Counter-balancing China’s Growing Influence In Sri Lanka Is Key Part Of Ajith Doval’s Agenda In Colombo This Week

November 26, 2020

Counter-balancing China’s growing influence in Sri Lanka might feature prominently on Indian National Security Advisor Ajith Doval’s agenda when the latter visits Colombo on November 27, informed diplomatic sources said.

Doval is the third high profile foreign delegate to fly to Colombo in a month while the island-national is battling an unexpected outbreak of COVID19 in some of its key commercial hubs.

The official reason for Doval’s visit will be trilateral discussions among India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Maldivian Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi will also travel to Colombo, while President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa will represent the Sri Lanka at the discussion.

However, the schedule for bilateral discussions between India’s defence bigwig and Sri Lanka’s political leaders has not been announced yet. During Doval’s last visit to Colombo in Jauary, Strengthening of bilateral cooperation on national security, intelligence sharing, maritime security and fostering of regional collaboration, were some of the key points that were taken up with President Rajapaksa.

His second visit, however, comes against the backdrop where China continues to expand its footprint in Sri Lanka through economic assistance and some key development projects in several sectors. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, has maintained that it will not jeopardize India’s strategic security interests despite its growing reliance on China to salvage the cash-strapped economy.

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