Negotiations with President over Colombo Port East Jetty fail - Trade Unions

Negotiations with President over Colombo Port East Jetty fail - Trade Unions

14 January 2021 10:08 am

The Ports Trade Unions say that the discussion held with President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday (13) regarding the Eastern Terminal of the Colombo Port was unsuccessful.

"He told us a lot about the agreement with India on the Eastern Terminal including the geopolitical, economic issues and how much we would lose financially if we did not give the Eastern Terminal and if we lost 66% of the existing Transhipment," he said.

"But that was not our position. We could not come to an agreement with the President for that conversation. We requested the President to stop coming to a final decision on this Eastern Terminal and to give us a discussion with the committee appointed by that Cabinet. The President clearly instructed to stop it and instructed Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena to expedite the discussions of the committee appointed by the Cabinet with our 23 trade unions, ”said Shamal Sumanaratne, General Secretary of the Progressive Employees' Organization of Commerce and Industry.

"The talks were a failure. The President's position during the discussion was that the government's position should be to move the terminal forward with 51% under the Ports Authority and 49% under the private sector. Based on that, he was asked to submit proposals. ” Niroshan Gorakanage, General Secretary of the All Ceylon Ports General Employees Union said.