Speaking in Parliament, leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella said that Sri Lanka has a long-standing relationship with China dating back to the rubber rice pact of 1952.
“The US and UK had opposed the rubber rice pact but we went ahead and signed the agreement,” he said.
He said that the Government is looking to revive the Hambantota port and Mattala airport project constructed with Chinese assistance.
He said the proposed Hambantota economic zone with China will also help boost trade between Sri Lanka and other countries, including India.
“We will also be able to export items from China to India via the Hambantota economic zone,” he said.
Kiriella also dismissed allegations raised against the proposed economic zone and fears that it will deprive local investors the chance to grow in the country.
The Minister urged the opposition to support the projects of the Government including the proposed economic zone.
China is to be given 15,000 acres of land for investment purposes in the proposed economic zone. (Colombo Gazette)