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TU talks with Prez on ECT failed; will continue struggle

15 Jan 2021 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

By Ajith Siriwardana

While claiming that the discussion between Port Trade Unions’ and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was unsuccessful, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) said yesterday they would continue the struggle to protect the full-ownership of the Eastern Container Terminal (ECT) of the Colombo port.

JVP politburo member and Chairman of the National Trade Union Centre, K.D. Lal Kantha told a news conference that the government officially admitted during the discussion that the ECT would be handed over to India. He said even though the President claimed that the Jetty would not be sold to India, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) would lose the full ownership of 100 per cent, if 49 percent of shares were given to India. “It was confirmed at yesterday’s discussion that 49 per cent of shares of the ECT would be given to India while SLPA would retain 51 per cent of shares. That is what we are against. We want the SLPA to retain the full ownership of the Jetty,” he said.

He said the SLPA had lost the ownership of the Hambantota port and the South Container Terminal of the Colombo Port as well.

“The then government claimed that Hambantota Port was sold to China. It was only given on lease for 99 years. However, we have lost its ownership now. The South Container Terminal of the Colombo Port was also given to China. Now, it has become a colony of China. The Government is claiming that the Eastern Jetty will not be sold to India, It is only an investment. Whatever the term used, we will lose the full-ownership of the Jetty. This is a profitable national asset,” he said.