China offers over $1 billion in grants to Sri Lanka after port project halt
Posted on April 1st, 2015

Courtesy  The Straits Times

China has pledged over US$1 billion (S$1.3 billion) in new grant money to Sri Lanka after a Chinese luxury real estate project in the capital Colombo was suspended, a Sri Lankan government spokesman said on Wednesday.

Chinese companies building a road in a Colombo suburb have also agreed to cut the cost of the US$520 million project by 30 billion rupees (S$300 million), said spokesman Rajitha Senaratne, reporting on the results of President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to Beijing last week.

The package comes during a cooling period in relations between Sri Lanka and China, the nation’s biggest investor, after Sirisena came to power in January and began to rebalance the previous government’s foreign policy tilt toward China.

China has poured millions of dollars into Sri Lanka’s infrastructure since the end of a 26-year civil war in 2009, when Colombo was largely shunned by Western investors because of its human rights record.

Sirisena travelled to China just weeks after his government halted a US$1.4 billion port city project that had been inaugurated by Chinese President Xi Jinping during a visit in September. He cited a lack of government approvals.

The move has strained ties with Beijing, which says the port project is in line with local laws and has warned that any cancellation would deter foreign investors.

Senaratne said the Chinese delegation offered the new grants without any conditions on the fate of the port city project.

“Xi Jinping and his officials did not mention anything about the port city during the discussion,” Senaratne told reporters.

“But President Sirisena explained that it will be looked into after considering the issues related to environment, legal, land ownership, and national and regional security.”

Under the port city plan, 108ha of land next to the main commercial port of Colombo would be taken over by China Communications Construction, including 20ha on an outright basis and the rest on a 99-year lease.

India has raised security concerns over the Chinese land ownership as it uses the Colombo port for most of its trans-shipment. Those concerns were aggravated by the docking of Chinese submarines in Colombo last year.

Senaratne said Xi told Sirisena during the visit that if any issues arise related to the region, China is willing to discuss them trilaterally with both Sri Lanka and India.


3 Responses to “China offers over $1 billion in grants to Sri Lanka after port project halt”

  1. Christie Says:

    Namaste: It will be hard for Indian Imperialists to beat China. Chinese are making headway in other Indian colonies including Nepal and Indian States in the North of India. Indian colonial parasites in Colombo who owns do not want the Sinhalese to own and operate from Colombo. That is why Indian Imperialists are against the Port City development. Jai Hind.

  2. aloy Says:

    We criticized the former government when it was entering into unfavourable agreements with east asian new ‘imperialists’ in this forum and predicted that this would happen. I am sure what we wrote here had some effects on the electorate. Most of the young and educated, voted against MR. I thank LW for giving us the unhindered access then.

  3. Ratanapala Says:

    The clear and ever present security threat to Sri Lanka is India. It is the jungle in our back garden from where they send invading vermin to pollute our land. Like fighting fire with fire we need another security threat – this time from China to counter balance the Indian threat.

    Since the times of Emperor Asoka nothing good has come from India. On the other hand Chinese have always had a give and take attitude in all her dealings with Sri Lanka where both parties benefit. We are now in the 21st Century and we need infrastructure development and for this we need funds from those who can afford and all weather friends. Getting aid or funds from India is tantamount to a beggar getting loan from another beggar.

    In the Fifties we had the Rubber-Rice pact with China and most of those who brag against China were fed on that rice. Can those who bootlick Indians tell us one good thing they have done for Sri Lanka without a pound of flesh from Sri Lanka? Even today Modi comes to tell us how to divide this land and dismember it so that Indian windbags send more vermin to occupy Sri Lanka? For once I thought we have a sensible patriotic man at the top in India, just to see another – Maha Rajano looking more like “on the spot advice giving” Kim Il Sung!

    He should know that a Unitary Sri Lanka is a better thing than a divided and balkanised Sri Lanka. There are dozens of Christian separatist movements doing the leg work to balkanise India. John Kerry didn’t say that they were responsible for the regime change in Sri Lanka for nothing. They are very much active in Regime Change in India. However before going for regime change they will lay the foundation for the balkanisation of India beginning with Tamil Nadu. This is why Hilary Clinton made a direct visit to Chennai to see Jaya Lalitha.

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