Trade unions oppose Government plans for Trinco oil tank farm

Trade unions oppose Government plans for Trinco oil tank farm

Written by Staff Writer

13 Sep, 2018 | 9:54 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st) – While Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is touring India, the Indian High Commissioner of Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu, toured in Trincomalee this morning (September 13).

Addressing the media, Taranjit Singh Sandhu stated that they strongly believe that all the development projects sponsored by India should be carried out, in Sri Lanka, according to a partnership with Sri Lanka.

The High Commissioner further stated that the notion created through media that India wants to enter the Sri Lankan market is not true because they [India] already have a huge market and that it is odd that people of SL are being led to believe that India is trying to invade the country.

Meanwhile, the Trade Unions of the Petroleum Corporation allege that the government has plans to enter into a partnership with India with regard to the Oil Tanks in Trincomalee’s China Bay. They allege that the plan involves handing over complete ownership of 15 tanks to the IOC while maintaining the remaining 85 tanks under a partnership agreement.

Secretary of the Sri Lanka Petroleum Workers’ Union, D.A. Rajakaruna stated that the IOC has begun this endeavour in an illegal manner and that as the Sri Lanka Petroleum Workers Union, they have already sent a report with the consultation of four of their engineers regarding the matter.

After studying the report, the government had taken a cabinet decision on the 24th of May 2017, to hand over 10 of the tanks to the Petroleum Corporation. Then again in June, the Prime Minister had made a decision to abort this and instead proposed to the cabinet that they should hand over the tanks to India.

Rajakaruna continued to say that the project only costs 10 million dollars according to their estimates and that it could be recovered in a year. Later the government had resorted to announcing it as an international storage centre.

The trade union leader also charged that on the 07th of August, Minister Arjuna submitted a proposal to cabinet to hand over the entire oil tank complex to the cabinet.

News 1st questioned the Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Upali Marasinghe on the matter, to which he replied that a Cabinet paper on the matter was submitted by the subject Minister and that he had also obtained the necessary approvals. According to the agreement, the 15 tanks mentioned are now completely under the ownership of the Lanka IOC. The clause also states that 16 of the remaining 85 tanks must be completely renovated and handed over to the state for its use.

All other tanks will be used as part of a partnership.




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