Petroleum Resources Development Minister Arjuna
Ranatunga has urged the Sinhala extremist organization Janata Vimukthi
Perumuna JVP not to sabotage the
government’s efforts to develop the Trincomalee Oil Tank Farm through a joint
venture project between the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and Lanka Indian
Oil Company (LIO, a Joint Venture
Project between India and Sri Lanka.
Ranatunga requested the JVP not to spread
falsehood regarding the initiative to develop the Trincomalee oil storage
facility, which had been idling for years according to Sri Lankan media
The Minister, responding to a question raised by
Chief Opposition Whip and JVP Leader Anura Dissanayake in Sri Lankan Parliament
on Sept. 21, said the upper tank farm comprising 85 tanks would be leased to a
sub company formed jointly by the CPC and LIOC for development.
Out of them 16 tanks would be handed over to the
CPC by the sub company once the development work was over. The period of the
lease would be decided by the Cabinet.
The agreement signed between the Sri Lankan
government and LIOC signed as early as February 7, 2003 would be cancelled with
the signing of the new agreement. The lower tank farm comprising 15 tanks,
which were already being used by the IOC, would also be given to the same
company for a period to be determined by the Cabinet, he said.
Sri Lanka had agreed in principle way back in
1987 to lease the tank farms to India to help the country increase the energy
security but has been resisted by the Sinhala extremist elements in the island.
The extremist group is also opposed to the signing of a new trade cooperation
agreement with India.