Lanka okays Adani mission days after Jaishankar go to

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 15

The Adani group is the front-runner in a Indian and Japanese investment project at Colombo port that has been green-lighted by Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa less than a fortnight after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met him to seek its revival.

The tripartite deal by the previous government was on hold due to trade union pressure but Rajapaksa has now approved after reviewing the “regional geopolitical concerns”.

The terminal will have majority, 51 per cent ownership by the Sri Lankan Government and the rest will be invested by Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone and other stakeholders including Japan. The facility will come up next to the Chinese-run Colombo International Container Terminal.

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) had signed a memorandum of cooperation in May 2019 with the governments of Sri Lanka, India and Japan to develop the east container terminal during the tenure of Mathripala Srisena who was backed by India in the 2015 polls against the current President’s elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is now the Prime Minister.

Both India and Japan are members of the Quad grouping that comprises the US and Australia to counter Beijing’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

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