New Delhi: Announcing a new $400 million line of credit to Sri Lanka for infrastructure development, and a separate “special” $50 million line of credit to help Sri Lanka boost its fight against terrorism and also swift activation of an earlier announced $100 million for solar projects in the island nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday — after holding extensive talks with visiting Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa here on Friday — said both countries “should be alert to each other’s security concerns and sensitivities”.
Both countries also decided to further strengthen bilateral ties.
Perhaps in a veiled reference to India’s concerns over the earlier movement of Chinese submarines in Sri Lankan waters and also the fast increasing Chinese footprint in the island nation, President Rajapaksa is understood to have assured Modi that “India will remain his top priority and that he will not allow any third force to come in between cooperation” of the two countries.
The assurance comes in the wake of China’s growing influence in Sri Lanka and perceived earlier proximity of the Rajapaksa brothers (President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa) towards Beijing.
The lines of credit announced by India are also being seen as an effort to counter the Chinese financial muscle in the island nation.
The Sri Lankan President also apparently conveyed to Mr Modi that he would also work for the economic development of Sri Lanka’s northern and eastern provinces that have a significant Tamil population....