Mahinda Rajapaksa News

07 Dec 2016

Sri Lanka, China Ink Deal to Develop Southern Port

Sri Lanka will take part in a joint venture with China Merchants Port Holdings Company Limited to develop a port in its south, where China has also been offered an investment zone. The cabinet approved a plan under which Sri Lanka will lease 80 percent of the Hambantota port to Hong Kong-based China Merchants Port Holdings Company for 99 years for $1.12 billion, a government document showed on Wednesday. China Merchants Port Holdings Company will make a $5 million payment as a security deposit upon signing the agreement, which the government expects to do on Jan. The company will pay 10 percent of the $1.12 billion within one month, and the remaining 90 percent within six months of signing the transaction documents.

20 Mar 2015

Sri Lanka Okays Construction on Stalled Chinese Port Project

Port City Layout: Sri Lanka Port Authority

Sri Lankan government has approved the construction of a breakwater for a Chinese funded Colombo port city project which had been suspended by the government earlier this month. The decision was taken, following a request made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, when the cabinet convened for its weekly meeting Wednesday evening, informs Cabinet Spokesperson and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne. Colombo port city is Sri Lanka’s biggest foreign-financed $1.4 billion project is to reclaim land from the sea and build fancy houses on it.

14 Mar 2015

India, Sri Lanka to Enhance Maritime Security

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena  and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Press Information Bureau, India)

Noting that security of India and Sri Lanka was "indivisible", Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly pitched for enhanced cooperation in key areas of maritime security and counter-terrorism. India’s PM addressing the Sri Lanka Parliament said India and Sri Lanka are two countries at the crossroads of the Indian Ocean and Sri Lanka's leadership and partnership will be vital for building a peaceful, secure, stable and prosperous maritime neighborhood. Modi noted that Indian and Lankan security and development was deeply linked with Indian Ocean.

01 Mar 2015

Sri Lanka Says No to Docking of Chinese Submarines

Image: The Directorate General of Merchant Shipping

Sri Lanka declared that it will not allow Chinese submarines to dock in its waters as part of a new policy barring hosting of foreign submarines. Sri Lanka's new Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said on Saturday in Beijing that the new government in Colombo will not allow a repeat of last year's visits by a Chinese submarine that had raised concerns in India. Colombo acknowledged that such a docking did take place coinciding with the Japanese Prime Minister's visit last year. A Chinese submarine had visited Colombo port twice last year which had raised concerns in India.

05 Feb 2015

Sri Lanka Backs China Port City Deal After Threat to Cancel

Sri Lanka's cabinet said on Thursday it would allow a $1.5 billion "port city" deal with China to go ahead, apparently dropping its earlier threats to cancel the project, approved by the last government. Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said new President Maithripala Sirisena would however discuss with Beijing controversial arangements over the freehold of land to be used, when he visited China in March. Sri Lanka's neighbour India has raised concern over security threats posed by Chinese ownership of the freehold of 20 hectares of land next to the main commercial port in Colombo, as India is a major user of Colombo as a transshipment port.

22 Jan 2015

Sri Lanka Softens Stance on China Port City dealD

Sri Lanka's new government said on Thursday it might renegotiate a $1.5 billion "port city" deal with China Communications Construction Co Ltd, softening its pre-election threat to scrap the project. New Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, before last month's presidential vote, said he would cancel the port deal if his party came to power. Maithripala Sirisena, backed by Wickremesinghe's party, unseated ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa at the polls. "We can renegotiate with China after reassessing the deal," Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senarathne told reporters. "We need to see the feasibility study. He said the current government had not seen any EIA or feasibility study of the project and it needed to be re-assessed because of impacts on coastal erosion.

17 Dec 2014

Sri Lanka Opposition Vows to Scrap China Port Deal if Wins Election

A leader of Sri Lanka's opposition said he would scrap a $1.5 billion deal with China Communications Construction Co Ltd to build a port city if the challenger to President Mahinda Rajapaksa wins next month's election. Chinese President Xi Jinping launched the project, which will be built on reclaimed land in the capital, Colombo, when he visited in September. Opposition parties say that some infrastructure deals struck by Rajapaksa's government, which has become heavily dependent on China for infrastructure, did not follow appropriate tender procedures and were not transparent. Although still popular and likely to win a third term, Rajapaksa is facing a stiffer challenge than expected in the Jan.

07 Dec 2014

Sri Lanka Cuts Fuel Price Ahead of Elections

Sri Lanka slashed fuel prices by up to nearly 6 percent on Saturday to reflect falling global oil prices and said it would forgo subsidies and allow market forces to determine prices at the pumps from now on. The fuel price reduction comes ahead of snap presidential elections in January and two months after it cut energy prices across the board. "Don't link this to the election in any way. As a result of the drop in world oil prices, better management and better debt collection we were able to reduce the prices," Minister of Petroleum Industries Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said on Saturday. India, Indonesia and Malaysia have also cut fuel subisidies in recent weeks to take advantage of lower world prices and reduce fuel subsidy bills which have strained their finances.

28 May 2014

Bunkering To Commence At Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port

Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Chairman Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama

Fuel bunkering under the Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port will commence operations by June 15, Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Chairman Priyath Bandu Wickrama said. "Bunkering operations will start by June 15 at the newly built fuel bunkering terminal at Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port," Wickrama said. "The terminal, which will provide fuel for ships, has been constructed at a cost of US $95 million in line with the Magampura Port development project. According to the chairman…

07 Aug 2013

Sri Lanka’s Colombo Port Expanded

Photo: P. Kumara

The newly expanded Colombo Port formally opened for business yesterday, a move that will allow Sri Lanka to enter as a leading South Asia trans-shipment hub. Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa opened the port, which was also attended by Xiaoyu Zhao, Vice-President at the Asian Development Bank (ADB). With a new breakwater, deeper basin, and the first of three modern new terminals now open, Colombo Port can accept the latest generation of 18,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) container ships and has facilities to send goods faster and more cost efficiently to other ports in the region.

22 Nov 2010

New Port Opening Promises Boost for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's new pounds Sterling 226 million deep sea port at Magampura harbor, Hambantota, on the south coast of the island has been officially opened with the ceremonial docking of the first vessel to use the port facilities. In a ceremony presided over by President Mahinda Rajapaksa as part of the week-long festivities surrounding his official inauguration for his second term in office, a traditional sailing yacht, Pradeepa 2, dropped anchor in Hambantota's Magampura harbor. She received a traditionally warm and colorful Sri Lankan welcome from the huge crowds gathered on the waterfront and quaysides. Pradeepa 2 was chosen in recognition of Sri Lanka's age old role as a key stopping point on the ancient east-west silk trading route.

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