India’s Foreign Secretary last week had reportedly stated that India will be assisting Sri Lanka to develop Colombo and Trincomalee ports. Jaishankar had reportedly made this statement on Thursday (26) while addressing a workshop titled ‘Connecting the Bay of Bengal India, Japan, and Regional Cooperation’, organised by the India chapter of global think tank Carnegie India. The announcement comes days after Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe named India as a top contender for developing the strategically located Trincomalee harbour in eastern part of the island nation. According to India’s Economic Times, the development potentially extends India’s outreach in the Indian Ocean, where China is pursuing an expansionist policy. It should be noted that India is already involved in several development projects in Sri Lanka and is helping in road rail constructions. Earlier, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had said that discussions were on with both India and Singapore for developing the Trincomalee harbour. Japan will also play a role in building the Trincomalee port, said people aware of the matter. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka and India signed a Memorandum of Understanding to construct 1200 houses in the Hambantota District. The MoU was signed by Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Construction W.K.K. Athukorala and the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Taranjit Sigh Sandhu.