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Economy stablished, Govt. to go on: PM

The Government had given the green light for the Joint Venture formed by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and China Merchants Group to start up several projects in Hambantota, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday.

The Prime Minister said this during an election rally in
Nikaweratiya last morning.

"The new company, formed by the SLPA and China Merchants Group, wants to set up an oil refinery, a dockyard, a steel factory. We have told the company to go-ahead,” the Prime Minister said.

“We did this as we saw no reason to stop them."

He said US Dollars 600 million would be invested in these projects.

The Premier recalled that a Private-Public company had to be formed to run the Hambantota Port in order to find ways and means to settle the loans obtained for the construction of the Hambantota Port.

The Prime Minister said the total debt for the Port was USD 1, 200 million.

In addition, Mr. Wickremesinghe said the Government would receive USD 1.10 billion from China Merchant as well shortly.

Focusing on new plans put in place for the North Western Province, the Prime Minister said that a Wildlife Park would be constructed in Galgamuwa.

This he said would attract tourists.

"A new road will be constructed from Iranawila to Nikaweratiya,” he said.

He said funds would be allocated for desalting the tanks in the North-Western Province.

In addition, he said drip irrigation systems would also be introduced.

“We have managed to stabilise the economy and are taking it forward painstakingly. It will go on without crashing and so will the Government.

“This Parliament will serve its full term," the Prime Minister said referring to the political situation.

Several MPs who spoke at the rally, which included Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Nalin Bandara Jayamaha, and Hector Appuhamy, said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe would contest the next Presidential election.

They said the UNP would strive to form a Government on its own in 2020.(Yohan Perera)