South Asia and Beyond

West Container Terminal Better Deal For India: Sri Lankan Foreign Secy

NEW DELHI: Earlier this week, the Sri Lankan Cabinet gave its approval to develop the West Container Terminal of Colombo Port jointly with India and Japan under a public-private partnership. This came after both India and Japan expressed their displeasure over the Sri Lankan government going back on a 2019 trilateral deal (signed during the earlier government) to jointly develop the East Container Terminal. “The President (Gotabaya Rajapaksa) was compelled to not give the ECT to a foreign entity because of pressure from trade unions. He had to give in to people’s power,” Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Admiral (Retd) Jayanath Colombage told StratNews Global. But to compensate for the issues that came up with the ECT, he offered the West Container Terminal which is a much better deal, Colombage told Editor-in-Chief Nitin A. Gokhale in an exclusive interview. Listen in for more.

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Nitin A. Gokhale

Left to himself, Nitin A. Gokhale would rather watch films and sports matches but his day job as a media entrepreneur, communications specialist, analyst and author, leaves him little time to indulge in his primary interests. Gokhale in fact started his career in journalism in 1983 as a sports reporter. Since then he has, in the past 41 years, traversed the entire spectrum across print, broadcast and digital space. One of South Asia's leading strategic analysts, Gokhale has moved on from conventional media to become an independent media entrepreneur running three niche digital platforms—BharatShakti, StratNewsGlobal and Interstellar—besides undertaking consultancy and training workshops in communications for military institutions, corporates and individuals. Now better known for his conflict coverage and strategic analyses, Gokhale has lived and reported from India’s North-east for 23 years between 1983 and 2006, been on the ground at Kargil in the summer of 1999 and also brought us live coverage from Sri Lanka’s Eelam War IV between 2006-2009.    An alumni of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies in Hawaii, Gokhale now writes, lectures and analyses security and strategic matters in Indo-Pacific and travels regularly to US, Europe, Australia, South and South-East Asia to take part in various seminars and conferences. Gokhale is also a popular visiting faculty at India’s Defence Services Staff College, the three war colleges, India's National Defence College, College of Defence Management and the IB’s intelligence school.