Sri Lankan Ambassador to China Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku says the Aerospace Long-March International Trade Co. Ltd. (ALIT), which entered into an agreement with Sri Lanka on the Lotus Tower Project had relocated and dropped out of the agreement unannounced.
Issuing a statement to the media, the envoy said the Head of the Commercial Section of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing searched for the company when in 2018 President Maithripala Sirisena asked him to look into the whereabouts of the ALIT.
The Ambassador said a report of their visit to ALIT was provided to the Sri Lanka Telecommunication Regulations Commission after the visit to the company.
Following is the statement issued by Ambassador Kodituwakku in full.
Clarification regarding the Lotus Tower Project
Since the Lotus Tower was declared open on Monday, 16 September 2019, various news versions have been shared regarding the companies that were involved in its construction. I am releasing this interim statement to clarify the extent of the interventions in this matter by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing, as my name has also been mentioned in some of the reports.
The construction of the Lotus Tower had originally been assigned to two Chinese companies, namely the China National Electronics Importers & Exporters Corporation (CEIEC) and the Aerospace Long-March International Trade Co. Ltd. (ALIT). In mid- 2018, President Sirisena telephoned me in Beijing and requested that I look into the whereabouts of the second company (ALIT), as letters posted to it by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka had been returned to Colombo informing that no such company was at the given address.
I then entrusted the task of tracing the current location of ALIT (since the company was no longer located at the given address) to the Head of the Commercial Section of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing. After much effort, the Embassy found that the company had moved to a different location, as well as withdrawn from the Lotus Tower project, without informing the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka. Once the company’s new premises were located, we visited it and met the officials who were present there at the time. They then informed us that their company (AL IT) was no longer involved in the Lotus Tower project.
Following this meeting, the Embassy prepared a report about our visit and the meeting, and this report was forwarded to the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka for their information. Simultaneously, we were able to establish connections with the other company (CEIEC), and the Lotus Tower project went ahead to be completed this year.
The above information is given based on my recollections of the interventions made by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing regarding this project a few months ago. The names of those who were present at the meeting we attended, as well as the contents of the Embassy’s detailed report on what transpired at the meeting, will be issued for further clarification upon my return to Beijing on the weekend.
ALIT says $ 15 m used to construct Lotus Tower
- Says TRCSL made the advance payment to CEIEC
Aerospace Long March International Trade Co. Ltd. (ALIT) yesterday said the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRCSL) made an advance payment to China National Electronics Importers & Exporters Corporation (CEIEC), which had been solely used for the construction of the Lotus Tower.
“According to the contract, the TRCSL paid $15,644,980 as of the advance payment to CEIEC’s account in China Export-Import Bank on 9 October 2012. This sum had been used for the project purpose solely,” ALIT said in a statement issued yesterday.
According to the company, ALIT and CEIEC formed a consortium in August 2010 in order to pursuit the Lotus Tower project and the contract was signed in January 2012.
“In August 2015, ALIT entrusted CEIEC to act solely on its behalf to fulfil the contract. Those are normal business operations that comply with international business practice.” ALIT said.
ALIT said in the statement that as State-owned company, it has acted responsibly for more than 40 years and won high acclaim from their customers. In the statement, ALIT pointed out that the inauguration of the Lotus Tower would be significant symbol of friendly relations between China and Sri Lanka.
“ALIT cherishes the friendly relations between China and Sri Lanka, and will continue to participate in the economic construction and development drive of Sri Lanka to help promote the China-Sri Lanka all-round co-operation, partnership of sincere mutual support and everlasting friendship.”