UNP National List MP Dr. Harsha De Silva said the Colombo South Terminal of the Colombo Port, the newly built Hambantota Port and the Mattala International Airport would eventually become Chinese entities in the near future with this plan. This he said was because these projects are carried out with Chinese funding which had come in the form of loans.
Major development projects funded by China are to become Chinese entities in the near future with the government’s decision to handover stakes of major development projects to China instead of paying the debt in owes to that country, the main opposition UNP charged yesterday.
He said this decision had been made as the Sri Lankan government had realised that it is not in a position to pay the debts to China. Accordingly he said China’s total investments in Sri Lanka would be US$784 million as a result of this move. China had provided loans to Sri Lanka to the tune of that amount.
Besides he said China Merchant Holdings which had a 55 per cent stake of the Colombo South Terminal at the Colombo Port had managed to increase it to 85 per cent as the 30 per cent stake which was owned by Aitken Spence had been given to the former. He said Aitken Spence had decided to terminate its partnership with Sri Lanka Ports Authority and China Merchant Holdings as a result of a dispute.
Coming up with another allegation he said construction contracts of major development projects have been handed over to Chinese companies without tenders. He said the situation is same with the Lotus Tower project for which the foundation stone was laid recently.
Responding to a notion posed by the journalists that China is bringing investments which are essential to Sri Lanka in the wake of other investors turning their backs on Sri Lanka, the UNP MP said investors are drawn away from Sri Lanka because of draconian pieces of legislation such as the ‘Revival of the Underperforming and Underused Assets Bill’ which enables the government to take over entities. (Yohan Perera)