Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe lays foundation stone for oil refinery

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  1. Sri Lankan Prime Minister has laid the foundation stone for the oil refinery and cement factory in Mirijjawila,Hambantota.
  2. The $3.85 billion project is the single largest foreign investment in Sri Lanka.It is jointly funded by Oman and Singapore-registered Silver Park International,a company owned by an Indian business family.
  3. The oil facility is near the port of Hambantota,which was leased to a Chinese state-owned firm in 2017 for 99 years after Sri Lanka failed to service a loan from Beijing
  4. In 2017,Sri Lanka and China had signed the Hambantota Port Concession Agreement.This had effectively converted the loans bought by Sri Lanka for the development of the port into equity.
  5. India has been concerned over China’s influence on Sri Lanka. The main concern has been the extent to which Chinese influence on Sri Lanka’s economy would affect its ability to practice an independent foreign policy. Further,Chinese influence in Sri Lanka will have serious implications for the latter’s relationship with India.
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