Was the Eastern Terminal of the Colombo Port used as a bribe for India?

Was the Eastern Terminal of the Colombo Port used as a bribe for India?

Written by Staff Writer

04 Jun, 2019 | 9:14 pm

Colombo (News1st) – The Eastern Terminal of the Colombo Port was the subject of debate in parliament today. MP Anura Kumara raising a questioner asked the Leader of the House as to who would respond to his queries. Min. Kiriella responded by stating that subject Minister Sagala Rathnayake is not in the country and that he would provide comprehensive answers when he returns.

The Leader of the JVP then reminded the leader of the house that he is still waiting for the promised answers regarding the questions he raised on the EPF. Focusing his attention on to the Eastern terminal, Anura Kumara Dissanayake recalled that a proposal put forward by Min. Arjuna Ranatunga, when he served as the minister of ports, which kept control of the Eastern terminal in the hands of the Ports Authority was rejected by the Cabinet. He charged that the Government made a hasty decision to enter into an agreement with India, as the outcome of the Indian election was becoming clearer.

 Specially with China positioning itself in the Colombo port, it is clear that India also had an intention to station themselves in the port too. The steps taken by this government to sign this agreement can be depicted as a payment of bribes for a previous guarantee. Has the handing over of the control of the Eastern Terminal of the Colombo port to India and Japan concluded? Who decided that the Eastern terminal cannot be developed and cannot be used to generate an income if it is not handed over to a foreign nation? What are the parameters used to determine this? Does the government accept that the government being deprived of the control of strategic locations in the country affects the sovereignty of the country. – Anura Kumara Dissanayake

Min. Lakshman Kiriella responded to this allegation stating that the decision to enter into an agreement with India was based on Sri Lanka’s lack of capital to develop the port. He then stated that the Prime Minister would provide a more detailed response.  In response to this comment, MP Dissanayake questioned why the Government can’t procure Rs 800mn for the project and questioned if Parliament and the backbenchers of the UNP were aware that the eastern terminal of the Colombo port was being sold off.


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