China has secured the status of a 'dedicated ally' of Sri Lanka providing $1 billion assistance in 2011, overtaking Japan as the country's top donor, Finance Ministry sources said. The US and UK have provided $7.4 million and 1.25 million sterling pounds, respectively.
Despite Japan being battered by a devastating earthquake and Tsunami, and several thousand people killed and billions worth of properties destroyed in that country, the Japanese government has extended Rs. 44 billion (33 Billion Yen) to Sri Lanka under its annual Yen Loan Package to assist the development efforts of the country last year .
This amount is offered on concessionary terms and administrated by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). A senior Ministry official revealed that China has approved a loan of $278.2 million recently through its Export-Import (Exim) Bank on concessionary terms to finance construction of the Matara - Beliatta Section (Phase I) of Matara - Kataragama Railway Extension Project.
China is also expected to finance construction of the railway line from Beliatta to Hambantota and Hambantota to Kataragama under Phase II and Phase III on this project.