The Sunday Leader

Over 5000 Suspended

By Indika Sri Aravinda

Over 5,000 employees contracted by the two companies involved in the Port City Project, have been suspended from their contracts with immediate effect. The Sunday Leader learns that 5,924 workers attached to the two Chinese companies have had their contracts suspended.

A media spokesperson from the CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Limited confirmed the suspension of the contracts this week.

Accordingly, 900 Chinese and local employees attached to the China Nadar Company and 5,024 employees attached to CHEC Port City Colombo Limited have been suspended from their contracts. Officials at the Chinese companies said that they had to take the decision after the Government failed to give an assurance on recommencing the Port City project.

Sources said that 12 Sri Lankan executive level officials who worked at two floors of the Central Point Building and 12 Chinese, Swedish and American officials have also been suspended from work. When asked to comment, the Chief Sales Officer at CHEC Port City Colombo Limited, Liang Thow Ming said that the delay on the part of the Government to give the green light for work on the Port City project to resume, resulted in the decision to suspend several employees involved in the project.

The government is expected to take another nine months or even a year to decide whether they would recommence the project. The Chinese company has invested about 70 per cent of the project cost via loans. Due to abrupt suspension of the project, the relevant companies have lost approximately Rs. 500 million a day and since they have to pay for the contract companies and their employees engaged in the project work, they have decided to suspend the employees, he said. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ajith P. Perera, when contacted by The Sunday Leader, said that the government will decide on the future of the project based on the report of the Committee appointed in this regard.

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