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Opposition leader endorses idea of Sri Lanka joining B3W to challenge China's BRI

In a conversation with Indian news channel WION, leader of the opposition Sajith Premadasa said Sri Lanka should join the G7’s B3W initiative to challenge China’s BRI

Jun 18, 2021
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Leader of the opposition Sajith Premadasa

In a conversation with Indian news channel WION, leader of the opposition Sajith Premadasa said Sri Lanka should join the G7’s B3W initiative to challenge China’s BRI. Premadasa's views are significant as they counteract the views of the present government of cozying up to China to which it is handing over a slew of mega infrastructure projects, the latest being the 260 hectare Colombo Port City. 

 Premadasa said Sri Lanka should benefit from such positive proposals which promote the country’s prosperity and development. He suggested Sri Lanka should go for such assistance if they improve the country’s macroeconomic indicators such as employment, growth rate, balanced budgets and trade surplus.

“Whatever economic, development and trade plans that are initiated and enunciated abroad, when Sri Lanka decides on embarking on a development voyage, we have to ensure that such development projects and programs promote efficiency and efficacious nature of such acts, the reduction of indebtedness and internal economic prosperity,” said Premadasa.

“Within the present context, where Sri Lanka is suffering economically, I think the infusion of capital investment, grant programs, loan programs that may be available from this initiative could be useful and utilized for the country’s development which would then promote Sri Lanka’s macroeconomic indicators which would lead to higher standard living and higher economic growth rates.”

When asked whether Sri Lanka is sinking further into China’s grip and debt trap, the opposition leader said “As Sri Lankans, We would never be keen on being subjugated to any other state or non-state actor.”

“Basically speaking Sri Lankans don’t like international interference, whether it is from a particular political bloc or an individual nation-state. We sacredly protect our country’s political independence, territorial integrity, sovereignty, and unitary character,” he said, according to ColomboPage.

He said Sri Lanka attached value to its relationship with both India and China.

“We are a non-aligned country. So, just as much as we value our relationship with India, we also value our relationship with China and the rest of the world. We would like to always have a productive relationship that is of mutual benefit. More and more we see Sri Lanka’s internal national agenda being decided by external factors and as Sri Lankans, we don’t like it.”

(SAM)

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