Sri Lanka admits it is trying to balance China and India

The Government today admitted it is trying to balance China and India on investment projects in Sri Lanka.

Cabinet spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne told reporters that Sri Lanka was open to anyone willing to invest and resurrect loss making projects in the country.

Among the key projects the Government was looking to make profits out of is the Mattala international airport and the Hambantota port, both seen as “white elephants” as they have not made profits since being launched.

Sri Lanka and China have since reached an agreement on the Hambantota port while Sri Lanka and India are to finalise an agreement on the Mattala international airport.

India has been raising concerns over China’s involvement in Sri Lanka as it has invested heavily on several projects in Sri Lanka.

India feels China has a hidden agenda in investing on several projects in Sri Lanka.

Senaratne said that as a result of a diplomatic issue between China and India, Sri Lanka gave Hambantota to China and Mattala to India to keep both sides happy.

The Minister said that India had also raised concerns over China being given a deal to construct new houses for war affected families in the North and East.

He said that China had offered to construct the houses for a lesser cost than India and so the Government was keen approve the Chinese housing project.

Senaratne said that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will have talks with China and India in an attempt to resolve the issue.

India is already involved in another housing project in the North and East for war affected families.

Colombo Gazette

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