NPP accuses Sri Lanka govt of planning to sell Colombo Port east terminal to Indian company
ECONOMYNEXT – The government of Sri Lanka is deliberately delaying the installation of three new gantry cranes at Colombo Port’s east container terminal to quietly pave the way for a sale of the terminal, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)-led National People’s Power (NPP) said.
JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva speaking to journalists this morning accused the government of delaying the terminal’s long-overdue development work in order to justify a transfer of ownership from the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) to an Indian company.
He further said that the NPP extends its fullest support to the SLPA workers who are currently engaged in a protest at the Colombo Port, atop a gantry crane, demanding the installation of the three cranes that were imported from China. The ongoing delay has cost the SLPA a large sum of money in penalty fees to the ship that transported the cranes, he added.
“The Colombo port is an economic nerve centre and is also vital for national security. National assets of such significance should be under the control of the state. The Hambantota port has already been leased to China for 99 years. Other jetties have also been given to different countries. The east terminal is the only one that’s left for us and it’s about to be given to India,” charged Silva.
“And who is giving it away? The party that has assumed the role of patriots and protectors of national assets,” he added.
In a scathing attack of the ruling party, Silva claimed that the cash-strapped government, headed by a cabal of pseudo-nationalists who act like they are the patent-holders to patriotism, is all set to sell Sri Lanka’s assets to foreign powers.
Commenting on the controversial Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact, Silva said the government was biding its time till the end of the upcoming parliamentary election to sign it, despite its initial promises to tear the document to pieces after last year’s presidential election.
The government, which is built on a platform of anti-imperialist rhetoric, has bowed down to foreign powers, he said, to the US via the MCC and regionally to China and India through the country’s ports and other assets. (Colombo/Jul2/2020)