India on Thursday urged the Sri Lankan government to adhere to the international commitments following Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa-led government announcement that the East Container Terminal will be a “wholly-owned container terminal of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority”.
Speaking at the weekly virtual press briefing, Anurag Srivastava, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson, said that the development of infrastructure in Sri Lanka in the ports and energy sector will be beneficial to all.“The governments of India, Sri Lanka, and Japan had signed a memorandum of cooperation in May 2019 to develop and operate the East Container Terminal of Colombo port under a trilateral framework. We sincerely believe that the development of infrastructure in Sri Lanka such as in port and energy sectors will be a mutually beneficial proposition,” he said.
“Our High Commissioner in Colombo is in discussion with the government of Sri Lanka over several issues including the importance of adhering to the international commitments,” he added.
According to a report by Colombo Page, Rajapaksa, on January 31, said that the Eastern Container Terminal of the Colombo Port “will not be sold or leased out to any foreign country”.
On February 2, the Sri Lanka Cabinet of Ministers approved the government’s proposal to operate the East Container Terminal as a “wholly-owned container terminal of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority”.
As a reconciliatory move, Sri Lanka has approved the proposal to develop West Container Terminal at the same facility on a public-private partnership with Japan and India.