Rajitha slams Media reports on ECT Nationalisation or development as JV

Published : 9:08 am  October 18, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 

(75)

 reads | 

Untitled-8

 

By Sandun A. Jayasekera 


Cabinet Spokesman and Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said yesterday the government would develop the Colombo Port’s East Container Terminal (ECT) as a joint venture (JV) with India or as a government-owned entity funded by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA). However, he said the Cabinet had not taken a firm decision on how the ECT would be developed.   


While flatly dismissing media reports that there was a heated argument between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the weekly Cabinet meeting on Tuesday on an alleged proposal to develop the ECT, the minister said no such Cabinet paper was submitted by subject Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe nor did such a matter be discussed during the meeting. 


“Minister Samarasinghe’s Cabinet memo was to purchase three forklifts for ECT and the Cabinet decided to obtain observations from the Treasury. Therefore, it was postponed for next week. The Cabinet has not taken a decision to develop the ECT by SLPA single-handedly either. The idea to develop the ECT as a joint venture with India and China has been floated even during the Rajapaksa regime. This has been discussed by President Maithripala Sirisena and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi several times, particularly at the BIMSTEC summit. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe will also discuss the CTC development project with Prime Minister Modi during his current visit to India,” Minister Senaratne said. Meanwhile, Cabinet Secretary Sumith Abeysinghe in a statement said yesterday media reports on certain matters that came under discussion at the Cabinet meeting were incorrect. 

 

Minister Samarasinghe’s Cabinet memo was to purchase three forklifts for ECT and the Cabinet decided to obtain observations from the Treasury. Therefore, it was postponed for next week. 


“There were no Cabinet memos pertaining to infrastructure development involving the Indian Government or Indian companies included in the Cabinet agenda. However, President Sirisena enlightened the Cabinet members on the core bilateral and global issues he discussed with Indian Premier Narendra Modi at the BIMSTEC summit,” Mr. Abeysinghe said. 


He has requested the media to verify information with the Cabinet Spokesmen if and when they publish a news item related to Cabinet decisions. 


Pic by Nisal Baduge  

 

 

(75)