Srilanka has rejected the docking request for Chinese submarine. With Prime Minister Modi is on his 2 days official visit to the island nation, this is seen with a great importance. Srilanka last allowed the submarine to be docked in Colombo in October 2014 which is been seen by India as China’s dominance and assertion to prove its mighty in the Asian sea waters.
An official who did not wished to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter said that Srilanka may not approve the request even in the future due to the concerns raised by India whereas another official contradicted the statement saying that the docking for future has been postponed and not rejected outright.
China has invested heavily in Sri Lanka in recent years apart from it’s investments in Pakistan and Bangladesh and it had funded airports, roads, railways and ports in Srilanka which use to be the closest economic partner of India.
More than 70 percent of the trans-shipment in Colombo port comes from India.
Sri Lanka is already in the process of finalizing a plan to lease 80 percent of Hambantotata port to China which is been a loss making unit thereby proving to be a debt to the nation. The lease is expected to be for 99 years but has been delayed because of opposition from trade unions.
The Sri Lankan government is also looking at establishing a petroleum hub with the help of India in the eastern port city of Trincomalee which houses Lanka IOC, the subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation, that is involved in handling 15 out of 99 oil tanks.
A 1987 accord between India and Sri Lanka provides that their territories not be used for activities deemed prejudicial to each other’s unity, integrity and security.