Sri Lanka signed a US$1.1 billion deal today to lease the southern Hambantota port to China, after several months of delay caused by protests.
The amended agreement was signed between the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and the China Merchant Port Holdings at the Ministry of Ports and Shipping under the auspices of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
PM Wickremesinghe yesterday announced that the lease out agreement would be signed today. “We will sign the Hambantota agreement tomorrow (Saturday)...We are giving the country a better deal without debt,” PM Wickremesinghe told media on Friday.
The agreement had been signed with the presence of Minister of Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe, Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama, Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Special Projects Minister Sarath Amunugama, Ports and Shipping Deputy Minister Nishantha Mutuhettigama. Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang, Executive vice president of china merchant group Dr. Hu Jianhua, Counsul General Yang Zuo Yuan of the Chinese government and a group of government officials also presented.
Secretary of the Ministry of Ports and Shipping L.P. Jayampathy, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake signed the agreement on behalf of the Sri Lankan government and Executive Vice President of China Merchant group, Dr. Hu Jianhua Signed this agreement representing the government of China.