Sri Lanka To Adopt ‘India First Approach,’ Says Top Diplomat
With New Delhi concerned over China’s growing presence in Sri Lanka, newly appointed Foreign Secretary announced a change in approach.
Sri Lanka will adopt an “India first approach” as its new foreign policy plank and protect New Delhi’s strategic security interests, said the country’s newly appointed Foreign Secretary Jayanath Colombage. This comes after he sought to allay concerns amid China’s growing presence in the island nation. Admiral Colombage became the first-ever foreign secretary from a military background when he was appointed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to head the Foreign Ministry on August 14. Colombage said Sri Lanka will adopt an “India first approach” as its new regional foreign policy plank.
“That means Sri Lanka will not do anything harmful to India’s strategic security interests,” said Colombage, who was the chief of the Sri Lankan Navy between 2012-14 and later became a foreign policy analyst mostly on Chinese initiatives in Sri Lanka and the immediate region. Colombage said that President Rajapaksa would have an India first approach as the key to strategic security. “China is the second-largest economy and India is considered the sixth-largest. In 2018, India was the world’s fastest-growing economy. That means we are between two economic giants,” he said.
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