Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa told Parliament that no decision had been
made to hand over the East Container Terminal (ECT) of the Colombo Port or part
of it to a foreign entity, or involve a foreign venture in managing it
according to Sri Lankan media reports.
ECT would be
developed by the government
Responding to a question raised by JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, the
Prime Minister said that ECT would be developed by the government and no
decision had been made so far to hand it over to a foreign company.
Janata Vimukthi Perumuna against handing over the terminal
The present government has been dilly dallying on handing over the
operation of the terminal to India for the last several months. At some point a
section of the civil society called the Professionals forum will agitate against the move while some
other time Colombo port workers will go on strike. But now the opposition
Janata Vimukthi Perumuna (JVP)has taken
up the issue against handing over the terminal.
The PM said that the previous Sri Lankan government had inked an agreement
with India and Japan over the East Container Terminal without involving the
Ministry of Ports and Naval Affairs. That agreement had been signed by the then
Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade with the Indian
The Prime Minister said the then government of Sri Lankan had reached an
agreement with India and Japan as well.
The Phase 05 of the Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) had been delayed, and
therefore to meet the growing demand at the Colombo Port three gantry cranes
had been moved from there to East Container Terminal, said the Prime Minister.
This is an indication that work on the Colombo east container terminal will
start even before a decision on handing it over to India is taken by the Sri