Nov 03, 2016

‘I’m Sri Lanka’s, not China’s, finance minister’ - Ravi Featured

Ravi Karunanayake has countered recent criticism of him by Chinese ambassador Yi Xianliang, by saying that he is the finance minister of Sri Lanka, not China.

Responding to an earlier remark by Karunanayake that China’s loan interest rates were high, Xianliang has said Sri Lanka should not ask for more loans if the case was so.

When this was pointed out to him as he toured Kandy today (03), Karunanayake refuted the ambassador’s allegations.

What he attempts to do is to save even one cent for the public, and if any corruption gets exposed in the process, he cannot do anything about it, said the finance minster.

However, diplomatic sources say Xianliang’s response to Karunanayake and the government had been well planned and done with the knowledge of top officials of the Chinese government.

Both the government and the public of Sri Lanka should be grateful for what China has done for them, said the ambassador.

According to him, China gave loans at two per cent interest, but Europe gave at 5.8 pc.

Commenting on this issue, a former diplomat told Sri Lanka Mirror that Karunanayake’s remark with regard to China was very bad for Sri Lanka.

Had a Chinese company bribed to secure local projects, that should have been resolved with dignity through diplomatically, instead of politicizing it, the ex-diplomat stressed.