Stop Colonizing Colombo - Wasantha Samarasinghe

by Staff Writer 12-09-2021 | 8:52 AM

COLOMBO (News 1st); The present Sri Lankan government has no economic plan and is only capable of selling resources, alleged political activist Wasantha Samarasinghe.

He said this is clearly evident from the government's move to lease 13 acres of the Colombo Port to a Chinese firm.

Port Trade Unions have requested the President to terminate the Cabinet Paper on the South Asian Freight Service Supply Centre, which proposes to release 13 acres of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority for a Chinese investment.

In a letter to the President, the All Ceylon Ports General Employees Union said lands which are required for the strategic development of the Colombo Port should not be released under any circumstance.

It has been proposed to hand over 13 acres of land bordering the CICT, SAGT and Eastern Terminals of the Colombo Port to a public-private partnership.

According to a cabinet paper submitted on July 21, it has been proposed to hand over the land to the Colombo Container Terminal (CICT), of which China has a majority stake.

This project is to be implemented on the basis of Build, Operate and Transfer, and it has been decided to appoint a discussion committee consisting of the Secretaries of the Ministries for the relevant activities.

The CICT Terminal at the Port of Colombo is operated by a Chinese majority company and the neighboring Port City of Colombo is a Chinese project.

The SAGT Terminal at the Port of Colombo is also operated by multinational corporations.

The western terminal has already been handed over to Adani Group in India and the eastern terminal was taken over by the Ports Authority after a workers’ strike, but the unions say authorities are not interested in making it a more efficient service.

There is growing concern as to whether the Port Authority’s Jaya Container Terminal and Samagi Container Terminal will be able to compete with other terminals.