Sri Lanka will adopt an “India first approach” as its new foreign policy plank and protect New Delhi’s
strategic security interests, the country’s Foreign Secretary Jayanath Colombage has said as he sought
to allay concerns amid China’s growing presence in the island nation.
Colombage said Sri Lanka is to adopt an ‘India first approach’ as its new regional foreign policy plank.
“That means Sri Lanka will not do anything harmful to India’s strategic security interests,”
said Colombage, who was the chief of the Sri Lanka Navy between 2012-14 and later became a foreign policy
analyst mostly on the Chinese initiatives in Sri Lanka and the immediate region.
Commenting on the Chinese investment in the southern port of Hambantota, Colombage says that
Sri Lanka had offered India Hambantota first.
Now we have given 85 per cent stake of Hambantota port to China Merchant Holding Company. That should be limited to commercial activities. It is zero for military purposes,” he said.
Sri Lankan in 2017 handed over the Hambantota port to China on a 99-year lease.