Japan to restart LRT project in Sri Lanka

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Unilaterally terminating LRT project cost over Rs. 5 Bn to Sri Lanka: audit report
Unilaterally terminating LRT project cost over Rs. 5 Bn to Sri Lanka: audit report

Senior Advisor to the President on Climate Change Ruwan Wijewardene says the government of Japan has expressed its willingness to reconsider starting the Light Rail Transit project, which was halted by the previous government of Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The Japanese Ambassador Hideaki Mizukoshi has mentioned to the President’s Senior Adviser that as soon as the Sri Lankan Government has reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund, the project can be implemented again. Presidential Advisor on Climate Change Ruwan Wijewardene met with Japanese Ambassador Hideaki Mizukoshi at the Ambassador’s residence earlier this week for discussions.

Mr. Wijewardene said they had discussions on few key topics and amongst them were debt restructuring, restarting projects that are on hold and how to assist Sri Lanka.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe also discussed this matter during his visit to Japan and the Japanese government also expressed its willingness to restart this project then, Mr. Wijewardene further said.

The Auditor General had revealed in a recent report that due to the abrupt suspension of the light rail project, the Sri Lankan government has incurred a loss of nearly 6 billion rupees.

The Japanese Ambassador and Mr. Wijewardene have further discussed connecting Japanese and Sri Lankan businessmen and creating awareness of investment opportunities in Sri Lanka.

President’s adviser has briefed the Japanese ambassador on the proposed Climate Change University, which is planned to be built in Kandy, and on the post-COP 27 developments that took place in Sri Lanka.

Further, Mr. Wijewardena has elaborated on the Climate Prosperity Plan (CPP), and the Ambassador has requested for a mechanism to get the youth involved in the environmental work in the future.

Mr. Wijewardene also stated in the media that after the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, the Japanese government is ready to help Sri Lanka through a number of investment projects.

Sajana Sooriyaarachchi, The Coordinating director at Presidential Secretariat, Japanese Deputy Ambassador and First Secretary Head of Political from the Japanese Embassy were also present at the discussions.

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