Trade unions threaten strike at Colombo Port over alleged foreign involvement in East Terminal

Trade unions, operating in the Colombo Port, yesterday, warned of a strike if the government did not start installing the gantry cranes imported to be used in the Colombo Harbour East Terminal, within 24 hours.

Chairman of the Sri Lanka Nidahas Sewaka Sangamaya (Harbour Branch), Prasanna Kalutharage said that the Ports Authority was not commencing operations in the East Terminal due to the influence of a foreign country.

The gantry cranes arrived on the 20th and the government had to pay Rs. 9 million as demurrage, he said. Three gantry cranes worth USD 25.7 million were purchased on June 20 for the development of the terminal.  "We have also asked the President to look into this delay. The previous government attempted to privatise the Colombo Port East Terminal and the unions have opposed the move, regardless of their political affiliation, Kalutharage said.

The Ports Authority had asked unions for 48 hours to find a solution but failed to meet the deadline, Kalutharage said. "We will not allow any government to privatise this terminal. It is the only one deep enough to take large ships," he said.

animated gif
Processing Request
Please Wait...