In the context of India’s losing patience, authoritative Indian sources say that last week’s visit by India’s national security advisor Shiv Shankar Menon was of added import.
The Sampur coal power plant, a joint venture between the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and India’s National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd., (NTPC) is embroiled in a long list of legal queries.
Earlier, the Indians demanded that the project be granted sovereign guarantee, but the SL Attorney General’s Department declined to issue a sovereign guarantee, arguing that it was not required as the CEB itself was a state venture. However, later it caved in and a sovereign guarantee was granted.
However, a fresh dispute over the land ownership has emerged and the CEB has indicated to its Indian partner that land arbitration would be a protracted process. The Indians also complain that though Trinco oil farms were leased to India in 2002, the lease agreement has not yet been signed.
The Sri Lankan government also refuse to give Palaly airport development project to the India.
They tend to view these actions as delaying tactics on the part of the government, which is reluctant to give much of a foothold for India in the North – East, while welcoming the Chinese with open arms.