JVP wants Govt. reveal number of Lankans employed at H’tota port

by Dasun Edirisinghe

The JVP wants the government to reveal the number of Sri Lankans employed at the Hambantota port, which was commissioned by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Nov. 18. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that the government hadn’t employed any Sri Lankans at Hambantota, though President Mahinda Rajapaksa and other government spokesmen claim the new port would solve the unemployment problem.

The Chinese built the port with their funds and it was of no use to Sri Lanka, he said. Silva said J. R. Jayewardene’s government too, had launched useless projects like the Mahaweli project. Although the then government declared that Sri Lanka could export rice to India, today the Mahaweli settlers were struggling due to lack of water.

"Mahaweli was meant to expand paddy cultivation and also to export the surplus rice, but today, we were importing rice for our consumption," he said.

Silva said that the then government planned to sell electricity generated from Mahaweli reservoirs to India. But today, Sri Lanka has to generate power from diesel and had recently signed an agreement to buy electricity from India.

The then government introduced Free Trade Zones as a solution for unemployment, but today the garment factories in the FTZs were being closed down and workers were losing their jobs, he said.

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