The Samagi Jana Balawegaya has rejected the statement made by Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila claiming 85 tanks out of 99 tanks formerly under the control of India will now be vested with Sri Lanka through the agreement to develop the Trincomalee Oil Tank Complex.
Speaking during a media briefing this morning, National Organizer of the SJB Parliamentarian Tissa Attanayake said the entire Oil Tank Complex has been handed over to India for 50 years under the guise of an investment.
MP Attanayake said all 99 Oil Tanks belonged to the government of Sri Lanka out of which 14 tanks were leased out to the Lanka IOC until the end of 2022.
The Parliamentarian said the government would have retained ownership of the entire Oil Tank Complex by the end of the lease term, claiming however Minister Gammanpila signed it over to India for a term of 50 years.
He said some individuals are arguing that then-Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and then-Sri Lankan President JR Jayewardene entered into an agreement regarding the Oil Tanks through the 1987 Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord adding however they only entered into an understanding.
On a separate note, MP Attanayake charged the present administration of taking steps to declare open projects including the Colombo Port City in order to distract the public from prevailing issues faced by the country.
He said the main concern of the citizens are hunger and sources of income collapsing, adding the government instead of finding solutions are attempting to create a façade of achieving great feats of development.
The Parliamentarian said there is no guarantee that the public will benefit from any of the deals based on Port City adding it may take over 40 years for the development of the Port City to be completed.
MP Attanayake said only a few local investment firms had come forward to invest in the project adding there is no sign of leading international investment firms showing any interest in investing in the Colombo Port City.