Colombo, Apr 12: According to a report by a national news agency, India and Sri Lanka will be jointly operating the oil storage facility at the strategic eastern port town of Trincomalee, The petroleum minister previously had presented a Cabinet paper last year for the joint venture and he, on Wednesday, said negotiations were still underway on the matter.
He also said the Indian interests in the oil storage tanks date back to 2003 when the entire 99 operational tanks were given to Indian Oil Corporation under an agreement.
Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa had recently said the government plans to give the Hambantota port to China, and the Trincomalee and the Jaffna ports to India and the US respectively.
Reportedly, Sri Lanka is said to owe China about USD 8 billion for loans obtained by the Rajapaksa regime between 2005 and 2015.
The Sirisena government hopes to recover USD 1.2 billion by leasing the Hambantota port and the adjacent industrial park to be set up by China. PTI