Minister explains to Asgiri, Malvathu prelates

Published : 8:55 am  August 8, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 

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H’tota Port Agreement 

By J.A.L. Jayasinghe   
Asgiri Chapter Mahanayaka the Most Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thera and the Asigiri Chapter Deputy Chief Secretary Ven. Narampanawe Ananda Thera stressed the need for a stable national policy on safeguarding national resources.

They said this when Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe met them on Saturday after religious observances at the Sri Dalada Maligawa.   


The minister explained the background leading to the leasing of the Hambantota Harbour and said the Prime Minister visited China and discussed the leasing of the harbour as a measure to overcome the debt burden incurred to build it.   

The harbour when fully functional can earn US$1.12 billion to the  national coffers and ease the Port Authority of the burden of paying  loan installments involving 90 per cent of its income. The loan  installments during the last few years amounted to Rs.44 billion

“The harbour when fully functional can earn US$1.12 billion to the national coffers and ease the Port Authority of the burden of paying loan installments involving 90 per cent of its income. The loan installments during the last few years amounted to Rs.44 billion,” he said.   
 The minister said under various clauses in the agreement, security matters would be under the Sri Lankan Government. 
“None of the duties of the Sri Lanka Navy will be affected by the agreement. Warships will not be allowed entry to the port without government permission. Chinese people cannot be recruited to work in the harbour while several clauses secure the interests of the country,” the minister said.   


He said Sri Lanka could amend the clauses in the agreement if and when necessary.   


The minister also called on the Mahanayaka of the Malwatu Chapter the Most Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera and explained various aspects of the agreement. He said it was a commercial agreement and no government land would be sold unlike what the previous government did when it sold land to the Shang-ri-la hotel project.   


 The minister said the agreement would be presented to  Parliament. 

 

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