COLOMBO: Opposition and civic groups have heavily opposed the government’s proposed joint venture with India’s Adani Group on the operations of the Colombo Port’s East Container Terminal.

“This is a betrayal of the people’s mandate,” Ven. Magalkande Sudantha Thero, the general secretary of the Nawa Sinhala Rawaya National Organization told reporters on Friday.

“We would like to ask the government to stop selling our national resources to foreign entities”.

Opposition lawmaker Mujibur Rahman pointed out that the involvement of an Indian entity contravenes with the government’s repeated pledges to prioritize local companies in projects.

“Isn’t there a local investor who can invest USD 500 million?” the Samagi Jana Balawegaya parliamentarian queried.

A former parliamentarian also raised concerns over the involvement of the Adani Group that has been surrounded by controversy amidst protests by Indian farmers over proposed amendments to farm laws.

“It is the Adani Group responsible for the death of 21 Indian farmers, that is attempting to run the operations of the Colombo Port,” Saman Ratnapriya told media.

He pointed out that the Colombo Port’s East Container Terminal generates annual revenue of USD 400 million. “They are giving this profit to India on a silver platter,” Ratnapriya noted.