Port City Did Not Feature In Talks With Chinese President: Ajith P Perera

The controversial Colombo Port City project did not figure in President Maithripala Sirisena's talks with Chinese leaders during his current visit to Beijing, Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P Perera said on Friday.

"Despite media reports quoting Chinese media, the President did not discuss the issue of the port city," Perera told reporters.

Chinese reports indicated that Sri Lankan president had told his chinese counterpart that what happened with regards to Port City project recently was temporary.

Port City project was the pet project of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The new government led by President Sirisena after coming to power in January temporary halted the project citing environmental hazards affecting the western coastal line.

A cabinet committee was appointed to look into approval granted by the Rajapaksa government for the project which was to reclaim sea to build a city.

China Communications Construction Company Pvt Ltd (CCCC) said it was to invest USD 1.4 billion in the project, making it the single largest private-funded foreign direct investment in the island.

Perera said the government early this month ordered the suspension of the project but following representations from the company it was allowed to proceed with work to prevent sea erosion of the project until a final decision could be made.
(With inputs from Outlook)

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