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Ranil stresses Hambantota port is not being sold to China

The Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe this week reiterated that there were no plans to sell Hambantota port to China, it would only be leased. 

"There is no preliminary draft regarding handing over the Hambanthota Port to anyone," Mr Wickremesinghe was quoted by Colombo Page as saying to parliament on Wednesday. 

He explained that the port deal was entered into because Sri Lanka could not pay the loans previously borrowed from China and that the new port deal was part of an agreement to have the loans written off. 

The deal has faced significant backlash within the some Sinhala voters who have warned that part of the island is being sold off.