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International News

Jul 02, 2020

Sri Lanka: Trade unions attached to Colombo Port call off strike

In Sri Lanka, trade unions attached to Colombo Port have called off their strike launched earlier today after Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa promised a discussion with the unions. The unions had launched a strike  over development of Eastern Container Terminal of the port. President of the Port trade union Prasanna Kalutharage said three cranes have been left stranded due to a foreign deal which is on hold.

It is noteworthy that Srilankan government had signed a tripartite agreement last year with India and Japan for development of Eastern terminal as a joint venture. The details of the agreement is under discussion and finalization but port unions have demanded the terminal to be handled by port authority itself. Port authority chairman Daya Ratnayake has said, they are in discussion with Indian high commission in Colombo to resolve the issue.

The three cranes that have arrived, were originally meant for other terminal but port unions have demanded its installation at Eastern terminal. It may be mentioned that India accounts for around 70 percent of transshipment business at Colombo port and has expressed interest in having a stake for development of the port.

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