MP and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday denied the allegations reported in a New York Times article that his 2015 election campaign received funding from China.
“No contribution was made by China Harbour Co. to my 2015 Presidential election campaign,” the former President said in a statement released to the media.
A New York Times report titled “How China Got Sri Lanka to Cough up a Port” on 25 June had alleged that $ 7.6 million was dispensed from the account of China Harbour Engineering Company to affiliates of Rajapaksa’s campaign.
In his statement, the former President, rejecting the allegations, said the report “seems to be a way of carrying out a smear campaign without incurring any liability”.
He said the new Yahapalana Government, after suspending all Chinese-funded projects and all Chinese firms, including China Harbour Co. which was building the Colombo Port, investigated China Harbour Co. and cleared it of any wrongdoings before handing over the project back to them.
Pointing out that the writer of the NYT report has stated that they had obtained some of the details from a Sri Lankan ‘Government investigation’, Rajapaksa said that “every Sri Lankan knows that the main preoccupation of this Government since it came into power has been to sling mud at the opposition”.