colombo

Sri Lanka Clears Indian Investment At Another Colombo Port Terminal – Free PDF

 

 

What has happened?

  • Sri Lanka on Tuesday said it will develop the West Container Terminal (WCT) at the Colombo Port along with India and Japan,
  • In a near-360 degree policy turn from a month ago, when the two partners were ejected from a 2019 tripartite agreement,
  • To jointly develop the East Container Terminal (ECT), amid port unions’ resistance to “foreign involvement”.

 

 

Adani from Indian side

  • Briefing the media on decisions taken at Monday’s weekly Cabinet meeting, spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said, Approval had been granted to develop the WCT with investors nominated by India and Japan.
  • While India has named Adani Ports, which was earlier nominated to invest in the ECT, Japan is yet to respond, the Minister said.

About Colombo port project

  • Sri Lanka in 2019 signed a deal with India and Japan to develop a deep-sea container terminal in the country
  • That has seen increasing forays by China which has taken a strategic port on a 99-year lease that has worried New Delhi.
  • The three countries will jointly build the East Container Terminal at the Port of Colombo.
  • The Terminal Operations Company (TOC) conducting all East Container Terminal operations is jointly owned;
  • Sri Lanka retains a 51%, and the joint venture partners purchase a 49% stake.

What made Sri Lanka change its word on ECT?

  • Senior leaders of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa-led Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party said the pressure was immense on the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to cancel the 2019 agreement.
  • Even as President Gotabaya stood by the agreement with India initially in spite of a strong opposition from Colombo port trade unions during their talks, “the pressure was brewing so much that… as if he was becoming so unpopular among the people,” said a senior cabinet minister.
  • What had finally made the government surrender before trade unions was the increasing support of many more sections in the society for the protests against privatisation.
  • While there were reports and allegations among diplomatic circle that the Chinese had played a role in instigating port unions protest against India’s interest,
  • Some 223 Sri Lankan unions from different walks of life, including trade unions and civil societies groups, declared support for the port trade unions demand to cancel the ECT agreement.

Sri Lanka’s compensatory offer to India for WCT

  • Commercially, the west terminal offer is better for India as it gives 85% stake for developers of the West Terminal against the 49% in ECT.
  • And geo-politically too, West Terminal is almost the same fom the security aspect and the necessity to have a port terminal in Sri Lanka.
  • Also, West Terminal is no smaller in size or depth compared to the East Terminal.

Will there be similar protests for WCT?

  • The Sri Lanka government sources rules out chances of any further trouble on the cabinet-proposed West Terminal offer.

Its importance

  • The involvement of India and Japan in the project is being seen as a big development aimed at neutralising the growing influence of China,
  • Which has poured money into the South Asian island nation under its mammoth Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) infrastructure plan.
  • The involvement of India and Japan in the project is being seen as a big development aimed at neutralising the growing influence of China,
  • Which has poured money into the South Asian island nation under its mammoth Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) infrastructure plan.

What India is doing alternatively?

  • The Indian Government is developing deep water ports.
  • The Port of Vizhinjam and the ambitious
  • $1 billion project in Nicobar Islands will directly compete with Colombo.

Q) Arrange the following in the correct sequence of the location of sea ports of India from South to North.

  1.  Cochin
  2.  Thiruvananthapuram
  3.  Calicut
  4.  Mangalore
  1. 1-2-3-4
  2. 2-3-4-1
  3. 2-1-3-4
  4. 3-2-1-4

 

 

 

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