The President will not only be defeated at the forthcoming election due to a coterie of money-grubbers that have surrounded him but any person even remotely connected to the government will not be able to meet the public to seek votes, Ven. Prof. Medagoda Abhayatissa Thero said addressing a press conference in Colombo.

He emphasised that the East Container Terminal (ECT) in the Colombo port should not be handed over to India simply as an investment, pointing out that investment is just another term for sale.

The Thero claimed that the potential investor of the ECT, the Adani Group of India, is a company that was responsible for the downfall of the port in Mumbai.

While noting that these money-grubbers are shattering the President's reputation, he said that they will be responsible for the defeat of the incumbent government at the upcoming election.

Indian FM Dr. Jaishankar's response!

While hardline nationalistic groups led by Ven. Prof. Medagoda Abhayatissa, which played a pivotal role in bringing the Rajapaksa government back to power, are opposed to leasing out the Colombo port's ECT to India, the Indian External Affairs Minister said that they want Sri Lanka to view Indian involvement in the ECT as a Foreign Direct Investment.

Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar, who concluded an official visit recently, had told the 'Virakesari' newspaper that he is in regular contact with the Sri Lankan government regarding the implementation of the ECT project.

Dr. Jaishankar had pointed out that two-thirds of the container operations at the Colombo Port are connected to India and as such, had indicated the advantages of having India as a stakeholder of the ECT.

He had further said that India is happy about the fact that Sri Lanka is keen on developing the ECT through Indian and Japanese investments and stressed that Sri Lanka will retain 100 percent ownership, adding that India's intervention would help to strengthen the maritime and economic cooperation between the two countries.