The Government move to halt the Port City Project funded by the Chinese Government which is considered the fastest growing economy in Asia has resulted in downgrading Sri Lanka's sovereign credit rating to ‘B+’ from ‘BB-’ by Fitch Ratings, opposition MP Udaya Gammanpila claimed today.
He said neither the US nor Britain had ignored projects initiated under Chinese President Xi Jinping because they have realized the significance of maintaining cordial ties with China.
Mr. Gammanpila said even though President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe visited many powerful countries like Germany and Britain, they were unable to obtain financial support to uplift the country’s economy.
He said the only option the government had was the renewing of ties with the Chinese Government and seeking its support to strengthen the economy.
“The Premier sent Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera to China last month with the purpose of reaffirming ties between the two countries. The effort seems to have failed and now Mr. Wickremesinghe is sending Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama to China this month. He must have realized that there is no option other than approaching China. The government will have to apologize and re-start the Port City Project soon,” Mr. Gammanpila said.
However, he warned that unless the Chinese government agreed to help Sri Lanka, the country would have to face economic crisis like Greece, Iceland and Spain.
Even though they had disputes with the government, Mr. Gammanpila said they were keen to provide their knowledge to uplift the country's economy.
He urged the government to set up a ‘National Economic Council’ comprising government and opposition politicians, academics and front-line businessmen to provide imputs on revitalising the economy. (Piyumi Fonseka)
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