China says NYT’s Sri Lanka story old, inconsistent with facts
ECONOMYNEXT – China has said a New York Times story which said Sri Lanka was forced to hand over Hambantota port to avoid a debt trap and that Chinese contractor helped finance ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s campaing was already reported and was "inconsistent with facts".
An Xin General Manager of CHEC, Sri Lankan had told reporters that the the NYT story was ‘stale’ as it had been already reported and the company had "fully co-operated" in the investigation.
"We will fully cooperate with local authorities in any kind of investigation," he said.
Sri Lanka’s state-run Daily News in 2015 and The Sunday Observer in 2016 had reported that investigators were probing checques made out by CHEC, which were allegedly used in Rajapaksa’s campaign.
Rajapaksa had also denied receiving payments from CHEC.
Lawmakers have called for the investigation to be revived.
China also denied that it had created a debt trap and forced Sri Lanka to hand-over Hambantota port to the country.
China however got a 99-year lease on and entire port, about three times the normal period for terminal concessions with some on Sri Lanka’s side saying the tenor was ‘non-negotiable’ when calls were made for a more reasonable time period.
China also spread fear in Sri Lanka over its tactics in the South China sea and the treatment of Vietnam in particular, which was viewed as an ally. Chinese ships have rammed Vietnamse fishing vessels after forcibly bringing oil exploration ships to Vietnamese waters. (Colombo/July06/2018)