Jan 06, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has organized demonstrations against the government's deal with a Chinese company to manage the idling southern port in Hambantota.
The Ceylon Ports General Employees Union (CPGEU), a JVP-affiliated trade union attached to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) protested the government's move raising black flags throughout the Colombo Port as well as at the ports in Hambantota, Galle and Trincomalee today.
The union opposes the government's plan to hand over an 80 percent stake of the Hambantota Port to the Chinese company to operate and also the hand over 15,000 acres of land in the South to Chinese companies for investments.
The JVP also organized a demonstration and a rally at Ambalantota yesterday (5th) under the theme "Hands off Hambanthota Harbor & people's lands".
Meanwhile, CPGEU plans to stage another protest on Monday at the country's main ports wearing black arm bands.
The Deputy General Secretary of the union warned the government that they will continue the protests until the government backs out of the deal with the Chinese companies.
He said the government is attempting to turn Hambantota into a Chinese colony by handing over 15,000 acres of land and the union will not allow such measures.
"We will continue with our protest until it abandons its plans to sign the agreement giving over control of the Hambantota Port to the Chinese," the union official said.
Issuing a press release yesterday the Government Information Department said it is a "blatant lie" to say that 15,000 acres in Hambantota will be handed over to China as different investors from different countries will arrive to the industrial, technological and tourism zones constructed under the Southern Development Plan.