Times of India, the Sri Lankan high commissioner said that while China has “investment footprints” in Sri Lanka, the Chinese presence hasn’t spilled over into the security domain in any way that would undermine India’s interests.
Times of India further explained that during his visit to Sri Lanka earlier this week, foreign secretary Harsh Shringla had in his meetings with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and PM Mahinda Rajapaksa underlined the need for expediting Indian projects and proposals. While Moragoda said there indeed was a “trust deficit’’ between India and Sri Lanka that needed to be addressed by both sides, he added that the bilateral ties were also marked by “transparency, sensitivity and candour’’.
“We don’t think any sinister motive should be attributed to it (delayed projects/ proposals). We have our own bureaucracy, politics and system. This is more of a process related issue and things are getting sorted out. The president is himself very impatient with bureaucracy and took the lead on the issue of the Colombo port’s Western Container Terminal (WCT which will be developed by the Adani group),’’ said Moragoda, adding things are expected to improve in the next 12-18 months.