Trade union calls on President to cancel East terminal agreement

Trade union calls on President to cancel East terminal agreement

Written by Staff Writer

31 May, 2019 | 10:44 pm

Colombo (News 1st): Minister Sagala Ratnayaka expressed his views with regard to developing the Eastern terminal at the Colombo port, as a joint project between Sri Lanka, India and Japan.

He noted that a memorandum of understanding regarding the Eastern terminal at the Colombo port was signed, however, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority will retain control of the terminal. He added that the terminal will be developed by them and that Sri Lanka will be the owners of the terminal.

Minister Ratnayake said they will obtain a concessionary loan from the government of Japan, to finance this development and this loan will have a 40 year payback period, at concessionary interest rates.

He went onto note that they will also establish a company to manage operations at the terminal and the Ports Authority will own 51% of shares in this company, and the remaining 49% will be sold to companies proposed by the Indian government and the government of Japan.

Ratnayake said the MOU was used to further discuss matters relating to the sale of shares. He noted that they have appointed a working group to discuss this matter and present it to the cabinet and that is what was achieved through the MOU.

The All Ceylon General Port Employee Union has made a request to the President to cancel the Memorandum of Cooperation reached with regard to the East Terminal with India, Japan and Sri Lanka.

The trade unions point out, that in their request to the President that the longevity of the port will be affected by handing over the only deep-water terminal that can handle a large number of ships to two other countries.

They also point out that during the past 40 years the governments that were in power have taken steps to privatize ports, terminals, land and other important property that belonged to the SLPA and these actions have not yielded any positive results.

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