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Lorries and pumps dredging sand in a construction site of a Chinese-funded 1.4 billion USD land reclamation project are pictured in Colombo on January 16, 2019. A Chinese state-owned company marked on January 16 the completion of an ambitious $1.4 billion land reclamation in Sri Lanka’s capital to build a new city next to the strategically-placed Colombo port. Sri Lanka’s Megapolis Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka watched the final pumping of sand to create the 269-hectare (664 acre) real estate to build what is billed as South Asia’s most modern city. ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP

Gota’s entry splits

MR-led opposition

Controversial former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa declaring his intention to run for president this year has created sharp divisions within the opposition led by his elder brother Mahinda.

Gotabaya’s public pronouncements this week were not taken by his other politically-ambitious brothers lying down, particularly former speaker Chamal who immediately responded saying he will was also be a contender.

Party loyalists noted that President Maithripala Sirisena was most concerned about a Gotabaya entry into the fray as he had hoped to seek re-election with the support of the powerful Rajapaksa faction of the SLFP.



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