Millennium Post

Lankan FM plays down suggestions on India-leaning

Lankan FM plays down  suggestions on India-leaning
Refuting the impression that the new Sri Lankan government is pro-India and anti-China, the country's new Foreign Minister has said that Colombo would act only in the best interest of Lankan people.

"There is nothing called, pro-India policy. Our policy is pro-Sri Lanka. In fact, the policy of the new administration is to embrace the whole world. We see the international community per se as an opportunity and not as a threat," Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told a Washington audience on Wednesday.

On his maiden visit to the US after the new government led by Maithripala Sirisena took office last month, Samaraweera is also scheduled to meet the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, at the State Department later on Thursday.

"Our policy would be to embrace the whole world and ensure that our relations with our neighbours which were strained over the years are rebuilt. This is part of the rebuilding process," Samaraweera said when asked about the first foreign visit of the new Lankan President to India.

"At the same time, we would also continue to have good relations with countries like China," he said, adding that at the end of the month, he would be visiting Beijing.

When asked about the various Chinese projects in the island nation, Samaraweera said the new government is not exclusively re-examining Chinese deals.

"In fact we are looking at many of the projects undertaken by the previous government where we feel that due procedures have not been followed. They could be Chinese, they could be Indians, they could be Americans. If we feel that they are not up to the required standards then they would be reviewed," he said.

Lanka appeals to UN to delay war crimes probe

Sri Lanka on Thursday appealed to the UN to delay a report into alleged war crimes committed towards the end of its nearly three decades-long civil war so that the new government can carry out an internal probe as it acknowledged that such violations did take place. The new government was not in denial of the violations like the previous regime, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera urged the UN to postpone the publication of the UN investigation report.



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