India hopes Sri Lanka will keep security concerns in mind

After Sri Lanka handed over the Hambantota port to China on a 99-year lease last week, India on Thursday said it expects Colombo to keep the region's security concerns in mind

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, while expressing confidence at India's "strong and enduring ties with Sri Lanka", said New Delhi's relations with Colombo "stand on its own and is not dependent on our relations with any third country". 

"We continue to take up with Sri Lanka issues related to the security concerns in the region and expect that our Sri Lankan friends will keep in mind our security concerns and sensitivities," he said.

The Hambantota port was handed over to the China Merchant Ports Holdings (CMPH) on a 99-year lease agreement at a ceremony on December 9. The Sri Lanka Ports Authority together with the CMPH will manage the operations of the southern port.

The port is considered one of the major projects under China's One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, which India has kept away from.

India is one of the largest development aid partners of Sri Lanka.

-IANS