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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2967

Sri Lanka turned to China for arms after India refused supply

Hilary Rajakarunanayake, Editor – Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune

Colombo, 26 May, ( Sri Lanka had turned Gen. Sarath FonsekaGen. Sarath Fonsekato China for military purchases only after India had refused to supply offensive weapons to the island's military during its critical campaign against the LTTE, said Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka, in an interview with NDTV.

"India had told us they were not in a position to sell or send offensive weapons or even equipment like radars and basic communication equipment to meet our requirements," he has told NDTV.

This, he said, had led Sri Lanka to approach countries like Pakistan, China and Russia for meeting its urgent military needs.

He said while Islamabad told Sri Lanka it had only a limited amount of ammunition and could not meet the requirements projected by Sri Lanka, we had to seek similar equipment from Russia, Ukraine and other countries "which proved for us to be very costly".

"So we had no other option but to obtain heavy weaponry from China," Gen. Fonseka said.

He said for the first time recently Sri Lanka had bought "artillery and infantry weapons including armoured personnel carriers and other systems to overcome enemy ambushes".

"It was readily available in China and comparatively cheaper, almost half the price compared to Russia. I think, we had no other option," the Army chief said.

- Asian Tribune -

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