Sri Lanka contracts to China queried by legislator

Jan 27, 2012 (LBO) – A series of construction contracts given to Chinese firms mostly with borrowed money from China which will have to re-paid by Sri Lanka, should have been awarded by open tender, a legislator has said. Harsha de Silva, a legislator representing Sri Lanka’s main opposition United National Party, said the commercial viability of some projects were questionable, and in some cases Sri Lanka may be forced to sell the projects to China when debts could not be repaid.

China Harbour Engineering Company, a state run firm, was given a 360 million dollar contract to build a harbour in Hambantota in the South of the country without tender.

Later costs were revealed to have escalated by up to 140 million dollars which included the blasting of a rock in the seabed.

“China Harhour has revealed to the world but the government has not yet told the people, that it has already secured the second phase of the Hambantota port for 810 million US dollars,” de Silva told reporters.

“It is not known if any tenders were called for this project.”

China Harbour has also been given a contract to build a Chinese financed airport in Mattala for 200 million dollars.

China Harbour is also expected to get