Asia

Sri Lanka gov't supporters attack China port deal protesters

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.