The Gotabaya Rajapaksa government will sell national assets to foreigners by giving Colombo Port’s East Container terminal to an Indian company, says the JVP.
JVP Central Committee member and former MP Sunil Handunnetti said yesterday: “Selling off the Eastern Terminal of the Colombo Port to an Indian company will be the first step towards selling national assets. The remaining oil tanks in Trincomalee, mineral sands deposit in Pulmuddai, Eppawela Phosphate deposit will be gone thereafter. We have information that the lands belonging to the Galle harbor have also been earmarked for sale.”
He was ddressing the media at the JVP Headquarters in Pelawatte.
“The Cabinet has approved the sale of the Colombo Port East Container Terminal. This will initiate a process of selling off the remaning national assets. Ports and airports are strategically important assets for this country, given its location. The government says Sri Lanka Ports Authority’s income is not sufficient to develop the East Container Terminal of the Colombo Port and therefore it should be disposed of. The Colombo Port, which ranked high in the region, has now come to this position due to mismangement. A part of it has already been given to China. Several sections of the port have been privatised. The SLPA reports indicate that its share of loan resettlement amounts to 24.8 percent of its income. It is paying nearly 11 billion rupees as debt installments to the local lenders alone.
“It was earlier planned to give the terminal to a joint company between India and Japan. But on Monday the Cabient decided to give it to an Indian company by the name of Adani Ports and Logistic Group. The Cabinet paper justifies the sale of the terminal to Adani group stating that it is responsible for 30 percent of India’s container operations and it has six container terminals. We call upon people to come foward to save the Colombo Port.”
JVP Central Committee member and former MP Wasantha Samarasinghe said: “Rajapaksas came to power as an alternative to a governments that sold off national assets to foreigners. Now it is doing likewise. We have information that in addition to the sale of the East Terminal of the Colombo port, lands belonging to Galle Port are also to be leased off for 35 years. Adjacent lands including those now occupied by the Police are to be leased for 99 years. And who is giving these away? The party that has assumed the role of patriots and saviours of national assets. We are warning that people should not let this happen. If we lose this vital terminal the SLPA would be reduced to a mere sign board.”
(Source: The Island – By Saman Indrajith)