Negotiations still ongoing on Hambantota port deal

An agreement is yet to be reached between the government and a Chinese company on the Hambantota port.

Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that talks on the port are still ongoing.

The Chinese company and the government have been in talks for several months on operating the port but no deal has been reached yet.

A deal was to be reached in January. However pressure from the opposition led to the signing of the deal being postponed.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament later that discussions on the port agreement are still ongoing and that no agreement had been reached.

He said the final draft agreement will be submitted to Parliament before it is signed.

The Prime Minister said that the Government is facing a severe financial loss as a result of the port and the losses need to be recovered.

The Reuters news agency reported in February that China will delay a planned billion dollar investment in the Hambantota port until Sri Lanka clears legal and political obstacles to a related project. (Colombo Gazette)