Seventeen Ships which had arrived at Colombo Port were turned back due to the recent protest by the port trade unions, Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said . He told Parliament that despite tremendous efforts made to bring them back to port he only managed to bring a few of them back according to Colombo based newspapers..
“I discussed with shipping agencies to bring the ships
back to the port. But, only managed to bring a few of them back,” he said.
The Minister said the protests by port employees will only result in the deviation of business from Colombo port to nearby ports in southern India “If port employees continue to protest, Colombo port will collapse while ports in countries close to us will flourish,” he said.
Industry sources here said exporters from Tamil Nadu will suffer a huge set back since they are dependent on the feeder port VOC Port Tuticorin. The Tuticorin port being a feeder port depends entirely on Colombo Port for transporting the EXIM Cargo to reach the liner vessels. Tuticorin port has no infrastructure to handle liner vessels and hence plays the role of a feeder port. With Colombo not receiving the liner vessels, the entire supply chain will now be affected says the shippers.
The industry blamed the shipping ministry for denying the transshipment port status to VOC Port after calling off the Colachel transshipment terminal project without assigning any reason. The ministry is working whole hog to implement a transshipment terminal project at Nicobar Islands.