Hambantota Port agreement: Colombo Port TU Collective welcomes Govt.’s decision | Daily News

Hambantota Port agreement: Colombo Port TU Collective welcomes Govt.’s decision

Representatives of Colombo Port Trade Unions Collective yesterday said that they are in total agreement with the Government’s decision to lease out the Hambantota Port which has become a huge burden to the country’s economy, to a Chinese Company.

“The Colombo Port can no longer bare the burden of the Hambantota Port, Sri Lanka Nidahas Sewaka Sangamaya (SLNSS) Secretary Ariyadasa Pathirana said.

“The Colombo Port may face a risk of bankruptcy, if the loan instalments of the Hambantota Port are paid by the Colombo Port any further,” Pathirana said.

Addressing the media in Colombo yesterday, he added that the Hambantota Harbour has become a burden not only to the Colombo Port but also to the entire country. The Colombo Port has been settling the loan instalments of the Hambantota port amounting Rs.9.1 billion (Rs. 9,100 million) annually.

"The Hambantota Port, which is not a profit making venture, is not a feasible venture," Pathirana said.

According to him, the East Container Terminal (ECT) of Colombo Port will function under the Colombo Port from August 1. Vehicle transhipment activities, which are presently carried out at the Hambantota Port, has been scheduled to be carried out at the ECT from August 1 with the commencement of its activities.

Asked whether the ECT will be privatised, Pathirana said that the Government authorities including the Ports and Shipping Minister have promised them that the ECT won’t be privatised and that it would be developed as a Government entity under the Colombo Port.

The Colombo Port's revenue had seen a drastic drop after the commencing of operations of the Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) under a Chinese Company. The CICT was privatised by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Independent Port Trade Union (ITU) Chairman Lal Manawaduge said that the All Ceylon Port General Workers Union (ACPGWU) backed by the JVP urges the Government not to lease out the Hambantota Port levelling baseless allegations about the agreement which is going to be signed.

“The ACPGWU, which is making a hue and cry over the Hambantota Port agreement did not utter a single word when former President Rajapaksa handed over the CICT to a Chinese company,” Manawaduge added. 


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