Brigadier Ranjan De Silva’s Memo is a gross misrepresentation of the facts.
China did not grab the port and the land because the government could not pay back ‘the loan taken’. The government leased the port to the Chinese to raise cash to pay the loans taken from the capital markets through international sovereign bonds.
The debt crisis is primarily due to the government [here referring to the several governments from, say, 2012 onewards?] borrowing short term high interest funds from capital markets. Chinese debts (however wastefully used by the government) are only around 10% of total debts (a bit less than from Japan and marginally more expensive) whereas ISBs constitute half the foreign debt and the dominant portion of impending repayment obligations.
These facts have been distorted to suit the US narrative of a China debt trap. Repetition of the story, despite numerous serious analysts pointing out the facts, has now made it a ‘fact. It’s a Gobbelsian lie. Check the data on composition of Sri Lanka’s foreign debt!
I am giving this US scholar’s reference because several analyses of this issue by independent Sri Lankan economists do not seem to have the slightest impact on people who can’t be bothered to look the facts and figures – the tragedy of Sri Lankan policy making more generally! But if interested in the facts, see an item carried on this site:
** Sisira Jayasuriya was one of the Marxist student leaders at Peradeniya University in the early 1970s when I was a Lecturer in the Department of History. He took up a post in the Economics Dept at Monash University in the early 1980s and holds the status of “Professor;” but does not preface his submissions with the titular status.
Thuppahi's Blog · This web site presents the interventions of MICHAEL ROBERTS in the public realm with reference to Sri Lankan political affairs. It will embrace the politics of cricket as well. ROBERTS was educated at St. Aloysius College in Galle and the universities of Peradeniya and Oxford. He taught History at Peradeniya University and Anthropology at Adelaide university. He is now retired and lives in Adelaide.