Sri Lanka: Acquiring Atomic Energy

Sri Lanka: Acquiring Atomic Energy

Sri Lanka and Pakistan signed six agreements including one on atomic energy in April 2015, the two countries’ leaders said, as the strategically important island looks to build its first nuclear plant.

Details of the agreements were not immediately available, but they come after India agreed in February 2015 to build Sri Lanka’s atomic energy infrastructure, including training of personnel.

Sri Lanka’s new president, Maithripala Sirisena, swept to power in January 2015, ending a decade of rule by Mahinda Rajapaksa, and has moved to reduce China’s influence in his country, which had irked India.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka have traditionally enjoyed strong ties, particularly over defense, with Islamabad providing military assistance during the war against Tamil Tiger guerrillas that ended in 2009.

Speaking at a news conference with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Sirisena said: “At critical moments in our post-independent histories we have stood in solidarity with each other,” adding he was “profoundly grateful for the strong support in the fight against terrorism” by Pakistan.

“We discussed regional and international agreements and signed six agreements in the fields of disaster management, sports, shipping, atomic energy … and in narcotics and academic cooperation,” he added.

Pakistan has three operational nuclear plants generating a total of around 740 megawatts of power and has begun work on two more, including a 2,200-megawatt station to be built with Chinese technical assistance on the Arabian Sea coast at Paradise Beach, 40 kilometers west of Karachi.  Agence France-Presse