Speaking at two separate events, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, expressed the following views on the nation’s debt burden.
Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the “Hari Maga” or correct path organization in Kolonnawa, yesterday (July 7) the former Defence Secretary stated that the present government is trying to portray that although this port is strategically important, that it has no commercial importance. He also continued to say, that if there are 380 ships that pass by this port on a daily basis and if the port has strategic value, then why the government fails to develop it as a commercial enterprise.
While Prime Minister Wickremesinghe made the following statement when speaking at a public rally held in Medagama, Bibile, yesterday (July 7).
“There were no ships at the Hambantota port. We had to repay the debt. Now we can develop this port and it will be done by the China Merchant company which is a prominent global shipping company and our Ports Authority, together. However, we said, if you are taking this port, you must give us 1000 million dollars. Then we could repay the debt. So we paid the debt at the very least” commented the PM.
He further added, that they are currently in discussions with India to develop the airport and that a Chinese company is coming to Sri Lanka to establish an LNG power plant in Hambantota.
“Someone came and asked us if they could establish an oil refinery to sell fuel to the ships. There are lands to be procured here and this progress will spread to Monaragala too. I was hoping to build an airport in Wellawaya but it was moved away from Wellawaya. Now let us somehow build a road connecting it to Wellawaya” stated Wickremesinghe.