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The First Retaliation by Lankans; hardens its stand on oil storage leasing to Indians in Trinco

The country, India who voted against Sri Lanka in a US and Western -sponsored resolution at the Human Rights Council in March 2013, and the Prime Minister of same country who is boycotting the CHOGM meeting along with pro-LTTE Tamil terrorists to be held in Colombo in November has been responded by Sri Lankans by hardening its stand on controversial oil storage leasing pact with the two countries.

India, famous for strain relationships with its neighbour countries like China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal has now aggressively extended towards Sri Lanka guise of mere Human Rights issues while India is clearly responsible for several gross human rights violations in Jambu Kashmir, Nagaland etc.

Hardening its stance, Sri Lanka has refused to sign a decade old agreement to lease the Trincomalee strategic oil storages to a unit of Indian OilBSE 1.62 % Corp (IOC) and is blocking the Indian firm’s plans to set up a bitumen plant in the island nation.

In 2003, Lanka IOCBSE 1.62 % – a subsidiary of state-owned IOC – bought one-third share in Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Ltd which operates the China Bay tank farm. Ceylon Petroleum Corp (CPC) and Colombo entered into an MoU with Lanka IOC to grant a long-term lease to the Indian firm for operating the 99 storage tanks at Trincomalee for 35 years for an annual fee of $100,000.

However, the 35-year lease finalisation dragged on and now Colombo has reservations on leasing out ‘state asset’ to Lanka IOC, industry sources said.

Lanka IOC, at the instance of Sri Lankan government, had in May submitted a proposal to operate the tank farms in a joint venture with CPC but there has been no response so far.

In the recent past, in particularly at the end of war against LTTE Tamil terrorists in May 2009, India has geared-up its influence on Sri Lanka economically and politically. In the political front India is exerting their pressure to implement controversial 13 Amendment which was forcefully enacted to Sri Lankan constitution.

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