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Sri Lanka envoy comments on port development project involving Japan, India 

  • February 1, 2021
  • , Nikkei evening edition
  • JMH Summary

Monday evening’s Nikkei ran a recent interview with Sri Lanka Ambassador to Japan Sanjiv Gunasekara, during which he expressed the view that a port development project in Colombo in which Japan and India are participating may start by the end of this year. Sri Lanka signed a memorandum of agreement with Japan and India in May 2019 on the joint development of the Eastern Container Terminal in Colombo, but the administration of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who took office in November 2019, decided to suspend the project. However, Ambassador Gunasekara said in the interview that the president is hoping that the construction will start this year. The paper wrote that some believe that Chinese pressure was behind the president’s decision to suspend the construction because former President Mahinda Rajapakasa, Gotabaya’s elder brother, accepted massive investments from China while he was in office from 2005 through 2015. The ambassador rejected the view that the current administration is pro-China, saying that the nation’s diplomatic approach is neutral. 

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