The Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port (also known as the Port of Hambantota) is a maritime port in Hambantota, Sri Lanka. The first phase of the port was opened on 18 November 2010, with the first ceremonial berthing of the naval ship “Jetliner” to use the port facilities. It is named after former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Sri Lanka has signed a 1.1 billion dollars deal with China for the control and development of the southern deep-sea port of Hambantota.
The deal had been delayed by several months over concerns that the port could be used by the Chinese military.
The government has given assurances that China will run only commercial operations from the port, on the main shipping route between Asia and Europe.
Sri Lanka’s government said money from the deal will help repay foreign loans. Under the proposal, a state-run Chinese company will have a 99-year lease on the port and about 15,000 acres nearby for an industrial zone.
Hambantota Port is built inland and operated by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority. Total estimated construction cost of the Phase 1 of the project is US $361 million and out of which, 85% has been funded by the EXIM Bank of China.
India has also voiced concerns that China could use the deep sea port in the Indian Ocean to dock military vessels. Sri Lanka has assured India that there are no security issues over the port, which it says will only be used for commercial purposes.