COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry on Saturday denied that Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera had told the Japanese media that Lanka would review its China-dependent foreign policy and boost ties with other countries instead.
“The Ministry wishes to clarify that the Minister did not, at any point, refer to a review of Sri Lanka’s foreign policy pertaining to any country during his interactions with the media, during the visit,“ a Foreign Ministry statement said.
“In response to questions raised during the series of media interactions that he had – a press conference at the Japan National Press Club, and interviews with the Yomiuri, Nikkei, Asahi Shimbun newspapers and NHK Television – the Minister said that Sri Lanka strives to win back friends who have been
traditionally very close to Sri Lanka since Independence,” it said.
“With regard to investment projects, the Minister said that all investment projects undertaken before the January 8 Presidential election are being reviewed on account of allegations that due procedures had not been followed in the process of awarding contracts for such projects,” the statement added.
Earlier, media reports had quoted Samaraweera as saying that Chinese aid had led to rampant corruption under the previous Rajapaksa-led government. Samaraweera was on a visit to Japan from June 17 to 20.