The East Container Terminal will be given to investors from India and Japan; a statement from State Minister Nimal Lanza

The East Container Terminal will be given to investors from India and Japan; a statement from State Minister Nimal Lanza

The East Container Terminal will be given to investors from India and Japan; a statement from State Minister Nimal Lanza

Written by Staff Writer

24 Jan, 2021 | 8:33 pm

Colombo (News 1st): Religious leaders, trade unions, civil and political organizations are continuing their demands against the sale of the East Container Terminal of the Colombo Port.

They point out that this terminal which is 18m deep can be used to dock some of the biggest ships in the world.

85% of the Colombo South Terminal is owned by a Chinese owned company while the majority stake of the SAGT located adjacent to the ECT is owned by private companies.

The Jaya Terminal that is currently operated by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority does not have the facilities for large ships to dock, and trade unions allege that the Sri Lanka Ports Authority will be left with nothing to do after the ECT is given away.

Against such a backdrop President Gotabaya Rajapaksa speaking in Wallallawita yesterday clarified his stance on the East Container Terminal.

His Excellency President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka is currently looking for investors and that the nation’s resources will not be given to foreign entities.

He said Sri Lanka Ports Authority has ownership over 51% stake. A part of the remaining 49% will be given to an Indian company, Japanese company and another part will be given to a Sri Lankan company.

President Gotabaya said if there are other companies that want to join this venture the Government will provide an opportunity for them as well.

Meanwhile, State Minister Nimal Lanza speaking at an event in Kerawalapitiya, Wattala stressed that the East Container Terminal will be given to an Indian company under an investment project, no matter who objects against it

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Trade unions calling for the protection of the Colombo Port’s East Container Terminal convened a joint media briefing today.

Convenor of the Workers’ Force – Keshara Kottegoda said that several businessmen extended their support to the Indian Prime Minister during his election campaign and that The Colombo Port is a gift that is to be given to one of these business entities.

Kottegoda said that there are two ways in which a business can be improved.

“One is to increase the capacity of the business. The other is by destroying the competitors. India is investing in the East Container Terminal and trying to defeat its rivals.” – said Keshara Kottegoda.

Representatives of Port Trade Unions along with the Government Medical Officers’ Association and other trade unions have vehemently criticized the Government of giving out a stake of the ECT to India and other countries.

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