Sudden spike in interest on Sri Lanka by foreign nations

Sudden spike in interest on Sri Lanka by foreign nations

Written by Staff Writer

29 Aug, 2018 | 2:16 am

Colombo (News1st) – Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kazuyuki Nakane is in Sri Lanka today and will be here till the 30th August in order to participate in the commissioning ceremony of the patrol vessels donated from Japan to Sri Lanka under the Grant Aid of the Government of Japan to be held tomorrow (Aug 28th) at the Colombo Port. This is the second time a high ranking official of the Japanese government arrived in Sri Lanka in the span of a week.

In addition, during his stay, Nakane will call on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and hold meetings with other Sri Lankan Government leaders to further promote bilateral relations between the two countries. The Japanese embassy in Sri Lanka says it expects that this visit would help further consolidate the ‘Comprehensive Partnership’ between Japan and Sri Lanka.

The two patrol vessels will be handed over to Sri Lanka Coast Guard to improve maritime safety and strengthen control of the maritime borders of the island. The vessels will be used mainly for search and rescue, pollution control and oil spill management as well as maritime security boarding operations. The vessels were built in Japan under the grant aid of the government of Japan and costs over $ 11 million in total.

International media reported Japanese maritime security expert Saturo Nagao saying there is a Japanese-Sri Lankan project for “Maritime Safety Capability Improvement” worth approximately 1.8 billion yen or $ 16.5 million, which includes the provision of two patrol vessels to the Sri Lankan Coast Guard. International media adds that the first ever visit of the Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera to Sri Lanka, earlier this week, was of great significance to the Indian Ocean region. A Japanese naval Destroyer was in the Trincomalee harbour when the Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera was visiting it.

Close on the heels of Onodera’s visit to Trincomalee, the USS Amphibious Transport Dock USS Anchorage (LPD 23), along with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), arrived in Trincomalee for a scheduled port visit on Aug 24th.

In his report to the Pathfinder Foundation, former Sri Lankan navy chief, Admiral Jayanath Colombage says, analysing the country of origin of foreign warships visiting the Port of Colombo from 2008 to 2017, it is observed that 65 Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (MSDF) ships had arrived in Sri Lankan ports, mainly the Port of Colombo.

Indias BJP leader Dr. Subramanian Swami upon his arrival to Sri Lanka last week speaking to the Veerakesari newspaper had spoken about the importance of countries like India having the opportunity of carrying out commercial activities in a similar manner to China.

Why is there increased international attention towards strategic locations of our country?


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