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Sri Lanka defends Chinese and Indian involvement in Hambantota and Mattala

Sri Lanka’s prime minister Ranil Wickrememsinghe defended the China’s and India’s stake in the Hambantota Port Project and the running of Mattala airport during a public speech on Friday.

Opening a new bus stand and economic centre in Ampara, Mr Wickremesinghe said,

“"Sri Lanka will receive US$1.1 billion from the China Merchant Co., Ltd under the debt swapping programme while US$300 million will be invested by the Indian company to manage the Mattala international airport on the basis of a joint venture with the Civil Aviation Authority. It will also be possible to earn more by selling some of the half-built hotels. We are hoping to stabilise our foreign reserves in ten years time," the Prime Minister said. "Some are asking us as to what we have been doing during the past two years. The people remember that we inherited a country laden with debt. I told Parliament on Thursday how bonds have been issued without informing the monetary board. However we have managed to stabilize the economy. We have managed to stabilize the economy amid other challenges such as natural disasters.”

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