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Mahinda Rajapaksa to sue for defamation : NewYork Times

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said he will be taking legal action against the New York Times, over a defamatory news report in the American newspaper, that he had solicited funds from a Chinese company for election purposes.
“There isn’t an iota of truth in this massive defamatory report and I have filed litigation papers with my lawyers and will claim damages,” the former President told Ceylon Today. He said that the report has been filed for political reasons to tarnish his name and that it had been planted by interested parties in Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Embassy in Colombo, in a news release issued yesterday, said that China would oppose any country's interference in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka and will continue to firmly support the latter's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Responding for the first time, to the recently published article in the New York Times, which alleged that Sri Lanka was placed in a debt trap by China due to the loans obtained for various development projects, Luo Chong, Chief of the Political Section and also the spokesperson of the Embassy, in a statement, insisted that the report was “full of political prejudice and completely inconsistent with the fact.”
The New York Times (NYT), in a recently published article, claimed that Sri Lanka was entrapped by China due to various loans obtained by it during the leadership of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. It also alleged that China had funded Rajapaksa’s 2015 presidential election campaign.
“The Embassy has noticed the New York Times' article published on 25 June, as well as the clarifications and responses by various parties from Sri Lanka, criticizing it. It is encouraging that all sectors of the Sri Lankan society, highly appreciate China's tremendous support and selfless assistance for ending the civil war and for post-war reconstruction in the Island nation,” Chong has noted.
It was also emphasized that, “despite any interference from a third party, China would like to work together with Sri Lanka to actively implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and concentrate unwaveringly on our fixed goals, continuously promote the pragmatic co-operations under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiatives following the ‘golden rule’ of ‘extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits’, to better benefit the two countries and the peoples,” it was further stated.

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