China will not have outright ownership to a portion of the land in the Colombo Port City nor it will be able to dock ships or planes without prior permission from the government under a revised agreement.
According to State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe the China-funded 270 hectare Port City will re-commence soon under a new agreement after deleting several clauses including the above.
The project is undertaken by the China Communication Construction Company and is an investment of about USD 1.5 billion. The project extends to about 270 hectares on a reclaimed land adjacent to the Colombo Port.
The agreement which was signed during the tenure of former government’s time gave outright ownership to China for a portion of the reclaimed land.
However according to Senasinghe this clause will be deleted. Also China will have to seek prior permission as any other country if it docks boats, ships or aircrafts in the port city premises.
Commenting on fears expressed by especially India and some other countries Senasinghe today stressed that Sri Lanka will not allow its soil to be used for military purposes by a foreign country.
The new agreement according to Senasinghe will be signed shortly after resolving legal and environmental issues.
According to Senasinghe an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report on the project has also been finalized clearing a major hurdle for the commencement of the project.