Sri Lanka limits China’s role to commercial operations at Hambantota port
Indian Defence News: With the increasing footmarks in South Asia, China’s agreement with Sri Lanka on the lease agreement of Hambantota Harbour has been re-looked on the pressure from neighbouring country India.
There has been a huge protest from the local population of the island, where farmers have lost their land and many people are left homeless when Srilankan government decided to lease out the Harbour for 99 years to China for their operations.
According to the speculations, Chinese control of Hambantota, which is part of its “Silk Route” across Asia and beyond, as well as a plan to acquire 15,000 Acres (23 SQ Miles) to develop an industrial zone next door, had raised fears that it could also be used for Chinese naval vessels.
On Tuesday, Sri Lanka’s cabinet cleared a revised agreement for its Chinese-built southern port of Hambantota on Tuesday, the government said, after terms of the first pact sparked widespread public anger in the island nation.
The port, close to the world’s busiest shipping lanes, has been mired in controversy ever since state-run China Merchants Port Holdings, which built it for $1.5 billion, signed an agreement taking an 80 percent stake.
Under the new deal, which Reuters has examined, the Sri Lankan government has sought to limit China’s role to running commercial operations at the port while it has oversight of broader security.
Refer to the complete article on the “India today”