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Lanka, China agree to speed up port city project

7 April 2016 09:52 pm - 11     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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After stalling the Colombo Port City project for a year, Sri Lanka and China had agreed to "speed up" the USD 1.5 billion Chinese-funded venture besides endorsing the ambitious Maritime Silk Road, the PTI reported today.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe - who received a red carpet welcome at the Great Hall of People - held talks with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang after which the two sides signed seven agreements.

They included an extradition treaty, MoUs on promoting investment and economic cooperation and preferential loan agreement for the second phase of the extension of southern highway in Sri Lanka.

But most importantly, both sides agreed to speed up the construction of the 583-acre Colombo Port City (CPC) project to be built by a Chinese state-owned company on reclaimed land that was stalled after the Maithripala Sirisena government came to power last year.

It was halted over concerns related to its environmental impact. The project was finalised during the previous Mahinda Rajapaksa regime.

"On CPC, both sides agreed to further speed up over-all and comprehensive resumption of the work at this project," Xiao Qian, Director General of the Asia Department of the Chinese Foreign Ministry told the media while briefing the outcome of the meeting between the two Prime Ministers.

He said Sri Lanka has already made the announcement to resume work. "Now we will go into further technical details," Xiao said.

While there is no clarity on technical details, reports from Colombo quoted Sri Lankan officials as saying that the China Communication Construction Company (CCCC), which undertook the project is demanding USD 125 million penalties as damages for stalling the project.

Sri Lankan officials also said Colombo wants relief as it is struggling to service USD eight billions obtained during Rajapaksa regime for various projects.

Reports said Wickremesinghe, who before his election had threatened to scrap the CPC for adverse environmental impact, is due to negotiate the penalty payment in his talks with Li.

The Sirisena government had earlier expressed serious reservations over the clause in the agreement to hand over 20 hectares of land to the CCCC on freehold basis with complete rights.

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  Comments - 11

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  • Happy Friday, 08 April 2016 04:21 AM

    Happy to note that the project will be taken forward for the betterment of the our country. All the best.

    Manel Friday, 08 April 2016 05:21 AM

    Ref. last para the freehold of land should not be allowed as it might prompt Indians too to make similar requests in future due to stratagically important location of SL in Indian ocean.

    Dayawathie Friday, 08 April 2016 06:03 PM

    Kanna ona unama kabara goyath thalagoyalu.

    Ravi Friday, 08 April 2016 10:00 AM

    Ho ho ho this is the last chance MS

    Gamarala Friday, 08 April 2016 10:40 AM

    The yahapalana "prodawa" is gradually coming to light!

    Gayan Thursday, 07 April 2016 10:47 PM

    Haha where are the anti chinese henchmen hiding now. Im sure they will come up some lame excuse.

    RW Thursday, 07 April 2016 11:06 PM

    "Apita lajjawak naha"!

    sri Lal Thursday, 07 April 2016 11:12 PM

    China can't be blamed as it was MR's duty for the EIA for port city

    patriot Thursday, 07 April 2016 11:34 PM

    I thought you people came to power to stop port city. so fool the voters. In no time, all Sri lankans will be Chinese.

    RuwanL Saturday, 09 April 2016 12:59 PM

    its a shame that the PM couldn't do this one year ago. Massive opportunity cost!!

    Cheers Friday, 08 April 2016 01:39 AM

    First of all don't know why China welcomed him as this man was responsible for stopping the port city for 1 year and never wanted Chinese and blamed Mahinda a Chinese making Sri Lanka a wonder of China. Now the PM had failed his bid and a lot of questions awaits in SL to what happened to funding from the west


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