A cabinet paper highlighting several serious issues that would surface by handing over Hambanthota Harbour to a Chinese had been presented to the cabinet by then acting Minister of Ports and Shipping Affairs Nishantha Muthuhettigamage. It was presented to cabinet on 3rd November, 2016.
The cabinet paper warns that the Chinese investor would get the majority control of the company and the company would get complete control of Hambantota Harbour.
It was also stated that the new company would get all the incomes that Ports Authority had received by supplying various services and the Ports Authority would get only the lighthouse maintenance allowance.
The most serious issue that would surface by handing over Hambanthota Habour to a foreign company is mentioned in No. 9 of the cabinet paper and it states, “Harbours should be considered as an important part of national security and considering past experiences the complete control of a harbour should be with the government. As such, handing over Hambanthota Harbour that is situated strategically close to main sea routes would be a threat to national security of the country”.
Mr. Nishantha Muthuhettigamage has also made an entry to the cabinet paper stating that he presents the cabinet paper as the acting Minister of Ports and Shipping Affairs, he discussed with the Minister of Ports and Shipping Affairs Arjuna Ranatunga and he had given his approval to present the cabinet paper.