People of Sri Lanka foil the move towards Adani stepping into their port management

Gautam Adani, a multi-billionaire monopolist of India and stated to be very close to Prime Minister Modi, has already been in public censure in connection with thesustained farmers movement against the three farm laws and electricity amendment bill,  introduced by the BJP-led Uniongovernment, evidently and explicitly  in favour of corporates and big business houses like the Adani and  the Ambani groups.

Adani has also been in public censure in  Australia since late 2018. Tens of thousands of people of Australia, including more than 15000 school students took to street in a number of major cities against their government for allowing Adani to go for a controversial multi-billion coal mine project (thenewdaily.com.au/news/). Protests were repeated when a group of Australian spectators raised the slogan ‘Go back Adani’ in November  2020  during an international one day cricket match at Sydney between  India and Australia.

Of late, the name of Adani  has been highlighted yet on another issue, namely a national-level scam relating to an agreement made in May 2019 on the  development and operations of ECT i.e. East Container Terminal of Sri Lanka’s Port Colombo. The agreement was tripartite involving  the governments of Sri Lanka, India and Japan with 51% share for Sri Lankaand the rest 49% shares for India and Japan. While normally any major country delegates contracts of such nature to its government concerns, BJP government authorised and gifted the contract to the Adani group.

The agreement  caused a lot of stir in Sri Lanka and scores of trade unions including particularly the port workers union,along with the civil society as also opposition parties,  stood up against  private agency being thus allowed infiltration in the port dealof their country. The  firm and united  stand they maintained against privatisation of ports forced Mahinda Rajapakshe, the Sri Lankan Prime Minister  cancel the deal and  declare that so far ECT is  concerned, 100% shareholding will rest with none other than Sri Lankan port authority (SLAP) itself. The Colombo Telegraph, a prominent newspaper of Sri Lanka, exposed the intense discord on the proposal and  observed that the dubious nature of records associated with the name of the Indian company involved,  has intensified the gravity of the issue.  A number of leading newspapers of other countries have also been pointing out the nexus between the  Adani group and the BJP government. The Financial Times brought out that  the flourishing business empire of Gautam Adani  and the profit-hunger  and political reach of the group  have become a focal point of discussions   in the political-economic spheres of  the world.Asia Nikkei has published a photo of Modi-Adani duo smiling together with the tagline: “Modi risks turning India into a nation of gangster capitalists”.

The shameful example of crony capitalism and the India government’s subservience to it, is getting exposed to the world. Obviously, it is a strategic setback for  the ruling monopolists of India and their political manager, the government of India, particularly when they are  trying their best to get into confidence of the Sri Lanka government, pushing  China aside. In its typical way, the BJP government has taken care that the news of the setback do not find place in media. Unfortunately for them, people of Sri Lanka refused to digest this pill of serving the corporate interests at the cost of the interest of their country and its people. And their voice has found place in media around the world.  

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