DMK billionaire downplays record investment near Chinese port in Hambantota

[TamilNet, Sunday, 31 March 2019, 23:04 GMT]
DMK Politician S. Jagathrakshakan is trying to downplay the move for record-high investment in constructing an oil refinery and a cement plant by his family-owned business in Hambantota. The step, partnering with genocidal Sri Lanka and the Sultanate of Oman, which is having China as its biggest trade partner, “could see several more investors once the details were worked out”, the former Union minister has reportedly told media in India on Sunday. Eezham Tamils have severely criticised the move as being contradictory to the policy of his party and the legislature of Tamil Nadu, which has called for international investigations against Tamil genocide in the island as well as for an economic embargo.

The Economic Times in India reported on Sunday Mr Jagathrakshakan as saying: “What I can say now is that we have shown our interest, and they (Omani Ministry) have also said they are interested. This is not a project just two entities can implement. As I see it, it will have about 15 people investing in it.”

However, Jagathrakshakan has refused to name other potential investors, the paper said.

Jaffna-based senior TELO politician, M.K. Shivajilingam on Friday urged the DMK politician to reconsider the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Hambantota.



“I urge Mr Jagathratchagan to reconsider his decision [...] Eezham Tamils have not yet gained justice to the genocide committed against them. A political solution is still far away [..] At this juncture, the investment move is also contradictory to the unanimous position of Tamil Nadu State Assembly which had called for economic sanctions on Sri Lanka until these issues are resolved,” Shivajligam told TamilNet on Friday.

The SL Board of Investment has earlier admitted that the family-owned business of Mr Jagathrakshakan was investing 70% of USD 3.85 billion oil refinery and cement factory project in the South. It was the single largest FDI to be received by the SL State, the reports in Colombo said.

The SL State expects the remaining 30% to be invested by Oman, which has established a strategic partnership with China in 2018. China is the biggest buyer of Omani oil and consumes 80 per cent of the overall crude exports from that country in recent months.

Oman's Oil Minister Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy joined SL Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe taking part in the foundation stone laying ceremony at Hambantota on 24 March.

Mr Wickramasinghe leased out the Chinese-built seaport at Hambantota to China for 99 years in 2017.

In the meantime, the Times of India reported that Jagathrakshakan, who is contesting the forthcoming general election, as having announced “incentives” amounting to 150,000 USD (1 crores INR) for the most hardworking DMK party cadres in the assembly segment where he polls the highest number of votes.

Jagathrakshakan runs a string of educational institutions, owns a star hotel and is one of the four billionaire candidates from Tamil Nadu, the paper further observed.


External Links:
The Times of India : Rs 1 crore, foreign trip: Vote-linked bonus for Tamil Nadu party cadre
The Economic Times: ‘Investment in Lankan oil plant is at a very preliminary stage’


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