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Sri Lanka revives port take care of India, Japan

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COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday (Jan 13) introduced the revival of an Indian and Japanese funding challenge to develop a deep-sea terminal in Colombo harbour, subsequent to a controversial US$500-million Chinese language-run container jetty.

A tripartite deal by Sri Lanka’s earlier authorities had been on maintain amid commerce union resistance, however Rajapaksa mentioned the East Container Terminal (ECT) would proceed.

Approval got here after reviewing “regional geo-political issues,” Rajapaksa’s workplace mentioned, a reference to India’s suspicion of China’s position on the identical port.

The terminal can be developed with 51 per cent possession by Sri Lanka’s authorities and the remaining 49 per cent as an funding by India’s Adani Group and different stakeholders together with Japan, officers mentioned.

The state-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) entered right into a memorandum of cooperation in Could 2019 with Sri Lanka, India and Japan to develop the ECT earlier than Rajapaksa got here to energy in November 2019.

The deep-sea jetty is situated subsequent to the Colombo Worldwide Container Terminal which is 85 per cent owned by China and was commissioned in 2013.

The SLPA owns the remaining 15 per cent.

India lodged protests when Chinese language submarines made unannounced visits to the Chinese language-managed terminal in 2014.

Since then, Sri Lanka has refused permission for additional submarine calls.

Almost 70 per cent of transhipment containers dealt with by Colombo was Indian export-import cargo.

In December 2017, Sri Lanka, unable to repay an enormous Chinese language mortgage, handed over one other deep sea port within the south of the island to a Beijing firm in a deal that raised issues at dwelling and overseas.

The US$1.12 billion deal, first introduced in July 2016, allowed a Chinese language state firm to take over the Hambantota port, which straddles the world’s busiest east-west delivery route, on a 99-year lease.

India and the US are each involved a Chinese language foothold at Hambantota, 240 kilometres south of Colombo, may give it a navy naval benefit within the Indian Ocean.

Sri Lanka has insisted its ports won’t be used for any navy functions.


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