Colombo Port: Sri Lankan Prez appoints 5-member committee to examine concerns

GotabayaRSri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a five-member committee to examine and report on the concerns regarding the development of East Container Terminal (ECT) and Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) of the Colombo Port.

The committee headed by Ports Secretary is expected to submit its report within 45 days. Among other issues, it will look into agreements entered by the Government of Sri Lanka with other governments for Colombo Port and in particular ECT.

It may be mentioned that Sri Lanka had signed a tripartite agreement last year with Indian and Japan for development of ECT. However, port trade unions are protesting against the agreement saying ECT should be developed by Sri Lankan ports authority (SLPA).

The unions had launched a strike yesterday which was called off after talks with Prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. The latter had procured three cranes for use at JCT terminal but the terminal has not been developed and the committee will also look into the process undergone. Colombo port accounts for 70 per cent of Indian transshipments and India has showed interest for stake in ECT leading to agreement last year.