Mahinda asked to reveal purpose of recent China visit

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today challenged former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to reveal the purpose of his recent visit to China.

Wickremesinghe said that while Rajapaksa is being critical of China’s latest investments in Hambantota, he had visited China recently and welcomed investments to the country.

Wickremesinghe said that Sri Lanka is thankful to Chinese President Xi Jinping for agreeing to invest in Hambantota.

China funded the construction of a port and airport in Hambantota and over the weekend the Chinese Government launched an investment zone in the area.

Wickremesinghe told Parliament that apart from China, Sri Lanka is negotiating with other countries to invest in the new investment zone.

He said that negotiations are underway with US and Arab companies to construct oil refineries in the area.

The Prime Minister said that the agreement with China on the industrial zone will be presented to Parliament for Parliament approval.

The opposition has raised concerns over the move to allocate land for the industrial zone and has called for a debate in Parliament.

Minister Lakshman Kiriella said once the final agreements are reached Parliament will be able to debate it.

The Prime Minister meanwhile said that if there is an issue with Hambantota then the Government is prepared to shift the investment zone to another part of the country. (Colombo Gazette)

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