December 14, 2019
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    PM hopes to avoid crises and conflicts in Indian Ocean .

    July 15, 2018

    Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says new strategies are needed to prevent crises and conflicts among countries in the Indian Ocean region. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said the government has advised the Navy to pay attention to new strategies to prevent possible hostilities and to other security concerns, especially, possible threats from submarines in the Indian Ocean.

    The Prime Minister said the main objective is to get all the main stakeholders to the negotiating table to discuss matters of mutual interest, avoiding crises and conflicts. The Prime Minister made these remarks delivering the keynote address at the Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute's postgraduate Diploma and Certificate awarding ceremony at the BMICH in Colombo Friday.

    Speaking further, Premier Wickremesinghe said the U.S. has introduced a great new concept, the "Indo-Pacific", in addition to the Asia-Pacific region and China thinks this is to restrict them in the region. "But that's not the case. We are also caught up in this," he said.The Prime Minister emphasized that Sri Lanka's security is under the government control and the Chinese involvement in the Hambantota Port project and the Colombo Financial city project will not adversely impact Sri Lanka's security.

    "We made the Hambantota Port a public private partnership by joining the China Merchant Holdings and the Sri Lanka Port Authority. The Port City is being built the same way. It must be emphasized that security of Sri Lanka is under the Sri Lankan government. We have also mentioned this clearly in the agreement signed with China Merchant and the company has also accepted it," the Premier said.

    He added that the security, immigration and emigrations and Customs activities will all be under government control.The Prime Minister stressed that the government has taken several new measures to strengthen security around the Hambantota harbor.

    "All commanding centers in the South will be taken to Hambantota from Galle. We will safeguard the security of the Hambantota Port. Therefore, we have informed the Navy to focus on new strategies. China has no room to use the Port in Hambanthota as a base," he said.

    "We also hope to operate the Mattala International Airport with an Indian company. Therefore, nobody can accuse China of doing everything. Our aim is to bring all the main stakeholders of the Indian Ocean region to the negotiating table," the Prime Minister said.

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