Jan 06, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s marxist JVP says the island nation will have to let India control the Trincomalee harbour as a result of giving Hambantota Port to China.
Party leader Anura Dissanayake told a public gathering that the Hambantota port deal is a part of the Chinese maritime silk road which ultimately deals with geopolitics.
“The issue of Hambantota port is not merely its profit or loss,” Dissanayake said, addressing a protest against Hambantota land acquisition.
“We are loosing one national asset and letting India to take control of Trincomalee harbour to balance powers of those countries.”
Trincomalee harbour is the second best natural harbour in the world and the available water and land area is about 10 times as much as the Port of Colombo.
Sri Lanka Ports Authority has completed a zoning plan to utilize the huge existing unutilized land under its jurisdiction.
Dissanayake said there will be no Chinese factories coming into Sri Lanka apart from the cement factory, paints factory and sugar refinery.
He said over 40,000 workers are currently working in Katunayake Free Trade Zone which has only 292 acres of land while Biyagama FTZ has over 30,000 workers with 190 acres.
“All our 17 Free Trade Zones consisting of less than 2,000 acres, why only Hambantota needs 15,000 acres,” Dissanayake questioned.
“This is a lie. Why come to Hambantota if Chinese don’t even get raw materials or cheap labor here.”
Dissanayake said the bottom line is that Sri Lanka has become a victim of the new cold war between US and Chinese allies.
“This is not an economic plan of a country to sell lands and national assets to other countries just showing debt numbers of previous regimes,” he said.
“We will certainly not allow Hambantota land acquisition for Chinese zone.”
Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe however addressing a gathering yesterday vowed to present the Hambantota port agreement to Parliament after Attorney General and cabinet approval.