Opposition Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa says President Maithripala Sirisena owes the Sri Lankan public an explanation over the false claims he made on the Colombo Lotus Tower project.
In a twitter post, Namal Rajapaksa said that politics aside, he believes every Sri Lankan expects the country’s leader to be more responsible.
“#SriLanka President @MaithripalaS owes the Sri Lankan public an explanation about his random, careless & completely false accusations regarding the Lotus Tower project. Politics aside, I believe every Sri Lankan expects the country’s leader to be more responsible,” he tweeted.
The opening of the Colombo Lotus Tower on Monday was marred by claims of a major scam linked to the deal in 2012.
Speaking at the opening of the tower, President Maithripala Sirisena said that in 2012 a Chinese company had been paid Rs. 2 billion by the then Government as part of the deal for the project.
He said that the money had been paid to Aerospace Long-March International Trade Co. Ltd (ALIT) in China.
However, Sirisena, who was elected President in 2015, said that by 2016 there was no sign of ALIT.
As a result, the President said that there was no sign of the Rs. 2 billion which was paid by the then Government for the project.
However the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to China Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku contradicted the claims made by the President.
He said in a clarification later that ALIT had moved to another address.
Meanwhile, ALIT also issued a statement today saying it had withdrawn from the project and that all funds allocated for the project had been given to the main Chinese contractor.
ALIT said TRCSL had paid USD 15,644,980 as advance payment to the account of China National Electronics Importers & Exporters Corporation (CEIEC) in China Export-Import Bank of China on the 9th of October 2012.
ALIT and CEIEC had formed a consortium in August 2010 to pursuit the Lotus Tower project and the contract was signed in January 2012, the statement said. “On Aug. 2015, the ALIT entrusted CEIEC to act solely on its behalf to fulfill the contract. Those are normal business operations and comply with international business practice,” ALIT said.
The company said the inauguration of the Lotus Tower project is “not only a remarkable milestone of the project but also a significant symbol of friendly cooperation between China and Sri Lanka.”