Sri Lanka says once more no handing over the Colombo's East terminal to India
Sri Lanka has ruled out the handing over of the Colombo East terminal to
India for its development and that Island Nation's former President Sirisena had conveyed the government's
decision in this regard to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year Sri
Lankan Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe was quoted by the Sri Lankan Media.
The Sri Lankan Minister said The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed
between Sri Lanka and India on April 26, last year, had not mentioned anything
about handing over the Eastern Terminal of the Colombo Port to India.
Govt had no
intention of privatising ET of the Colombo Port
Minister Samarasinghe said that the government had no intention of
privatising the Eastern Terminal (ET) of the Colombo Port. He has
therefore, submitted a Cabinet paper
seeking approval for the further development of the terminal.
Govt no objection
for a joint venture with India to develop Colombo Port's Western Terminal
The Sri Lankan Port Minister however made it clear that his government had no objection to hand over the
development of the Colombo Port's Western Terminal to India as a joint venture,
President Sirisena recently discussed the need to run the Colombo Port's
Eastern Terminal as a state-owned entity with Indian Prime Minister Narendra
Modi, while participating in the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral
Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Summit,” the minister said.
He said that only deep terminals could handle large
modern vessels. Hence, the Colombo Port's Eastern Terminal was the only
state-owned terminal that could accommodate and handle such vessels. If the ET
were to be privatised, the SLPA would be unable to handle large vessels,
Minister Samarasinghe added