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Sri Lanka raises yet another issue on India's participation in Colombo East Terminal project

There is no sign of Colombo East Terminal project with India's participation taking off with yet another spokes being put on the project by the Lankan government.

The Island nation feels that the contour of the agreement is loaded in favour of New Delhi

Three years since the MOU was signed between India and Sri Lanka on India's participation in the Colombo east terminal, the projects appears to go for yet another change in the terms of the agreement. The project is all set to be renegotiated with the Indian government as the Island nation feels that the contour of the agreement is loaded in favour of New Delhi

The project which has seen several twists and turns including the inclusion of Japan as one of the partners is all set to be renegotiated if report from the island nation is an indication.

The Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had given the go ahead to Shipping Minister Johnston Fernando to start talks on changing an agreement signed building a container terminal in Colombo port.according to Sri Lankan media reports.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority had signed agreement with India and Japan to run the partially built East Terminal after dropping plans for a standard build-operate-transfer deal which drew adverse responses from top shipping firms amid opposition from then President Maithripala Sirisena.

Ports Minister Johnston Fernando informed that the Ranil Wickeremesinghe government had entered into a deal which is highly unfavourable to INDIA,” Cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunewardene told reporters.rew

“President (Gotabya Rajapaksa) gave authority to Transport Minister Johnston Fernando to direct discussions at a diplomatic level. “Because this is an agreement signed between states, it has to be treated with care. After discussion he could brief you on that matter in the future.” the Sri Lankan cabinet spokesperson said

The colachel project was conceived as a replacement for colombo

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority workers objected to the unloading of some harbor mobiler cranes that had arrived at Colombo port in a protest against the deal.

India virtually put the Colachel transhipment terminal project on the back burner when Lanka offered the Colomob east terminal. The colachel project was conceived as a replacement for colombo since containers from the east coast moved the sri lankan ;port for transshipment resulting in extra cost to our exporters due to double handling.

Once an mou was signed in 2017 to hand over the east terminal to India, Colachel transsshipment project which was given in principle clearance by the union cabinet way back in 2014 was put on the back burner.

But the internal wrangling in the previous sri lankan government put the Indian project in limbo. The then Lankan president Srisena shot down the proposal. The project then was revived when Japan got added to the project along with India.

Hambantota port has been taken over by a chinese company on a 99 year lease.

Now the present Sri lankan government comes with its quota of issues sabotaging the project. Significantly Chinese companies have huge stakes in various terminals of Colombo port. The Hambantota port has been taken over by a chinese company on a 99 year lease.


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