Asia

Sri Lankan protest Chinese funded port city project

  • Sri Lankan fishermen and activists carry placards during a protest in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, April 4, 2016. Hundreds of people, including priests, environmental activists and fishermen, protested in Sri Lanka's capital on Monday, demanding the government halt a $1.5 billion Chinese-funded port city project. Placard on center left  in Sinhalese language reads, "Prime minister please keep your promise to stop the port city project". (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

    Sri Lankan fishermen and activists carry placards during a protest in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, April 4, 2016. Hundreds of people, including priests, environmental activists and fishermen, protested in Sri Lanka's capital on Monday, demanding the government halt a $1.5 billion Chinese-funded port city project. Placard on center left in Sinhalese language reads, "Prime minister please keep your promise to stop the port city project". (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)  (The Associated Press)

  • Sri Lankan Catholic nuns carry placards during a protest in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, April 4, 2016. Hundreds of people, including priests, environmental activists and fishermen, protested in Sri Lanka's capital on Monday, demanding the government halt a $1.5 billion Chinese-funded port city project. Placard on left reads, "Prime minister please keep your promise to stop the port city project"  as other placards in Sinhalese language carry slogans urging the government to stop the project. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

    Sri Lankan Catholic nuns carry placards during a protest in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, April 4, 2016. Hundreds of people, including priests, environmental activists and fishermen, protested in Sri Lanka's capital on Monday, demanding the government halt a $1.5 billion Chinese-funded port city project. Placard on left reads, "Prime minister please keep your promise to stop the port city project" as other placards in Sinhalese language carry slogans urging the government to stop the project. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)  (The Associated Press)

  • Sri Lankan fishermen carry placards during a protest in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, April 4, 2016. Hundreds of people, including priests, environmental activists and fishermen, protested in Sri Lanka's capital on Monday, demanding the government halt a $1.5 billion Chinese-funded port city project. Placard on left reads, "Prime minister please keep your promise to stop the port city project"  as other placards in Sinhalese language carry slogans urging the government to stop the project. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

    Sri Lankan fishermen carry placards during a protest in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, April 4, 2016. Hundreds of people, including priests, environmental activists and fishermen, protested in Sri Lanka's capital on Monday, demanding the government halt a $1.5 billion Chinese-funded port city project. Placard on left reads, "Prime minister please keep your promise to stop the port city project" as other placards in Sinhalese language carry slogans urging the government to stop the project. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)  (The Associated Press)

Hundreds of people, including environmental activists and fishermen, have protested in Sri Lanka's capital to demand the government halt a $1.5 billion Chinese-funded port city project.

The city, to be built on reclaimed land off Sri Lanka's west coast, is to include a golf course, marinas, apartments, hotels and malls. About 500 people who demonstrated in Colombo on Monday said it would damage the environment.

Chinese President Xi Jinping inaugurated the project in 2014 during the tenure of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who relied heavily on China for infrastructure projects. It was suspended after Rajapaksa lost an election in January 2015, with the new government saying it wanted to review all projects to ensure they were environmentally viable and corruption-free.

The government decided to allow it to proceed last month.