“No Truth”: India Refutes Lanka’s Claim On Reacquiring Leased Oil Tanks

The Indian High Commission here has rejected Sri Lankan energy minister’s claim that the deal between the two countries on the 99 World War II-era Trincomalee oil tanks leased to the Indian Oil Corporation has been scrapped.

In a statement, the mission said, “there is no truth in reports in some sections of the media that the understanding between India and Sri Lanka on jointly developing and operating the Upper Tank Farm at Trincomalee has been scrapped.”

Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila announced on Wednesday that Sri Lanka will re-acquire 99 World War II-era oil storage tanks leased to IOC in the eastern port district of Trincomalee.

Gammanpila told a gathering at the Colombo north suburb of Kolonnawa that talks with the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo on this issue concluded last Sunday.

“I am happy to state that the Indian High Commissioner was very flexible at the talks. He ignored the conditions mentioned in the agreement signed in 2017 in order to be helpful to us,” Gammanpila said, referring to his discussions with High Commissioner Gopal Baglay.

The Indian mission said that these reports did not correctly portray remarks made by the minister of energy at an event on February 17, 2021. The minister has himself clarified the matter in detail today through a press briefing.

As indicated in the minister’s briefing also, the two governments have consulted each other to explore mutually acceptable modalities for jointly developing and operating the facility in accordance with existing bilateral understandings, including the MoU of 2017, it said.

India looks forward to formal discussions on the matter, and expeditious implementation of their outcome to mutual benefit,” the statement said

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