NYT Slams Rajapaksa for Hounding Journos Over Hambantota Report
Rajapaksa had dismissed the report as a “smear campaign.”
The New York Times on Tuesday, 3 July, lashed out at Sri Lankan parliamentarians allied with ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa for allegedly intimidating two Sri Lankan journalists who had helped the newspaper with its report on the Hambantota port.
The NYT, in a statement, condemned the parliamentarians for their intimidation tactics, adding that Rajapaksa should contact the editors of the newspaper, rather than intimidating the journalists who had helped with the investigation.
The NYT's extensive report had alleged that one of China's state-owned enterprises – the China Harbour Engineering Company – had handled the construction and renegotiation of the Hambantota port over the years, under then President Rajapaksa's rule.
Responding to the NYT report, Rajapaksa had on Sunday, 1 July, released a statement saying: "No contribution was made by China Harbour Co to my 2015 presidential election campaign," while adding that the report was "intentionally vague."
According to The Hindu, Rajapksa also dismissed the report as a "smear campaign."
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