Colombo: Sri Lanka will not allow China to only use the Hambantota port for military purposes, Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene has said.

The Hambantota port in southern Sri Lanka is located in the world's busiest East-West shipping route and gives China a foothold in a region long dominated by India.

Sri Lanka last year to allowed a Chinese company to operate the port under a 99-year lease.

The government said it was forced to lease the port for $1.

1 billion because it could not service loans from Beijing to build the facility agreed by former president Mahinda Rajapakse.

News Agencies