- Tag results for Hambantota_port
Sri Lanka's Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe is facing the wrath of the Cabinet members after he opposed a recently signed deal with China on the strategic Hambantota port.
The deal had been delayed by several months over concerns that the deep-sea port could be used by the Chinese navy.
Sri Lanka's Cabinet today approved the sale to a Chinese firm of a 70 per cent stake in the strategically-located Hambantota port, tweaking the deal after the initial agreement sparked protests.
Concerned about Sri Lanka’s lurch towards the US and the West, China is sending its Defence Minister Gen.Chang Wanquan to Colombo for a there-day trip beginning on Sunday.
The proposal comes in the wake of the Ports Minister Arjuna Ranatunga campaigning against the existing agreement on the port.
Heavily indebted Sri Lanka needs the money, but payment for China's interests in Hambantota port could be delayed by several weeks or months
Ironically Rajapaksa who procured about USD 7 billion for Hambantota and other projects opposed the handing over of the port and land to Chinese.
The head of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna says the Hambantota port affair shows that there is complete confusion in the government.
The cabinet has appointed a committee to discuss the matter with the China Merchants Ports Holding Company.
President Sirisena is likely to ask the Chinese to bring down their equity in the Hambantota Sino-Lankan JV from the present 80 percent to a more politically acceptable level, sources said.
The port, constructed by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa with a Chinese loan of US$ 1.4 billion, has been without business so far because it has no worthwhile hinterland.
The Framework Agreement provides for the setting up of a JV company between CMPort and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.