Staff, The Hans India
19 October 2015
Sri Lanka will allow future submarine visits by China provided they are not too frequent, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said underlining that the mistrust with India in the past could have been avoided if it had been kept in the picture about the dockings.
“We have put out the criterion for visits by naval ships. Under that, ships including submarines from all countries can visit Sri Lanka. As far as we are concerned if it is a friendly visit we will inform the neighbouring countries and we will spread out the frequency of the visits,” he told The Straits Times. “The problem with the last visit by a Chinese submarine was that India claims it was not informed. So far, from what we found out, that seems to be correct,” the Singapore daily quoted Wickremesinghe.
Wickremesinghe suggested that some of the mistrust could have been avoided if India had been kept in the picture about the visit by the Chinese submarine, which was en route to deployment in the Gulf of Aden. Wickremesinghe, ended a four-day visit to Singapore. He met Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Deputy PM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and other ministers during the visit. He offered a cautious assessment of relations with New Delhi, saying "ties with India are improving".
In future, Sri Lanka will set out definite criteria for calls by foreign naval ships.