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231, Kurala Road, Colombo 5, Sri Lanka. Tel: 0777791663/0770381944 Fax: 0382236228
7th February 2017
H E the President Maithipala Sirisena
MEDIA REPORTS ON A PURPORTED HAND OVER OF THE TRINCOMALEE PORT
We wish to draw your kind attention to the recent report carried by “The Hindu” (give the date, pls…) commenting on an interview held with the Minister Sarath Fonseka of Sri Lanka, in which he is reported to have mentioned that negotiations were being undertaken to hand-over Trincomalee Port to India. This report, we believe, has to be taken serious because it was reported a few days later that the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe also has echoed similar intents by the Government.
We were surprised and shocked to read these reports for a number of reasons, which we wish to submit for your perusal, as follows :
- We are unaware of any “decision” taken by the Cabinet of Ministers to hand-over of Trincomalee Port to India, or even to entertain an idea of that sort. If our understanding regarding this non-availability of cabinet approval is correct, any negotiation in this regard, pursued by any authority or individual, is ultra vires.
- Therefore, if any such discussions have effectively been pursued without proper approval, then we urge your good self to take stern action against those who commit this irregularity, which in effect is a gross violation of Good Governance platform on which you sought mandate of the people of Sri Lanka on Jan 8, 2015.
- However, if what Minister Sarath Fonseka has mentioned, and reportedly reiterated later by the Prime Minister, is incorrect, you would have no other alternative than removing them from their respective offices for making false statements regarding the executive action of this Government.
- Trincomalee is a “strategic location” and the Trincomalee Harbour is an important “strategic asset” which Sri Lanka should deploy for our nation’s interests, and not to be handed over to India or to any other foreign country for their benefits. Therefore, we consider it pawning our future generations and their rights and privileges, if the Cabinet of Ministers has already granted approval for such negotiations with India. This is because the Government being the custodian of these national and natural assets on behalf of the public and their future generations, should (a) not consider alienation of the nation’s vital assets and locations, (b) not put the country’s safety and national security at risk by having a foreign power managing a strategic location such as Trincomalee Port. Therefore, we, as members of patriotic national organizations, request you to take these media reports very seriously, and to intervene and prevent any such nationally detrimental proposal being mooted.
- If this does not happen, we will have no option than mobilizing nationalist forces against any such move, in view of safeguarding the country’s national interests.
Dr. Anula Wijesundara Lt Col. Anil Amarasekara (Retired)
National Joint Committee