Colombo Telegraph

Separate Court In Port City: Chinese Official’s Remark Creates Controversy

A fresh controversy has arisen over the Chinese company’s position on the legal and arbitration system of the Chinese funded Colombo Port City, Colombo Telegraph reliably learns.

Liang Thow Ming, chief sales and marketing officer of Sri Lanka’s CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd, which is handling the project said a separate court and arbitration centre would be set up to administer the affairs within the city.

“A separate court, separate arbitration centres, a city that is run under a different set of rules — the whole port city playing a different game from the rest of Colombo” Ming said, in an interview with ‘The Hindu‘ recently.

This comment has stirred up a hornets’ nest with several ministers and MPs raising the issue with Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama.

They had stated that this would be an infringement on the country’s sovereignty.

The Indian diplomats in Colombo too have warned that a separate court and arbitration centres relating to the Chinese funded Port City would create diplomatic ripples in the region.

Commenting on the matter, a top spokesman from the government said nothing has been finalized so far.

“I don’t know why the official of the Chinese company made that remark. We are yet to finalise these matters. No decision has been made so far to set up a separate court in the Port City. The government will have to discuss the matter with a number of stakeholders. So, I can only say, no decision has so far been made with regard to the matter,” he explained.

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