Trade Unions call for reversal of 13-acre port land lease

Trade Unions call for reversal of 13-acre port land lease

Trade Unions call for reversal of 13-acre port land lease

Written by Zulfick Farzan

14 Sep, 2021 | 9:30 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); Trade Unions representing the Energy, Petroleum, and Ports sector have jointly called on the government to withdraw the cabinet paper on leasing 13 acres of land from the Colombo Harbour.

These trade unions have also called on the government to immediately suspend any attempt to sell state resources to other countries.

Ceylon Electricity Board Employees’ Union Convener Ranjan Jayalal told reporters on Tuesday (14) that the government is moving towards a process of handing out all the state resources to various firms representing foreign nations.

Chairman of the Independent Port Services Trade Union, Lal Bangamuwage said the Sri Lanka Ports Authority as a state body has never added burden to the Treasury and therefore if any attempt is made to sell off the resources, trade unions representing all sectors will stand in unison against it.

General Secretary of the All Ceylon General Port Employee Union, Niroshan Gorakanage told reporters that despite the pandemic, trade unions will come together against any attempt to lease the SLPA property.

“If there are strikes and the people are inconvenienced, the government must be held accountable,” he said.

Ports and Shipping Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena has dismissed Trade Union allegations that property belonging to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority will be leased for Rs. 800,000/- per month.

“We will attract investments to Sri Lanka and the Colombo Harbour will become Asia’s most powerful Harbour with 05 existing terminals and 03 additional terminals in the future,” he said.

He said in order to achieve such a feat Sri Lanka requires a logistics hub for services.

“This will be done via Public-Private Partnership for 35 years and thereafter, it will be owned 100% by the State,” said the Minister.

Opposition Lawmaker Nalin Bandara, representing the Samagi Jana Balavegaya alleged the government is acting on the needs of ‘Jinping’ as they are the representatives of that person.

‘It is clear that they are acting on the needs of ‘Jinping’ to lease 13 acres of SLPA property to Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT).

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