NY Times journalist explains report

Thejournalist who published a report in the New York Times stating that Former President MP Mahinda Rajapaksa obtained funds from China at the 2015 Presidential Election has explained the findings via Twitter.

The main charge against the journalist over the past few days has been unilateral media reporting.

However, rejecting the allegations, South Asia correspondent at The New York Times Maria Abi-Habib said on several occasions, various efforts were made to inquire Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa before releasing the relevant research report.

Taking to Twitter, Abi-Habibi said “They allowed our photographer access to Rajapaksa but refused multiple requests for comment made via email, phone, Whatsapp. They didn’t seem to want to provide their side of the story, which we REALLY wanted to include. We tried for 2 months & still wait for their response today.”

The New York Times had revealed that at least $7.6 million was dispensed from the account of China Harbor Engineering Company which is involved in the Hambantota port, to affiliates of Rajapaksa’s campaign.

Documents seen by The New York Times had revealed that with 10 days to go before the 2015 polls opened, around $3.7 million was distributed in checks: $678,000 to print campaign T-shirts and other promotional material and $297,000 to buy supporters gifts, including women’s saris. Another $38,000 was paid to a popular Buddhist monk who was supporting Rajapaksa’s electoral bid, while two checks totaling $1.7 million were delivered by volunteers to Temple Trees, his official residence.

Most of the payments were from a subaccount controlled by China Harbor, named “HPDP Phase 2,” shorthand for Hambantota Port Development Project.

china_catch_me_if_you_can2How China Got Sri Lanka to Cough Up a Port – The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/25/world/asia/china-sri-lanka-port.html

25 Jun 2018 – And then the port became China’s. Mr. Rajapaksa was voted out of office in 2015, butSri Lanka’s new government struggled to make payments …

China gave $7.6 million for Mahinda’s re-election bid: report

Ajith P. challenges MR to sue NY Times – Daily Mirror – Sri Lanka …

www.dailymirror.lk/article/Ajith-P-challenges-MR-to-sue-NY-Times-152108.html

18 hours ago – Ajith P. challenges MR to sue NY Times, State Minister of Power and Renewable … challenged former president Mahinda Rajapaksa to sue The New York Times if its June 25 article alleging that his presidential election … that he has not received any money from China companies

How China got Sri Lanka to cough up Hambantota Port – Report

www.adaderana.lk/news/…/how-china-got-sri-lanka-to-cough-up-hambantota-port-re…

6 days ago – China’s acquisition of the strategic Hambantota port from Sri Lanka has given it “control of a territory” just a few 100 miles off the shores of India, …

How China got Lanka to cough up Hambantota – Times of India

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/…/china/how-china-got-lanka-to-cough-up…/6475…

6 days ago – China News: NEW YORK: China’s acquisition of the strategic Hambantota port from Sri Lanka has given it “control of a territory” just a few 100 …