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Sri Lanka gov't supporters attack China port deal protesters

Associated Press logo Associated Press 7/01/2017 By ERANGA JAYAWARDENA, Associated Press

AMBALANTOTA, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka government supporters have attacked protesting Buddhist monks and villagers with clubs as they marched against what they say is a plan to take over private land for an industrial zone in which China will have a major stake.

Police intervened and separated the attackers Saturday but a scheduled opening of the industrial zone by Prime Minister Ranil Wickeremesinghe was held up due to the unrest.

The government has signed a framework agreement for a 99-year lease of the Hambantota port with a company in which China will have 80-percent ownership. Officials also plan to set up the nearby industrial zone where Chinese companies will be invited to set up factories.

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