Lanka to ensure no nation dominates Indian Ocean: Rajapaksa

By The SATimes News Service

United Nations: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said that his country is against any country dominating the Indian Ocean and that it would stay neutral.

“As a strategically placed country in the Indian Ocean, it is our priority to ensure that the Indian Ocean is maintained as a zone of peace where no country could gain advantage over any other,” he said in a pre-recorded speech to the annual high-level session of the General Assembly.

“Sri Lanka is committed to follow a neutral foreign policy with no affiliations to any particular country or power bloc,” he said.

Because of the economic importance of its sea lanes to many countries, “powerful countries” should support Indian Ocean’s neutrality and protect its valuable marine resources, he said.

However, caught in China’s debt trap having borrowed huge amounts of money Sri Lanka has surrendered a strategic Indian Ocean port to China.

Unable to pay the interest and repayment on loans from China, Sri Lanka was was forced to hand over to China the Hambantota port built with loans from Beijing Gotabaya Rajpaksa’s brother, Mahinda, got when he was president.

Image courtesy of (credit: file photo IANS)

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