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Sri Lanka: Outrage after China distributes dry rations to foreign service officers

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Colombo | May 18, 2022 2:54:45 PM IST
Amid a shortage of essentials in Sri Lanka due to a severe economic crisis, food rations distributed by China have sparked outrage among the Foreign Service Officers' Association (FSOA) of the country.

China's attempt to distribute rations like dhal, rice and other items, to influence the foreign officials of the crisis-hit Sri Lanka, has faced strong opposition.

The rations were all distributed by the Chinese government but the CCP trademark was concealed in bags provided to the villagers, the Colombo Gazette reported. The worst of the bribe was the distribution of dry rations to the staff of the Foreign Ministry, the report added.

"Nowhere in the world an Embassy would offer such contribution to the Foreign Ministry, especially in a country like Sri Lanka where China has been seriously engaging with politicians to move with their ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that is facing immense challenges," according to the Sri Lankan news portal.

The Chinese donation to the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry were apparently authorized by Foreign Secretary Jayanath Colombage, and the China-Sri Lanka Friendship Association, which received cash from the Chinese Embassy to purchase food products.

Responding to the development, Sri Lanka's Foreign Service Officers' Association delegation in a meeting with Foreign Secretary Colombage expressed outrage.

"We strongly believe that the acceptance of such donations, particularly by members of the Sri Lanka Foreign Service, is not suitable and will position the Foreign Service and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in an embarrassing situation," the Association stated in a message.

The Colombo Gazette report said this is not the first time the Chinese embassy has tried to take advantage of the host country.

China has already been accused of paying the government in order to boost its chances of winning projects while keeping the details hidden, the report added. (ANI)

 
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