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Sri Lanka’s grip on China has raised questions about the recent decision of the Rajapaksa government

Is China’s influence in Sri Lanka growing fast again? The question arose from a move taken by the Sri Lankan government last week. Last week, the Gotabhaya Rajapaksa government in Sri Lanka announced the cancellation of a multi-million dollar infrastructure project. The move has been seen as a push for Japan and India.

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The previous Ranil Wickremesinghe government approved the project in May 2019. For this, a memorandum of understanding was signed with Japan and India. Under this, East Container Terminal (ECT) had to be constructed. Under the MoU, Sri Lanka will invest 51 per cent in the project. The rest had to be invested by Japan and India. The cost of the project was estimated at থেকে 500 to 700 700.

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According to a news agency, President Gotabaya also ordered the cancellation of the light rail project with the help of Japan. The project cost ব্য 1.5 billion. According to reports, President Rajapaksa has asked the transport ministry to cancel the project and close its office immediately. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has released প্রথম 26.5 million for the first phase of the project.

There is a lot of speculation about these steps of the Sri Lankan government. One speculation is that the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa took the step at the behest of China. Sri Lanka is burdened with China’s debt. In such a situation, he is not in a position to object to China. The country’s economy is in deep crisis due to the corona epidemic. In such a situation, the challenge of repaying the loan has become more serious.

According to a report published on the Eurasian Times website, between 2005 and 2016, Sri Lanka took 34 billion. Of this, 33 percent was taken from China. The website quoted Verito Research, a Colombo-based think tank, as saying that most of the loans were taken for infrastructure projects. Now it is time to repay that debt, but due to the epidemic, Sri Lanka is not in a position to repay the debt as per the schedule. So the possibility of him getting entangled in the net has deepened.

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In this context, Sri Lanka’s experience in the Hambantota port project is being discussed again. Sri Lanka to build this port project from China 7. of took billions of dollars. But when the expected revenue did not start after the project was over, Sri Lanka got into trouble. He then had to lease the port to China for 99 years. Most recently, China has also provided $ 500 million to combat the corona epidemic.

It is said that after the Corona epidemic, the Sri Lankan government requested several countries, including India, to extend their loan repayments. However, he did not get much help from other countries. In such a situation, he has become more dependent on China. According to Japan’s website Nikkai Asia, Sri Lanka is now preparing to hand over the light rail project to China. Critics say China is embracing many countries in the world by spreading the same kind of debt trap.

However, Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa has recently ruled out the possibility of Sri Lanka falling into a debt trap. He said large-scale infrastructure projects would improve the living standards of the people of Sri Lanka. China is only helping Sri Lanka in this task.

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