- Hambantota deal was approved by the cabinet led by President Maithripala Sirisena with Ranil Wickremesinghe the then Prime Minister
By Easwaran Rutnam
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa opened pandora’s box on the Hambantota Port agreement claiming some people received special benefits as a result of the deal. He also noted that some members of the then cabinet were from the Hambantota district but failed to oppose the agreement.
Speaking at an election rally in Mahiyangana on Saturday, the Prime Minister accused the former Government of selling off property owned by Sri Lanka to a foreign country. The then Government signed a 99-year lease agreement with China on the Hambantota Port.
Rajapaksa questioned the silence of some Ministers of the then cabinet when the Hambantota agreement was signed.
“They could have objected to the agreement at the time but they did not,” he said. The Prime Minister said that the former Government had also attempted to sell the Mattala Airport to a foreign country. Speaking at a rally in Nugegoda on Saturday, the Prime Minister said that some people received additional benefits as a result of the Hambantota deal.
“I will not name people. But there was no need to sell the port. The profits are now going to a foreign country,” he said.
The Hambantota deal was approved by the cabinet led by President Maithripala Sirisena with Ranil Wickremesinghe the then Prime Minister.
Some members of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party were in the cabinet at the time. Following the signing of an agreement in December 2017 the Hambantota port operations were handed over to Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) and Hambantota International Port Services (HIPS).