- Affirms that ECT won’t be sold or given on lease
- Says SL will own 51% and SLPA will operate the terminal
- India’s Adani group and other investors will account for balance 49%
- Says operations of West Container Terminal will be handed over to SLPA
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday stressed that the East Container Terminal (ECT) of the Colombo Port would not be sold or given on lease to any outside party.
He said the Sri Lankan government would own the 51 percent controlling stake in the ECT and the Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) would carry out its operations.
President Rajapaksa said this during a meeting with the representatives of 23 Colombo Port’s trade unions, at the Presidential Secretariat.
He said the previous ‘good governance’ regime had agreed to sell the ECT to India. He revealed that according to that agreement, Sri Lanka was also to take a loan from Japan to procure the equipment required to operate the terminal.
President Rajapaksa said his government re-negotiated the deal with India and a new agreement was reached to retain 51 percent of the ownership of the ECT with Sri Lanka and allow the SLPA to carry out the terminal’s operations.
He noted that the ECT deal would be structured in a way that India’s Adani group and other investors can take part by investing in the balance 49 percent.
He pledged to the trade unions that the investments coming to the ECT wouldn’t compromise the country’s independence or sovereignty.
President Rajapaksa said 66 percent of the transhipments at the ECT would be for India, 9 percent for Bangladesh and the balance for several other countries.
Meanwhile, President Rajajapksa said he expects the operations of the West Container Terminal of the Colombo Port to be handed over to the SLPA.
President’s Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara, Port Minister Rohitha Abeygunewardena, Ports Ministry Secretary, SLPA Chairman and several other key officials took part in the discussion.