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Major Chinese conglomerate involved in Colombo Port City among targeted orgs – US embassy, Colombo

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The US embassy in Colombo yesterday (4) announced punitive action taken against China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCC) engaged in building Colombo Port City. According to the statement the US State Department imposed sanctions on Aug 26, 2020. China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) which runs the Colombo Port City project is part of CCCC.

The following is the text of statement issued by the embassy: On August 26, the U.S. Department of State imposed visa restrictions on People’s Republic of China (PRC) individuals responsible for, or complicit in, either the large-scale reclamation, construction, or militarisation of disputed outposts in the South China Sea, or the PRC’s use of coercion against Southeast Asian claimants to inhibit their access to offshore resources.  

These individuals will now be inadmissible into the United States, and their immediate family members may be subject to these visa restrictions as well.  In addition, the Department of Commerce has added 24 PRC state-owned enterprises to the Entity List, including several subsidiaries of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC).  Under these sanctions, certain U.S.-origin items may require a license subject to Export Administration Regulations (EAR) before they can be provided to companies on the Entity List. 

Since 2013, the PRC has used its state-owned enterprises to dredge and unlawfully reclaim more than 3,000 acres in the South China Sea, destabilizing the region, trampling on the sovereign rights of its neighbors, and causing untold environmental devastation.  CCCC led the destructive dredging of the PRC’s South China Sea outposts and is also one of the leading contractors used by Beijing in its global Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) strategy.  CCCC and its subsidiaries have engaged in corruption, predatory financing, environmental destruction, and other abuses across the world. 

These sanctions are targeted at PRC entities and the United States further encourages countries to manage risk when dealing with CCCC and its subsidiaries.  CCCC has done untold environmental damage, been involved with malign actions around the world, and caused instability in the Indo-Pacific.  

The United State hopes countries will examine their dealings with CCCC to guard against the company’s abuses, and to protect their own sovereignty and interests.”

 

 



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Economic crisis: 100,000 families already starving

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Govt. to provide monthly assistance package – official

By Ifham Nizam 

Plans are underway to assist an average needy family of  four with a monthly package of Rs. 15,000, a senior adviser to President Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday, adding that the move was expected to help ameliorate the plight of nearly 65,000 families.

Food Security Committee Chairman Dr. Suren Batagoda told The Island yesterday that at present some 100,000 families across the country were starving.

He said financial assistance would be provided to those families for three months. Within three months, the government would design a package in the form of food stamps, etc.

Dr. Batagoda said the World Food Programme, UNICEF, the World Bank, and state agencies would also team up to strengthen food security, focusing especially on needy pregnant mothers and pre-school children.

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GR govt. ignored Chinese lenders’ request for debt restructuring

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

The Gotabaya Rajapaksa government had ignored suggestions by Chinese lending institutions that Sri Lanka to restructure the debt in 2021, Prof. Samitha Hettige said yesterday.

“The Rajapaksa government started talking of debt restructuring earlier this year. The Opposition had been asking for this before,” he said.  By 2021, before the Gotabaya Rajapaksa administration decided on debt restructuring, the Chinese institutions that had given Sri Lanka loans suggested that a restructuring process should start since Sri Lanka would have trouble repaying the loans, the Strategic Studies scholar said.

However, the request had gone unheeded, and if the government had started discussions then, Sri Lanka would not have been in crisis, Prof. Hettige said.

The Sri Lankan foreign policy, in the last few years, had also been misguided, Prof. Hettige said. A number of Indian and Chinese companies faced unnecessary issues by the behaviour of the government, he said.

Prof. Hettige said that the government must focus on establishing free trade ports and reducing negative lists for investments.

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SJB dissociates itself from SF’s call for protest

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By Chaminda Silva

MP Sarath Fonseka’s call for people to join anti-government protests was not a decision taken by the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), party MP J.C Alawathuwala said.

The SJB believed that they had to help President Ranil Wickremesinghe stabilise the country, economically and politically, he said.

MP Alawathuwala said the President must be given some time to solve the problems faced by the people and that the SJB was holding discussions with the government to guide it on a people-friendly path.

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