Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President, Sri Lanka has informed that 49 per cent of the investment in Colombo Port will come from the Adani Group and other stakeholders in developing a container terminal at the strategically coveted Colombo Port. President Rajapaksa was addressing representatives of the Port’s worker unions, amid their persisting resistance to any foreign involvement in the proposed project to develop the East Container Terminal (ECT). “The ECT will not be sold or leased,” he assured them, adding that the foreign investments would cause no harm to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty or independence, according to a statement issued by the President’s office.
The development comes a week after External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar’s visit to Colombo, during which he reportedly urged the Sri Lankan side to expedite finalising the deal. While 66 per cent of the transhipment business at the terminal is linked to India, New Delhi’s strategic interest in having a presence at the Port, located along one of the world’s shipping lanes, is no secret.
However, Sri Lankan port trade unions were not convinced with the proposal of Indian multinational company Adani Group and its partners buying 49 per cent stake in the Eastern Container Terminal (ETC) of Colombo Port, the trade unions says a day after President Rajapaksa met them to explain the need for foreign funding.