President Ranil Wickremesinghe said today that Sri Lanka and India must work together to develop the island country, which is now in a crisis. He said the two nations must also work together to create the Trincomalee port on the northeastern coast.
President Wickremesinghe examined the integrated development plan for Trincomalee’s eastern port sector while he was there.
He remarked to construct the Trincomalee port and the oil tank complex, “We must collaborate with India.”
“In 2003, we ratified the Trincomalee port deal. The oil tank arrangement was then vehemently opposed by the trade unions. “According to President Wickremesinghe, Sri Lanka would not have experienced the present fuel shortages if India had been permitted to run the oil tanks.
As the Prime Minister in 2003, President Wickremesinghe awarded the Indian Oil Company to develop the 850-acre World War II-built oil tanks in Trincomalee for an annual payment of USD 100,000.
The IOC-run 15 oil storage tanks in Trincomalee came to Sri Lanka’s rescue during the ongoing fuel crisis.
The USD 700 million credit line from India, ensured Sri Lanka’s fuel supplies at the beginning of the economic crisis when forex shortages caused shortages of essentials leading to public unrest on the island.
“We are currently collaborating on renewable energy initiatives with India. Trincomalee will have this functioning. Using our connections to India, we can turn Trincomalee into our primary energy centre, “Added President Wickremesinghe.
“India, and we have also committed to expanding our industry in this area. I’ve suggested creating an industrial zone with India, “Added President Wickremesinghe.
Sri Lanka signed a contract in January with an IOC affiliate for the long-delayed renovation and development of the 850-acre Trincomalee oil farm, a storage facility with roughly one million tonnes capacity.
The Trincomalee tank farm collaboration was followed by Indian support for Sri Lanka’s acute economic situation.
With 22 million citizens, Sri Lanka is experiencing its most significant economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948. This crisis was brought on by a considerable lack of foreign exchange reserves.
Due to the currency crisis, Sri Lanka declared its default on its foreign debt in mid-April.
The nation has a foreign debt of USD 51 billion, of which USD 28 billion must be repaid by 2027.
Due to how poorly the administration handled the economic crisis, there have been street protests against the government in Sri Lanka since early April.
Long lines for fuel, cooking gas, and other necessities have resulted from a chronic lack of foreign reserves. In contrast, power outages and skyrocketing food costs have made life miserable for the populace.