According to a report in national newspaper The Sunday Times on March 9, which quotes transport minister Mr Kumara Welgama, the Rs 7.7bn ($US 590m) contract will be awarded to China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CNMIEC), and the project will be financed through a loan from China's Export-Import Bank.

CNMIEC is already building the initial 26.8km section of the line between Matara and Beliatta, which is also being financed by China.

  • Another section of Sri Lanka's war-ravaged northern railway was reopened on March 4. The 27.5km Kilinochi – Pallai line has been reconstructed with financial aid from the Indian government.