In the immediate aftermath of the government's decision that the East Container Terminal (ECT) of Colombo will be operated totally by Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), India reiterated its expectation for the expeditious implementation of the Trilateral Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) signed in May, 2019 among the governments of Sri Lanka, India and Japan.
An Indian High Commission spokesman said the commitment of the Sri Lankan government has been conveyed several times in the recent past and also at the leadership level.
“Sri Lankan Cabinet also took a decision three months ago to implement the project with foreign investors. All sides should continue to abide by the existing understandings and commitment,” he said. The 2019 government proposed to set up a terminal management company with 51% stake for the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and the rest for India.
The incumbent government led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa also proposed to develop the ECT jointly as an investment project rather than leasing it out or selling it off. (Kelum Bandara)