Aug 1 (NIA) – Sri Lanka’s government headed by Maithripala Sirisena, who were initially critical of China after being sworn to power last year, are now discussing several new projects with the Chinese government, most of which will be launched in the Southern Coast of Hambantota.
According to a report by the Government Information Department, the government is discussing proposals with Chinese investors for the Mattala Airport, Hambantota Port, Tourism Zone, a Petroleum Refinery, a dockyard, a LNG Power Plant and Industrial Parks.
These projects will come under the Public Private Partnership between the Sri Lankan government agencies and Chinese Investors.
China has continued to have a very large influence in the island nation after former President Mahinda Rajapakse gave the green light for several Chinese projects to be launched in the country.
Some of the projects, which include the 1.4 billion dollar Colombo Port City project, although initially suspended by the Sirisena regime, was later given the nod to go ahead. Construction on the project has now begun although a compensation claim of by the Chinese companies valuing to 125 million dollars still remains due to the one year suspension.
The Sirisena regime have also handed over mega multi million dollar projects to China in the Pollonnaruwa District. The Exim Bank of China is lending the necessary funds on concessional terms. Two such companies have already started gratis feasibility studies in the water and transport sectors.
The five Polonnaruwa district projects, for which the Chinese government will loan money, are the drinking water supply project; road network extension and improvement project; railway extension project (Kurunegala to Habarana via Dambulla); agro-based industries and agro-economic centre project; and the Maduru Oya right bank development project. They were included in a Memorandum of Understanding signed between China and Sri Lanka in April.