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SOURCE: Colombo Gazette

Speaking to journalists in New Delhi, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to India Milinda Moragoda said that the episode regarding the docking of a Chinese research ship at Hambantota Port is a lesson on the need for close cooperation and coordination with India.

“Definitely there was no intention of (undermining). India’s security interests are our own security interests… the President made this clear recently.. that understanding is there…. It’s a question of how we implement it… this is a process,” Moragoda was quoted by the Tribune News Service as saying.

The envoy admitted that it is a challenge to balance relations with different countries but “India is the anchor for us for security. When it comes to security, India is the main provider. There is no dispute at all. We also recognise that this is a complex period … We have learned from this experience and we will correct ourselves.”

“Rajapaksa used to always say China is a very very close friend but India is our brother and sister…. Within a family u can have quarrels but finally it is your family,” he observed.

On India upbraiding Sri Lanka last week at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the “lack of measurable progress” in resolving the ethnic issue, the envoy said though one can argue about the nuances, the substance of India’s position was the same as earlier. However, he wanted Sri Lanka to be given space to work its way through this. Our society is very polarized. So we have to tread carefully,” he explained.