Reneging on a 2019 agreement with India and Japan, Sri Lanka has decided to develop the strategic East Container Terminal (ECT) at the Colombo Port on its own.
The Sri Lankan government would instead offer the West Container Terminal to India for possible investments, a senior government source told The Hindu.
The decision was taken at Monday’s Cabinet meeting helmed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, when members “unanimously” agreed to proposals submitted by the Minister of Ports and Shipping, the source said.
It comes amid mounting pressure from Port union workers against any foreign role or investment in the ECT project, where nearly 70% of the transhipment business is linked to India.
Asked about the development, a senior Indian source said: “We would hope that Sri Lanka does not unilaterally decide on this matter, as there is a tripartite agreement on it.”