India has lodged a strong protest with Sri Lanka over the allocation of a prime Colombo property to a Chinese company though it was earmarked for India, a Colombo weekly reports.

The protests were delivered both in New Delhi and Colombo, SL External Affairs Ministry source said yesterday. He was speaking on grounds of anonymity since EAM officials are not allowed to talk to the media.

The 287-perch property, once occupied by Whittal Boustead and Company, with frontage both to the Galle Road and the Duplication Road, has been given to the Chinese aircraft manufacturing firm CATIC or China National Aero Technology Import and Export Corporation. It is for what has been described as a “flagship project”. It is not immediately clear how much the Chinese company paid for the deal.

The Indian protest is based on the fact that its formal request to the EAM was pending for more than one and half months when it learnt that the property had already been allocated to the Chinese company. India had, these sources said, agreed to pay seven million rupees per perch with the total coming to Rs. 2009 million.

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