NEW DELHI: The Sri Lankan Navy chief, who is on a five-day official visit to New Delhi, allayed India’s fears on increasing Chinese military presence in Sri Lanka, as he categorically stated that his nation will never compromise on India’s national security or for that matter of any other country.
Responding to a question on presence of a Chinese submarine on a Sri Lankan dockyard, Sri Lanka’s Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera said in New Delhi, “We (Sri Lanka) have very good cooperation with India. We will never compromise on national security of India. India’s security is our security. Not only Chinese, even the Russians and other countries also we have very good relationship, we are non-aligned country.”
“They are coming normally for operational goodwill visit. For your information there is no Chinese military presence.... the interest is very commercial,” he said. Perera also clarified that Chinese submarine was the conventional submarine not a nuclear one.
Meanwhile, the Indian navy is planning to supply two naval offshore patrol vessels and other military hardware to Sri Lanka.
Acknowledging that, Indian navy chief Admiral RK Dhowan said, “As you are aware we (India) have an offshore patrol vessel, which is now the flagship of the Sri Lankan Navy... We also have two of the offshore patrol vessels which are under construction at the Goa Shipyard Limited, so this is part of our ongoing co-operation between our two countries.”
In May 2013, India has agreed to give two offshore patrol vessels to Sri Lanka.
On the other hand thanking India for lending its support to end the ethnic conflict in the island nation, Lankan navy chief said, that his country was now marching towards economic revival. “I must thank India as it wholeheartedly supported to relegate terrorism. Now we are on a fast track on development and because of that a lot of investors are coming to Sri Lanka purely on commercial interests..” he said.