President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday officially opened South Asia’s only container terminal that can handle Triple-E vessels and the new breakwater of Colombo Port stretching 400 meters to the sea.
Delivering the keynote address, President Rajapaksa said that in the past, the country did not have full control of its ports and as a result, many foreign powers were able to invade Sri Lanka and snatch away the people’s freedom and resources.
“But the situation is now different and we have full control of our ports and we have the opportunity to develop and upgrade our ports to global demands and achieve a port-centered development,” he said.
President Rajapaksa noted that all development projects are carried out for the future generation and by 2020, the expected income from the Port of Colombo would be Rs.100 billion.
Taking a jab at those who question the rationale of launching mega development projects from investments obtained as loans, President Rajapaksa said that the government obtained loans to develop the country’s infrastructure and not for consumption requirements.
“They must realize that we have no choice but draw loans from foreign sources as we cannot postpone development,” he said. “In the presence of Somalia pirates, it is safer for ships (from the Far East to Europe) to stop over at Sri Lanka and head to Cape of Good Hope, without calling at Dubai port.”
Press Release, August 6, 2013