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* Sri Lankan government to respond to opposition queries on mega development projects
Wed, Mar 19, 2014, 06:54 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 19, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has said that it would respond this Friday (21) to questions posed by Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe on the Colombo Port City project and unsolicited projects.

Wickremasinghe has told parliament that the information on government's mega development projects was sought in line with Article 148 of Sri Lanka's Constitution.

However, he has noted that similar information was published in a few national newspapers last weekend before the responses were tabled in the House.

Wickremasinghe has expressed concern over newspaper articles exposing "a possible fraud" which exceeds US$ 5 billion.

"There is an emergency purchase of container handling equipment for Jaya Terminal - six ship-to-shore container cranes and transfer cranes. I haven't seen any documents related to these or heard about it before. I have also requested details about the 210 rural bridges in Sri Lanka," the Opposition Leader was quoted as saying in the House.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) in 2011 purchased three Gantry Cranes and six Transfer Cranes from China at a cost of 7.2 billion rupees to enhance the efficiency at the Jaya Container Terminal.

The government in 2012 signed a loan agreement with the HSBC Bank and UK's Export Credit Guarantee Department for a credit facility of US$ 44 million for the supply of 210 rural bridges by Cleveland Bridge UK Ltd.

Chief Government Whip, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena has said the government will furnish the responses on Friday.

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