India seeks implementation of thirteenth amendment for US$ 1 billion loan

India has imposed tough conditions for US$ 1 billion loan to Sri Lanka. It has called for a road map from Sri Lanka on how it is going to overcome its economic crisis in the long term as well as to clear the decks for a long list of its economic cum strategic demands for implementation in the North and the East of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s twice cancelled visit to India, till then the future of the one billion dollar emergency loan from India seems uncertain.

The Indian demands involve a string of maritime security agreements that will strengthen India’s strategic interests, particularly around the eastern Trincomalee harbour. These include Donier surveillance aircraft for the Sri Lanka Air Force, a ship repair dock for the Sri Lanka Navy in Trincomalee and posting of a Sri Lankan Navy officer at the Intelligence Fusion Centre, a Bahrain-based intelligence sharing office which is a US Navy initiative to combat international terrorism, the narcotics trade and ensure safe maritime passage for commercial vessels in the region, Colombo based media reported.

The reopening of the Palay airport for commercial operations and several cultural projects in the Jaffna peninsula are also among items on the list already made public.

Last week, however, the mission stated that the visit fixed for last week was rescheduled as Foreign Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar had to urgently visit Paris on official business.

Meanwhile, India urged upon Sri Lanka to take the necessary steps to address the legitimate aspirations of the Tamil community, including by carrying forward the process of reconciliation and the implementation of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka, to ensure that the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all its citizens are fully protected, the statement was delivered by Indian Ambassador Indra Mani Pandey at the 49th session of the Human right council in Geneva.

 

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