EconomyNext – A 1.3 billion dollar Chinese-funded and built ‘Port City’ on reclaimed land next to Colombo harbour has not been stopped yet and is still being probed, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told parliament Wednesday.
A final decision on the controversial project and the agreement signed with Chinese firms will be taken once a committee of experts and a Cabinet sub-committee chaired by him submit their reports and parliament will be informed, he said.
"We have not yet decided to stop this project but we are examining all the details of this agreement," he said in a statement.
"We will take necessary steps if there is anything illegal and corrupt in this agreement and conditions harmful to the country," Wickremesinghe said.
Wickremesinghe said he and President Maithripala Sirisena had held talks with Chinese representatives on the project and that Sri Lanka would act against politicians, government officials and agencies and companies involved in abuse of power or corruption.
"We will not allow abuse of power and corruption to obstruct friendly relations between China and Sri Lanka," he declared. "We will also not protect corrupt people whether Chinese or Sri Lankan."
Not only Sri Lanka, but China too is cracking down on corruption, Wickremsinghe.
He said the port city project became controversial because the ousted Rajapaksa regime had not kept parliament properly informed.
"The former regime promised to provide details but failed to do so," he said. "The port city project agreement was not transparent. The agreement was signed without Cabinet approval.
"The former regime also failed to answer charges that there was no proper Environmental Impact Assessment. They hid details of the project and also made false statements to parliament."