MR says war hampered progress

Meanwhile the Asian Devolopment Bank said that Sri Lanka can become a shipping hub with the opening of the port which will help secure maritime supply routes. President Mahinda Rajapaksa says past government sacrificed development as they focused on ending the war with the LTTE.However he says his government was able to balance both the war and development and in the end eradicated terrorism and also set in motion massive development projects. “Sri Lanka has a window of opportunity to get into and become a shipping hub with the opening of the new port with higher capacity ships coming to port,”  Rita O’Sullivan, Country Director, Sri Lanka, Asian Development Bank said.“There is Singapore and Dubai but the Indian ports can’t compete with the new port that can handle big ships with the 18,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) capacity.” The President said this after declaring open the expanded 500 million US dollar port in Colombo today. The Chinese owned Colombo International Container Terminal (CITC) in Colombo is located mid-way on the east-west sea route and has facilities on a par with Singapore and Dubai.The breakwater for the expansion was financed by the ADB. O’Sullivan was speaking at the launch of Sri Lanka’s Postgraduate Institute of Management inaugural course on public policy for business leaders, academics, researchers and government officials.