President informs TU leaders East Terminal will not be sold

President informs TU leaders East Terminal will not be sold

13 January 2021 08:44 pm

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa informed the Port trade union members that the East Terminal of Colombo Port will not be sold. He made this observation during the discussion held at the request of the trade unions in the President's Office this (13) morning.

In the event that the previous regime had entered into an agreement to sell the terminal, a post sale debt from Japan was obtained and purchased construction equipment, the President reminded, adding that based on the negotiations with India, 51% of the Eastern Terminal will be controlled by the Ports Authority of Sri Lanka.

The country's independence or sovereignty will not be hindered by the investments made to Sri Lanka, President Rajapaksa added. 

The President also said that the previous regime had leased Hambantota Port to the Chinese government for 99 years, adding that upon his term as the President, negotiations were made with China and the government has taken the responsibility for its protection.

The development of the East Terminal was planned upon reviewing all aspects, including regional geo-political factors, sovereignty, income and job creation, the President noted, emphasising that the Terminal will be "sustainably developed" under the investment program. 

Meanwhile, 66% of re-export operations of the East Terminal are being contributed by India, while 9% of them by Bangladesh and the rest by other countries, the President further informed. 

Discussion were held with 23 Port trade unions, and the President further noted that the plan was to develop the East Terminal at a 51% ownership of the government of Sri Lnaka and 49%, as an investment by Adani and other stakeholders of India, assuring that doubts in this regard would be unnecessary. 

In the event that the operations at the East Terminal are to be expanded, more job opportunities would be created for the people, Chief of the Presidential Task Force for Economic Revival Basil Rajapaksa emphasised.

The plans to sell Mattala Airport and Norochcholai Power Plant by the previous regime had completely been scrapped by the present government, he added.