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Chinese funds financed MR's election campaign: NY Times

27 June 2018 07:35 pm - 47     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


During the 2015 presidential election, large payments from the Chinese Port Construction Fund flowed directly to campaign aides and activities of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had agreed to Chinese terms at every turn and was seen as an important ally in China’s efforts to tilt influence away from India in South Asia, The New York Times reported in an article published on June 25.

The article said the payments were confirmed by documents and cash checks detailed in a government investigation seen by the New York Times.

The article published by Maria Abi-Habib of The New York Times said though Chinese officials and analysts had insisted that China’s interest in the Hambantota Port was purely commercial, Sri Lankan officials said from the start, the intelligence and strategic possibilities of the port’s location were part of the negotiations.

“Initially moderate terms for lending on the port project became more onerous as Sri Lankan officials asked to renegotiate the timeline and add more financing. And as Sri Lankan officials became desperate to get the debt off their books in recent years, the Chinese demands centered on handing over equity in the port rather than allowing any easing of terms. Though the deal erased roughly $1 billion in debt for the port project, Sri Lanka is now in more debt to China than ever, as other loans have continued and rates remain much higher than from other international lenders,” The New York Times reported .

At least US$7.6 million was dispensed from China Harbour’s account at Standard Chartered Bank to affiliates of Mr. Rajapaksa’s campaign, according to a document, seen by The Times, from an active internal government investigation.

With 10 days to go before polls opened, around US$3.7 million was distributed in checks: US$678,000 to print campaign T-shirts and other promotional material and US$297,000 to buy supporters gifts, including women’s saris. Another US$38,000 was paid to a popular Buddhist monk who was supporting Mr. Rajapaksa’s electoral bid, while two checks totalling US$1.7 million were delivered by volunteers to Temple Trees, his official residence. 

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  Comments - 47

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  • Unchikun Wednesday, 27 June 2018 07:46 PM

    It is now the responsibility of the government to investigate this allegation. May be it is all in the game for Ranil and Mahinda.

    Ceylon Wednesday, 27 June 2018 07:54 PM

    Enemy withing.if offer money srilankan traitors wish to sell even.their mothers.

    Mandayan Wednesday, 27 June 2018 09:27 PM

    Agreed and on the other side, Pirabaharan seems to be a fool to fight and die given that the billions of US rollers in his preview.

    saman Wednesday, 27 June 2018 07:56 PM

    mind your own business NY. disgusting

    Hari Wednesday, 27 June 2018 08:45 PM

    It hurts, right

    vithura Wednesday, 27 June 2018 08:45 PM

    Is it the truth that is so disgusting to you?

    Cbhh Wednesday, 27 June 2018 08:48 PM

    Are you afraid of the truth and facts?

    MR Wednesday, 27 June 2018 08:53 PM

    What is your issue this writer has nothing more than looking into Sri lanka

    Truth Wednesday, 27 June 2018 08:55 PM

    Technically, it is their business to investigate whatever they want... in this case they’re investigating Chinese involvement in smaller nations’ politics. Shouldn’t we be thanking them for uncovering the deals that certain people conducted, essentially selling our lands and sovereignty?

    joshua Thursday, 28 June 2018 09:59 AM

    why truth hurts?

    Donavan Wednesday, 27 June 2018 08:15 PM

    Well well ... So government going to arrest MR for using port development fund for election campaigns. Or will he be getting pampered at 2-3 Hours at FCID?

    Charles Wednesday, 27 June 2018 08:15 PM

    Still the majority of this country love him as he won't betray the nation.

    666 Wednesday, 27 June 2018 11:08 PM

    Won't betray the nation? Then what he has been doing? Selling manioc to fund his campaign?

    Pra Thursday, 28 June 2018 02:03 AM

    Who has betryed the nationa. No body , Those are slogns to popularity. Getting bribes is really betrying the nation.

    Harry Sunday, 01 July 2018 11:10 AM

    Shhh! Where is Mahendran? Who financed th current regime at last elections? We say our so called leaders were in India almost daily and even wearing as Modi??

    HRS Wednesday, 27 June 2018 08:16 PM

    NY Times is a well known MR basher.

    Common Man Thursday, 28 June 2018 09:57 AM

    So tell him to deny these facts, I don't think these are baseless allegations. They sure will have proof...... Wake up man wake up

    Wise Donkey Wednesday, 27 June 2018 08:30 PM

    So the cheques have come from abroad! That's no problem. They may argue that they got foreign exchange to help the country.

    TONY Wednesday, 27 June 2018 08:39 PM


    TONY Wednesday, 27 June 2018 08:41 PM


    vithura Wednesday, 27 June 2018 08:44 PM

    If anything this is a clear violation of the civic rights of the people, to allow a foreign country to influence the outcome of the election. It requires a thorough independent investigation to be carried out by the parliament and the election commission as it certainly would amount to a breach of election laws of the country!

    Citizen X Wednesday, 27 June 2018 08:48 PM

    MR Constructed the hobour with Chinese funds but he never sold it to Chinese and it was under the Authority of the Sri Lankan port commission.Who sold it to Chinese for a 99 year lease? It was this so called brainee economics our current Mr. PM Ranil...Who is trying to mislead who??... be a bit realistic NY Times we are not fools... hahahahhahaha

    666 Wednesday, 27 June 2018 11:20 PM

    Who gave the Chinese 20 hectares of outright ownership in Colombo Port City Agreement? 7 Acres of prime land outright to Chinese for Shangrila ? Daisy Aachchi? HAHAHAHA

    Dee Wednesday, 27 June 2018 11:20 PM

    Hey X man. That crap land in Htota was nothing. What you say about prime Colombo 1 property? Gone right?

    lakshitha Wednesday, 27 June 2018 11:25 PM

    U are the fool,,he buikt an uneconomical Harbour to Sri Lanka by taking a huge bribe,,,time to expose this bribe taking unpatriot and put him behind bars

    Graham Wednesday, 27 June 2018 08:50 PM

    China funded MR’s campaign and India and the West funded yahapalana’s campaign vice versa what’s the big deal in it? Kock brothers’ bloody money usually goes to American Presidential campaigns...hey NY Times where have you been sleeping?

    Mohamed Wednesday, 27 June 2018 09:18 PM

    People in srilanka fighting among them selves on racismBut very soon the entire nation will be slaves toChinese government, and our grand childrenWill be still paying our debts. What a shame.

    Citizen Wednesday, 27 June 2018 09:31 PM

    This story emerged when it is revealed Aloysius funded ruling party politicians. Smells like a conspiracy with upcoming elections .

    BuffaloaCitizen Thursday, 28 June 2018 09:48 AM

    Conspiracies are everywhere even with UNP, but MR was a crook to the core. If Bond Scam happened during MR's governance, non of it will ever be public bcos PT will take care of him lavishly like what all others did.

    Haramanis Wednesday, 27 June 2018 09:37 PM

    This is part of the campaign against China and its influence among the Asian nations. USA with India as partner are trying very hard to suppress and hold China down. The recent embargo on selling of high tech equipment by US firms is all part of this global game.

    Lal Wednesday, 27 June 2018 09:53 PM

    So he abused the funds from the port development fund which contained loans taken at over 7% interest rate. We pay taxes so this man can use loans for his personal campaign

    Leo Wednesday, 27 June 2018 10:10 PM

    Now watch Bandula, Gamanpilla, Weerawansa, Nannayakkara all in unison voice to protect MR against this publication.

    Sary Wednesday, 27 June 2018 10:15 PM

    It was never a secret that MR received millions and millions from China. Even Namal received huge amounts. So what? All politicians are the same and no action will be taken. Honestly sick of this country bow.

    Ceylon Wednesday, 27 June 2018 11:03 PM

    During 2005 election prabakaran decided who become president of srilanka and made mahinda president.2020 election china decide who who is next srilanka is run by china.

    Nirvana Wednesday, 27 June 2018 11:04 PM

    Time to get rid of this liability called MR. Just eliminate the bastard.

    lasantha Wednesday, 27 June 2018 11:29 PM

    India spent money only for the costume for yahapalanaya.

    Gune Wednesday, 27 June 2018 11:32 PM

    MR has never had our country at heart. He first sold this country’s integrity when he gave money to the LTTE to win an election which he could have never won without the LTTE’s involvement. He thereafter sold this country to the Chinese on a platter and filled his family’s pocket. Today we are paying for all misdeeds of the Rajapakses.

    wickremasinghe Wednesday, 27 June 2018 11:44 PM

    U.S. is loosing it's grip.Once they were the most powerful country in the world , but not any more.They are living on borrowed money from China.They nare fighting for their excistent. They do not want M.R. or win the next elections because if they do, no trinco port for the Americans.If M.R. has misused ,or stolen money proove it. We are the voters,we will do the needfull. It is funny that no one has told that M.R. has received money from the bond sceam so far. I think NY.Times is running out of articals. Before it was their President and now some one els.

    BuffaloaCitizen Thursday, 28 June 2018 09:53 AM

    When you drink Rajapakse urine this kind of belief is a result of that.

    Gummay Baiya Thursday, 28 June 2018 12:15 AM

    NYT is late with this news. MR is a billionaire made by China on our soil. It is no secret that the Chinese funded his reign at a time when the West ostracized MR.

    CEDRIC Thursday, 28 June 2018 12:51 AM


    Mahila Thursday, 28 June 2018 01:08 AM

    Why was it leased for 99 years with 15000 acres of land? Exorbitant loan repayments due to china for port project with no revenue generation. Due to ill-advised Loans taken by the GOSL under the governance of MR. A project which was found to economically not feasible. No self Revenue earning capacity as a harbour minimal. Only 34 ships for 6 years should be at least 27000 ships. Instead of taxing and burdening Sri Lankans the port loan was amortised and off loaded. Same process of what happens to a car you finance and cannot repay.

    WTF Thursday, 28 June 2018 02:09 AM

    The only option is for all right thinking Sri Lankans irrespective of their ethnic, religious background to unite and save our nation from all these parasites.

    Mahinda Thursday, 28 June 2018 09:33 AM

    Don’t talk through ur hat now.Mahinda R is a true patriotic leader who saved Mother Lanka s children from the claws of the tigers.Be great full.

    Rasheed Thursday, 28 June 2018 09:53 AM

    It is all inflow of US$ to the country, they are worried about PTL funds only.

    Hitler Thursday, 28 June 2018 10:05 AM

    In Bond scam - Allociyus and palisena are in custody. Perpectual money hold to recover the loss. Prez Sirisena, had 2 books on Corruptions before 2015 and after.Nothing happened so far. Mr and his gang is now playing freely. What happened to this nation?

    Ajja Thursday, 28 June 2018 05:31 PM

    Do we have an Executive President or a Puppet ruling in this Land of Misery????

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