None of the Port workers will refuse to unload Indian goods that arrive in Colombo as mentioned in some media reports, Port and Highways Deputy Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardana said yesterday.
“There were reports regarding a protest by a port employees’ organisation, which said that their members will refrain from handling or processing Indian supplies due to the situation in Tamil Nadu. I am confident that such a situation will not arise,” he said.
The minister said the attacks on Buddhist monks in Tamil Nadu only showed the inhuman activities of a few people in India.
He said Sri Lanka will show it’s humanity to the world by never letting such activities happen here.
Meanwhile workers at Sri Lanka's main container port today threatened to stop handling cargo from south Indian ports to protest the harassment of Sri Lankan monks and pilgrims in Tamil Nadu, PTI reported
“We can't silently watch the harassment of our monks and pilgrims in Tamil Nadu. We want to stop handling cargo from Indian ports as a result,” Mr Mahesh Samarawickrema, a dock workers' trade union official said. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had earlier refused to host the Lankan cricketers in Chennai in view of the growing political tensions, stemming from the treatment of ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka. The port workers held placards against Tamil Nadu politicians Miss Jayalalithaa and Mr Karunanidhi, on the port premises.
However, port official Mr Nalin Aponso said there had been no official response from the port management to the dock workers demands' to stop handling cargo from South India.
Port figures showed that almost 60 per cent of Colombo port's annual container volume of 4.1 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent unit, a measure used for capacity in container transportation) comes from south Indian ports.
Meanwhile, an unidentified group today attacked a distribution office of a pro-Tamil nationalist newspaper, Uthayan, in northern Sri Lanka, leaving at least three employees injured.