President Gotabaya Rajapaksa assured trade unionists that the Eastern Container Terminal of the Colombo Port will not be sold or leased. The President met the Ports Authority Trade Union representatives at the Presidential Secretariat on their request to discuss about the Eastern Container Terminal of the Colombo Port. The President stressed that he would not allow any harm to the country’s sovereignty and independence from the investments made. “The former Government has made an agreement to sell the ECT to India. Following discussions the incumbent Government had with India, it has now been agreed to retain 51 per cent of its ownership and the administration of the Eastern Terminal with the Ports Authority,” the President said. He pointed out that the ECT would be subject to sustainable development under the investment project. He said the ECT development project was planned after careful consideration of regional geopolitical facts, the country’s sovereignty, generation of income and job opportunities. He explained that India contributes to 66 per cent of re-exports at the ECT. Bangladesh contributes 9 per cent to the shipment volumes and the rest are transshipments from other countries. The President said the plan is to develop the Port as a shared investment where 51 per cent of shares would be owned by the Sri Lankan Government, while the Adani Group of India and others could invest in the rest. The President, asking the Trade Unionists not to harbour any doubts on the investment, also requested their suggestions for further improving it. Ports Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Secretary to the President Dr. P.B. Jayasundera and other officials participated.
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