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MS and RW clash on Colombo Port East Terminal

President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had clashed at the cabinet meeting yesterday on the East Terminal of the Colombo Port.

The Prime Minister had reportedly wanted the East Terminal to be given to India on a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) deal but the President had strongly objected.

The President is reported to have said that after giving the Hambantota Port to the Chinese he cannot agree to give a section of the Colombo Port to India.

He has said that he will have talks with India and resolve the issue.

Recently The Sunday Morning quoted the Minister of Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe as saying that the East Terminal of the Colombo Port will begin operations under the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) within the next few months.

“I have submitted a cabinet proposal to operationalise the East Terminal of the Colombo Port. There is heavy container ship traffic at the port, and only the terminal operated by the Chinese company, Colombo International Container Terminal, can handle deep water ships. We have had to delay docking of certain ships due to increased congestion. The East Terminal can handle deep water ships and would help lessen the container ship traffic,” the Minister had said.

He noted that the East Terminal must be operated solely by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.