A special media briefing was held at the office of the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, General Daya Ratnayake. The Chairman commented on the current situation of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.
There is a lot of controversy these days about the Eastern Terminal of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority. There is a lot of talk these days that the Eastern Terminal will be handed over to another foreign company, Adani India.
With this situation, the government has appointed two committees. The committees will consider the situation and issue a special report today, February 01. The report will be handed over to the Minister of Ports and Shipping and will be published by the Minister.
General Daya Ratnayake, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, stated:
“I hope we are able to face this situation very optimistically by now. The Hon. Minister is scheduled to address the Cabinet tomorrow regarding this Eastern Terminal. As the Chairman of the Ports Authority, I responsibly state that it will be resolved in a very positive manner.
I responsibly state that this situation created by a situation created by the previous government, especially after entering into a Memorandum of Understanding with the international community, will create some problems and will be addressed through appropriate procedures.
am confident that the Government will approve the report we have submitted to the Government based on the views of all parties, including the Trade Unions of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, on the need to operate the Eastern Terminal under the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.
Accordingly, fulfilling all our expectations, the Eastern Terminal will be able to operate under the Sri Lanka Ports Authority. That is the expectation of the entire Ports Authority. I would like to state that the management of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, all employees and all trade unions have worked together to maintain the Eastern Terminal under the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.
As the Chairman of the Ports Authority, I am confident that this issue will not be handed over to Adani or any other company, but will continue to be maintained by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority as the Eastern Terminal was maintained. It is expected to continue to operate the Eastern Terminal under the auspices of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.
The Eastern Terminal is a project to be completed by 2017. However, the darkest period of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority will be in 2015-2017. No development took place during that time. It is a pity that even some of the most enthusiastic parties today do not raise their voices during this time. The great delay in this dark period has had a profound effect on our business.
We also have a problem with port capacity at the moment. This caused a huge loss to the port as well as the country. To avoid this conflict, we must urgently come to a resolution on the Eastern Terminal. That is why steps were taken to carry out container operations at the Eastern Terminal last October, even though the Eastern Terminal did not have the optimal level of granary cranes.
I interpret working properly in the right way as working to the letter. Therefore, I look forward to the outstanding contribution of all employees. As the Chairman of the Ports Authority, I will continue to support the trade unions in resolving any issues that may arise.
If any party seeks to disrupt the functioning of the port, it will be a decisive factor affecting not only the port but the country as a whole. I am therefore confident that they will play their role as responsible trade unions.”