Aug 02, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena says the Eastern Terminal of the Colombo Port will not be handed over to an external party under any circumstance.
“If the country had not got into debt for the construction of Hambantota Port, Colombo Harbor would have been used for development activities and provided benefits to the country. However, Colombo Harbor will continue to be used for development activities, while all workers will get their lost benefits,” he said.
The President was speaking at the 38th anniversary of Sri Lanka Ports Authority, held Tuesday in the premises of the Eastern Supply Terminal of Sri Lanka Ports Authority.
“It was in September 2014 when the agreement on the Hambantota Port was signed with the Chinese company, it was taken up for discussions and the cabinet approval was also received. What the current government did was to amend those in a way which is better for the country,” the President explained.
“Those amendments included reduction of the land area to 50%, ensure its operation under the laws and regulations of the government of Sri Lanka and ensure not to let any country or any foreign company the ownership of even an inch of the land of Sri Lanka. The land will be given only on a lease.”
He pointed out that the former government had sold out given six acres in front of the Galle Face Green to the Shangri-La Company.
“They also had planned to give 240 acres for Port City on free hold. We managed to change the Port City deal into a lease system but couldn’t take any action against the deal with Shangri-la as they had already signed the relevant agreement.”
“Though whatever criticisms are done, I always emphasize that I will not hand over even an inch of Sri Lankan land to another country or any foreign company.”
The President presented awards to the workers who completed 38 years of service at Sri Lanka Ports Authority. Sri Lanka Freedom Trade Union presented a souvenir to the President at this occasion.