(NewsRadio); Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva says Sri Lanka was compelled to forego the Hambantota Harbour but has ensured that the port will not be used for war or security purposes.
Speaking to Indian network, WION at the sidelines of the sixth international Indian Ocean Conference in Bangladesh, Minister de Silva said the harbour was offered to India and the United States but ultimately given to a private entity from China.
The Minister said according to the agreement, the harbour can only be used for trade and not for security purposes.
Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva stressed that Sri Lanka is mindful of the security of India and both nations have very a friendly relationship.
The Ports and Shipping Minister also said India has been requested to invest in the Trincomalee Port.
Minister de Silva added, “We have excellent relations with India. India is helping and we are reciprocating. We have started flights from India to our airports. We have started ferry services to and from Madras. We have increased connectivity.”