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China withholds Hambantota Port deal's final tranche of USD 585 mn to Lanka over dispute

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

has withheld the Port deal's final of USD 585 million to due to Colombo's objection over its plan to use a man-made island for entertainment purposes, a media report said here today.

In December last year, handed over the control of the southern sea port of to on a 99-year lease for USD 1.12 billion, amid concern over Beijing's efforts to expand influence in the region.

Opposition leaders have dubbed the deal as a sell out to

The SundayTimes reported that the last of USD 585 million has been held back by China's state-owned which want the land to be used for entertainment purpose.

However the Ports Authority insists that the facilities at should only be used for marine and port-related activities and not for entertainment tourism purposes, the report said.

It quoted the Chinese firm as saying that the money would only be transferred after the issue is resolved.

The was a major Chinese-assisted infrastructure project in the home district of former Mahinda Rajapaksa, whose nearly a decade-long rule was ended by in 2015.

had been criticised heavily for high commercial borrowings from China.

The other project in Hambantota funded by the Chinese, the is already in trouble.

Dubbed as the world's emptiest airport, its only flight operation - the service of Fly -- was halted this week.

The company cited commercial and flight security reasons for halting the service as birds had hit their planes often.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, June 10 2018. 20:40 IST