Cameron believes present by Colombo’s Port City was a ‘token gift with no value’

Britain’s newly appointed Foreign Secretary David Cameron came under scrutiny by the British media over his involvement in promoting Chinese investments in the Colombo Port City in recent weeks.

The former British Prime Minister was in Colombo in January on a private visit and visited the Port City where he was briefed by officials on how the modern state-of-the-art city is going to be developed over the years with foreign investments coming into reclaimed land in the heart of Colombo.

The UK’s The Sunday Times ran a story last week shedding insight into the role played by the former British Prime Minister and how they helped to secure up to USD three billion in investments for
the port city.

According to the report, the former prime minister was paid to visit Dubai and Abu Dhabi and lobby potential investors on behalf of Port City Colombo. But the report also focused on the “token gift” he was presented by a senior official attached to the Port City management.

A source close to Cameron said he could not remember what it was other than a “token with no value,” the Times report said.

Gabriel Pogrund, a Times Editor who wrote the piece shared on the platform X, previously known as Twitter two days after the publication said one source got in touch with him to say the “gift was a souvenir glass of Port City sand”–sand that was reclaimed during early development stages of the project.

The website Politico first reported details about Mr Cameron’s links with the port project last month. His spokesman denied he had any direct involvement with the Chinese firm in relation to his speaking events. His spokesman told the Times: “David Cameron spoke at two events in the United Arab Emirates organised via Washington Speakers Bureau, in support of Port City Colombo. The contracting party for the events was global audit firm KPMG Sri Lanka and Mr Cameron’s engagement followed a meeting he had with Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe earlier this year.”


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