Sri Lanka likely to induct Dornier 228 surveillance aircraft from India on 15th August

The Dornier, a twin-engine aircraft is being used by the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Indian Air Force. Manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, it is licenced by Swiss company RUAG.

Published: 14th August 2022 12:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th August 2022 12:57 AM   |  A+A-

Dornier aircraft

Representational Image. (File Photo)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: A Dornier 228 surveillance aircraft of the Indian Navy is expected to be inducted into the Sri Lankan Air Force on August 15th, a day before China’s research vessel 'Yuan Wang 5' docks in at Hambantota, say sources.

"This is a gift from India and the Indians will supervise the operation of the aircraft. The second aircraft that will be handed over will have to be brought by Sri Lanka and the cost is yet to be negotiated," say sources.

The Dornier, a twin-engine aircraft is being used by the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Indian Air Force. Manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, it is licenced by Swiss company RUAG.

Meanwhile, a day later on August 16th Chinese vessel Yuan Wang 5 will dock at the Hambantota Port until August 22nd.

"This permission came from the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs today, after days of delaying giving them permission to dock. The Chinese had begun to allege that India was behind Sri Lanka’s delay in granting permission for the vessel to dock -which is being viewed as a surveillance vessel. The vessel is about 900 kms away from Hambantota and is slowly moving towards the port," say sources.

Meanwhile, India had objected to the allegation that they were behind the delaying of the permission being given to the Chinese vessel to dock.

"We reject such insinuations and statements being made about India," said a spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

"This China-India standoff is a challenge for a country like Sri Lanka which is bankrupt. While India is our neighbour, China is our biggest lender. We are caught in a difficult situation," say sources from Colombo.

Meanwhile, Nepal and Sri Lanka have recently reaffirmed the One China policy. Nepal reaffirmed the One China policy after its foreign minister Narayan Khadka met China’s foreign minister Wang Yi in Qingdao on August 10th. China in turn has pledged a $15 billion in grants in assistance for projects selected by Nepal in 2022.

Sri Lanka too has reaffirmed their One China policy.

"During a meeting with China’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Qi Zhenghong, I reiterated Sri Lanka’s firm commitment to the One China policy, as well as to the UN Charter principles of soverenity and territorial integrity of nations," said Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe a few days back.

China has been hoping that India too reiterates the One China policy.

India refused to reaffirm the One China Policy in 2010 after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited India. India was miffed after China issued 'stapled visas’ instead of normal visas for residents of Jammu and Kashmir travelling to China.

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