Prez - PM showdown at Cabinet

17 October 2018 08:14 am - 50     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe are reported to have had a showdown at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting over the proposal to develop the East Container Terminal of the Colombo Port as an Indian investment.

At the meeting, Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe submitted a Cabinet memorandum on developing the terminal by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA).

However, the Prime Minister, backed by Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama, insisted that it should be on the basis of an Indian investment.

Apparently incensed by the Prime Minister’s remarks, the President was reported to have said that it was vital to keep the sea port within the ambit of the Sri Lankan Government and that as a country Sri Lanka would lose its sovereignty in the event of alienating sea ports to external parties.

The President is also reported to have been critical of the leasing of the Hambantota Port to a Chinese Company and said he had discussed the development of the Colombo Port with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he met him on the sidelines of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).

“Indian Prime Minister is not opposed to the development of the East Container Terminal of the Colombo Port by Sri Lanka,” he said.

However, the Prime Minister had persisted in saying that a bulk of container traffic for the Colombo Port originated from India and therefore, it was all the more important to develop it with India.

Sources said the President and the Prime Minister had continued hurling arguments at each other. (Kelum Bandara)

  Comments - 50

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  • Gayan Wednesday, 17 October 2018 08:22 AM

    Do not let Wikkamasinha to sell the port.

    Dee Wednesday, 17 October 2018 09:43 AM

    Instead , re negotiate like the port city. Who actually sold national assets? Who owns Former Army HQ property? SL?

    Good Wednesday, 17 October 2018 10:50 AM

    Very good move by the President.

    Dhammika Wednesday, 17 October 2018 12:59 PM

    MR. CLEAN is now MR. BEAN .

    Wise Donkey Wednesday, 17 October 2018 08:24 AM

    Time both got on to a stage for an all free show!

    Royce Wednesday, 17 October 2018 08:34 AM

    Ranil needs to be fired

    Citizen Perera Wednesday, 17 October 2018 10:58 AM

    Not only Ranil ..both should be fired.

    Dhammika Wednesday, 17 October 2018 12:19 PM

    MR. CLEAN is now MR. BEAN .

    City Wednesday, 17 October 2018 08:36 AM

    Well I don't think this should be a top story.this is the way a cabinet discussion should be. in the past it was always a one man show. the President decides and the premier was a puppet the rest agrees.ex 18th amendment.we need this culture and the media should get used it .

    124578 Wednesday, 17 October 2018 09:26 AM

    City you are spot on... what is most good for the country should implement.

    idroos Wednesday, 17 October 2018 10:14 AM

    he should have taken this stance from 09th Jan 18Happy he has got some advices from MARA

    Dhammika Wednesday, 17 October 2018 08:38 AM

    The President is CORRECT in the interest of the Nation shipping has not been loss making and can be made a more profitable national venture considering the SECURITY of the nation . Up to date RW has proved nothing productive and ONLY a Talk only No Action (NATO) politician ENJOYING his personal life (Living a luxury life and travelling overseas frequently) at the expence of tax payers money.

    Unchikun Wednesday, 17 October 2018 08:38 AM

    Better late than never. Nice work Mr. President.

    TONY Wednesday, 17 October 2018 08:45 AM


    dulan Wednesday, 17 October 2018 08:47 AM

    All MS knows Is fear let us go back to Srimavo's time

    1970 - 77 Wednesday, 17 October 2018 09:18 AM

    Oh Do not even Remind Sirmavos days. And Bandaranaka. Cause of all Problems in the Country - Remember being a 10 year old going to the Bread Que round 5 Am if not no Breakfast. Many more

    Mm Wednesday, 17 October 2018 04:34 PM

    1970-77 if we Sri Lanka’s were controlled for a few more years by the Bandaranyake system we would be like India today! Our people would have increased their productivity and progressed with exports. Local industries failed because the economy was opened and people got lazy

    Ghost Wednesday, 17 October 2018 08:50 AM

    Either that MS is now finding excuses to part with Ranil after his 'bow-wow' with MR or Ranil is trying to prove that he could run it alone. Either way we are going to suffer!

    Sunil Wednesday, 17 October 2018 08:56 AM

    Ranil and Malik are out to sell our country wholesale to foreign powers. Chase them out as soon as possible.

    Dallas Wednesday, 17 October 2018 08:56 AM

    What would have happenned if this Yahapalanaya mob was running the country when LTTE was operational Total Annihilation of SLBunch of Jokers this Yahapalanaya Mob

    Samam Wednesday, 17 October 2018 09:04 AM

    I am with President with this one. Selling and leasing government properties that can generate dollars is a crime. We all Malik Samarawickrama is after another big commission.

    Yahiya Wednesday, 17 October 2018 09:06 AM

    Malik act is very suspicious.

    Bul Wednesday, 17 October 2018 09:24 AM

    Very good decision by HE the President !! Hat Off to you Sir

    jimbo Wednesday, 17 October 2018 09:37 AM

    Keep fighting. Love it.

    N Umagiliya Wednesday, 17 October 2018 09:39 AM

    The president rightfully disagreed because key strategic national interests such as ports or oil tank farms or airports should NOT BE allowed to be controlled by foreign powers that can strangle our markets.

    Ronnie Bugger Wednesday, 17 October 2018 09:43 AM

    Mr. President, you are the top gun of this Country. This .*&@$# Prime Minister and his *#&@% sidekick, Malik is big trouble. How the hell can they flagrantly try to sell off sovereign assets.

    Martin Milton Wednesday, 17 October 2018 09:46 AM

    IF HE stands his legitimate grounds it will be excellent for his weakening reputation and he should in addition give the PM a lesson on respecting one's Motherland and her sovereignty. It will probably fall on the PM's preferential 'Deaf' ears. What continuing traitorous acts by this incumbent PM. Unbelievable. HE should see if he could give him the proverbial 'sack'. MM

    srilankan Wednesday, 17 October 2018 09:47 AM

    showdown in little Shanghai!!!!!

    Soam Wednesday, 17 October 2018 09:53 AM

    Sri Lanka has already been sold. China has vested interest in this region and has leased the port in Hambantota. Sri Lankan have no alternative other than to lease it to India. Look at the big picture, you do not want China to rule over you.

    Haramanis Wednesday, 17 October 2018 10:14 AM

    Let's organize a challenge fight on Galle Face Green..

    Jakob Wednesday, 17 October 2018 10:14 AM

    Ranil and group want to rule the country by selling it,but though come to power with unp support MS is not ready to change his views,we are with president

    Nimal Saradial Wednesday, 17 October 2018 10:49 AM

    Country is going thru a fast change, 180 degrees soon.1.Supreme court confirmed Duminda Silva's punishment given by High Court 2. Prez Support Student to launch a Rocket at Bandaranayake Vidyalaya, Gampaha 3.Thebuwana Police PC re-instated and Rs. 1 Mn donation to his family by Prez 4. Prez Talk about highest food wasting place in country is Parliament 5. Indian RAW Act6. Colombo Port to India cancelled by Prez

    Imran Wednesday, 17 October 2018 10:57 AM

    We should understand that 60 to 70 percent of the income of Colombo port is coming from transhipment of Indian goods because most Indian ports cannot handle large ships but now India is developing several ports around the country under the name SAGARMALA so in near future Colombo port will be down in business because our own exports are very small and not expanding.

    smartgent Wednesday, 17 October 2018 03:23 PM

    Yes, I agree with u. Everyone should take notes of this

    dayan Wednesday, 17 October 2018 11:41 AM

    Meeting of the cabinet of ministers is not a public event. They should discuss argue and take correct decisions there. Who made this public. He should be punished for leaking confidential information.

    Saman Wednesday, 17 October 2018 12:19 PM

    Cabinet ministers sent by the voters to take decisions for the country. Not the decisions that makes them richer. People has all the rights to know what's happening. We all know the decision they made behind doors that led to Bond scam and other scams..

    smatgent Wednesday, 17 October 2018 03:28 PM

    you are right. To avoid such incidents, MS n RW with the presence of the relevant Ministers, come to a common decision before it is discussed in the parliament. It is not good for the country when PM n Prez have this kind of differences

    Samson Wednesday, 17 October 2018 12:15 PM

    President was correct in this instance. He should not allow RW to sell all our assets to foreign countries.

    Ceylon Wednesday, 17 October 2018 12:16 PM

    to develpo by srilankan government ???.srilankan government has borrowed nearly 100 billion's a bankrupt government.all government living on foriegn borrowed money for high interest.where is the money to develop it?.sirisena want to borrow money in billions from china.mahinda also very keen to borrow billions from china for high interest rates and pocketed billions.

    smartgent Wednesday, 17 October 2018 03:38 PM

    Prez should be aware of the financial position of the govt and where SLPA find money for development. Therefore it is better for foreign investors to come in.Besides, the investments should be equally distributed within the super powers in the region

    thusitha Wednesday, 17 October 2018 12:25 PM

    Is he RW or RAW ?

    kuma Wednesday, 17 October 2018 01:33 PM

    Is India to support RW at Next Presidential Election ?

    Gam Mirris Wednesday, 17 October 2018 01:50 PM

    There should be a world wide tender and the EC run in partnership with ONE of the TOP 5 container liners with a minority stake to SLPA akin to SAGT or CICT. “End”ia should be kept at arms length with no stake given in any of our strategic asserts. Mr.Bean should be slapped silly till he remembers that “End”ia created terrorism in our motherland.

    NK Wednesday, 17 October 2018 02:42 PM

    Here who cares what to sell and whom to sell.both of them only cares about their deals. IF RW want to stay in power it has to be given to IndiaIf MS want to satisfy MR, he has to opposed thisIF MR comes to power it will given to China or India.

    Premalal Wednesday, 17 October 2018 03:31 PM


    Somapala Wednesday, 17 October 2018 04:38 PM

    This man has now gone mad, as within a year he will not be the President but a joker,

    Ben Wednesday, 17 October 2018 04:47 PM

    Sir ,As fools we see that 90% of the MPs have sold the Duty Free Vehicle Permits.This is corruption at the high level because these vehicles belong to the monies sent by the poor house maids and skilled workwers This alone is enough for you to take action to stop Permits in the future and get Inland Revneu to give you a report on the income they have made .You are the president, You have to do a few RUTHLESS act like LEE in Singapore.

    Sambo Wednesday, 17 October 2018 05:58 PM

    Was this the sign MR spoke of brining down the government by next "POYA" Sri Lankan politicians cannot be trusted. They work only for their benefit and nothing more.

    Gamaya Thursday, 18 October 2018 10:20 PM

    Ranil is talking business sense. Sirisena can never understand business. Sovereignty sovereignty sovereignty! Very popular meanigless word!)

    senaa Thursday, 18 October 2018 10:22 PM

    this scientifically selected cabinet exposes inside tales due to timidness of the prez,remove those ministers,who cannot stick to rules

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