China’s ALIT rejects Sri Lanka leader’s graft allegation
Posted on September 20th, 2019

Courtesy London South East

COLOMBO, Sept 20 (Reuters) – China’s state-run Aerospace Long-March International Trade Co (ALIT) on Friday rejected Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena’s allegation of misappropriating 2 billion rupees ($11 million) in a deal to work on the construction of South Asia’s tallest tower.

Sirisena made the allegation at the inauguration on Monday of the 356-meter Lotus Tower, which overlooks Beira Lake in Colombo, sparking a political row in the country, which has relied heavily on China for project finance. A parliamentary panel will investigate the allegation.

The $104.3 million project was 80% funded by Exim Bank of China, with China National Electronics Import & Export Corporation (CEIEC) and ALIT recommended as the main contractors by Chinese government.

Sirisena alleged ALIT in 2016 had vanished, misappropriating some 2 billion rupees deposited with it by Sri Lanka’s state-run Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC).

ALIT in a statement said it had left the consortium in August 2015, entrusting its partner CEIEC to act solely on its behalf to fulfil the contract with the TRC.

It also said the TRC, according to the contract, paid $15.6 million (2 billion rupees) into CEIEC’s account in Exim Bank in October 2012, the same amount to which Sirisena referred to as misappropriated.

“This sum had been used for the project purpose solely,” ALIT said in a statement, without elaborating how and when the money was spent.

Sirisena’s predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was in power when the alleged incident took place in 2012, has denied any corruption in the deal.

Sri Lanka’s Committee On Public Enterprises (COPE) said on Wednesday it will probe the allegation.

After coming to power in 2015, Sirisena suspended most Chinese-backed infrastructure projects started under Rajapaksa, citing allegations of corruption and the flouting of rules.

Sirisena’s Lotus Tower allegation comes ahead of a presidential election set for Nov. 16, which Rajapaksa’s brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa is expected to contest.

Political sources close to Sirisena and Rajapaksa have said talks between the president’s center-left Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) for a coalition deal have broken down. ($1 = 181.1000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Shihar Aneez, editing by Louise Heavens)

4 Responses to “China’s ALIT rejects Sri Lanka leader’s graft allegation”

  1. jay-ran Says:

    Sirisena kiyannay, HITAPU GRAMA SEVAKAYEKI! ABA ETAYAK THARAMWATH OLUWAK THIBENAWANAM,MEMA SIRISENA KIYANA HARAKA MEVENI GONG KATHA NOKARANU ETHA!!!
    ANEY KAWRUWATH NEDDA LANKAWAY,MEMA SIRISENA KIYANA HARAKAGE MOLAY PODDAK ELI KARA DENTA???????????????

  2. Randeniyage Says:

    @ jay-ran
    Why go after Sirisena, Ranil etc. who are useless Bank Robbers and Borukarayos ? No point bashing them.

    Why not those who spent billions on NELUM KULUNA spent a bit of that money to pay salary of poor soldiers who lost their, arms, legs, eyes, ears, minds ? It is 10 years after war now. Why are they suffering in front of Fort Railway Station asking for lifelong pay ? If those BIG NAMES are patriots the should be recieving double the pay for life, without asking.
    Not only Ranil, Sirisena and UNP – all those political Gods who are being worshiped are NOT PATRIOTS.

  3. aloy Says:

    Consider the following:

    1) All the projects constructed by loans at high interest rates are two or three time over the actual cost.
    2) We always pay 15% advance at the commencement. This is actually 30% or more of the actual cost.
    3) We start paying interest at the completion date as per the contract, although the actual completion is many years after.
    4) By the time completion has been achieved our Rupee has been depreciated by a significant amount.

    Therefore the loan givers are actually doing these project with our own money. This is what the Prez said about Nelum Kuluna. The Rs. 2 billion is a secondary issue. All the loan projects should be investigated before we pay anymore installments either capital or interest. Find out on what basis the extensions have been given also.

  4. Randeniyage Says:

    @aloy
    Both you and I know all these Jilmart. You worked in SEC , I worked in Mahaweli ( use to say Maha Salli Mankollaya).

    But I was shocked after watching Water Board COPE committee meetings. Please watch. absolute carnage. All water supply /treatment plant projects are making lot of people rich. My own nephew ( after A/L) join this industry and very rich now. They are simply employees but paid well. ADB is a HORA GUHAWA. although interests are low, ADB loans should not be touched. Can’t imagine how high interest EXIM banks ruin our country.

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