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Port city pump and dump deal: Harsha

Criticises plan to sell land to Chinese company, says prices will fall Claims project is not FDI as Go t! will "uarantee loan from #$I% &an' (lle"es transactions )uestiona&le as company &anned &y *orld +an' in ,--.,

suspicious deals in / countries

+y 0ditha 1ayasin"he 2Fe&ruary ,3, ,-34 Pinpointin" a shoc'in" a&erration from "ood "o ernance 05P %P Dr! Harsha de 6il a yesterday laid &are what he termed a dump and pump scheme of the Go ernment concernin" the proposed 067 3!4 &illion port city project, which is to &e de eloped with a Chinese company &anned &y the *orld +an'! De 6il a termed the project Colom&o8s lar"est land scam and insisted the project would do harm to the 6ri 9an'an economy and &y e:tent the people on se eral points! He char"ed that the continental shelf to &e utilised for the project under international law &elon"ed to the country and that despite pre ious statements made &y President %ahinda ;ajapa'sa, the Go ernment was plannin" on sellin" it outri"ht to a corrupt forei"n company! <he Go ernment hopes the construction of a port city alon" the iconic shoreline of capital Colom&o with Chinese input will attract 067,-2,= &illion of forei"n in estment! Phase I of the land fillin" project is e:pected to start in the ne:t few months and will li'ely to &e completed in ,4 months while the project itself will &e completed within >. months! China Commu2nications Construction Company ?CCCC@ has come forward to in est in the land fillin" process and will ac)uire 3/- hectares from the total ,>> hectare land area! (ccordin" to the Ca&inet paper appro ed in 5o em&er the 6ri 9an'an

Go ernment will recei e the remainin" acres, which will &e up for sale for commercial or recreational purposes! 5onetheless the Ca&inet paper clearly states ,- hectares of land will &e "i en on free hold terms to the CCCC, which is sellin" land outri"ht to forei"ners! 6omethin" the President himself has pu&licly claimed he would ne er do! <he remainin" 3/- hectares will &e "i en on a ..2year lease that is almost the same as sellin"! #armar'ed as the sin"le lar"est in estment project in 6ri 9an'a, the port city is e:pected to also ha e 6ri 9an'a8s first 3--2storeyed s'yscraper under Phase II of its wor'! <his phase would include the construction of hotels, hi"h rise &uildin"s, recreational facilities, a shoppin" comple: and a "olf course as well as a F3 trac'! Howe er, de 6il a pointed out the land which would ta'e only ;s! 3!A million to de elop has &een "i en a &ase price of ;s!A million when sold! He went onto say that since the company nor the Go ernment are le"ally re)uired to stic' to the &ase price they ha e the freedom to sell the reclaimed land at whate er price they wish! <his will &rin" down the land alue drastically in Colom&o and its su&ur&s! ( perch of land in Fort is now a&out ;s!3, million &ut this cannot &e maintained when there is cheaper land a aila&le! ( era"e people with land as assets will find their alue decreasin" o erni"ht! <he Go ernment can then &uy up land cheaply in these areas or allow their cronies to do so, he accused! CCCC in the a"reement has also stipulated the Go ernment cannot reclaim land within a ,-'m radius of the port city! %oreo er, the &ul' of the fundin" for the project will not &e comin" in forei"n in estment &ut rather throu"h a loan from the #$I% +an' of China "i en to the CCCC that will &e "uaranteed &y the Go ernment of 6ri 9an'a! Challen"in" the "o ernment to pro e him wron" Dr! de 6il a emphasised that CCCC su&sidiary company China Har&our #n"ineerin" Company ?CHHC@ has &een &anned &y the *orld +an' in ,--. and after &ein" cau"ht in a strin" of corruption scandals in ol in" the Philippines, %alaysia, +an"ladesh, 1amaica, Guyana, Papua 5ew Guinea and 0"anda! <he &an will only &e lifted in ,-3/! CHHC has &een found "uilty of artificially increasin" prices of roads &uilt in the Philippines as well as fraud while underta'in" a ,> 'm &rid"e project in %alaysia where they were tried in court! (n official they &ri&ed with 067 3!A million while &uildin" the Chitta"on" har&our in +an"ladesh was sent to prison! Financial discrepancies ha e also popped up in a 067 4--m hi"hway in 1amaica, 067 3=million airport in Guyana and most recently accusations of corruption ha e &e"un emanatin" from a 067 >=- road in 0"anda! <his is the country the Go ernment has pic'ed! <his company &uilt the Ham&antota

har&our and has now &een "i en its e:tension, they &uilt the %attala (irport and in 6eptem&er was "i en a 067 3-- m deal to e:pand it, they &uilt the 6outhern #:pressway from Pinnaduwa to %atara and ha e now &een "i en the last section up to Ham&antota! <his is also the company that was "i en the Colom&o 6outh Har&our #:tension Project! %ost of these entures were "i en after ,--. so the Go ernment 'new full well this was a &anned company, he e:plained! He added that the 05P had ta'en the company in "ood faith and was unaware of how deep the issues ran until a day a"o! *e will do e erythin" that we can to stop this sweetheart deal! *e will consult with our lawyers! *e will sta"e this fi"ht in Parliament, the Courts and outside! *hen a 05P Go ernment comes into power we will cancel all these odious deals, includin" the unfair, corrupt loans ta'en! Ca&inet 6po'esman and %edia %inister Beheliya ;am&u'wella dismissed the claims as statements, )uippin" that a 05P Go ernment will not happen durin" our lifetime! Casino links explained In a spin-off statement, UNP MP Harsha de Silva questioned how JHU member Udaya ammanpila !ould not be aware of "efen!e Ministry Se!retary otabaya #a$apa%sa&s lin% to !asinos as they were bein' built on Urban "evelopment (uthority )U"(* land+ ,uestionin' who was 'ivin' (ussie 'amin' mo'ul James Pa!%er and #an% Holdin's land to build a mi-ed development pro$e!t, "r+ de Silva quoted from website postin's on the !ompanies that still detail the openin' of a !asino even thou'h the overnment has insisted the provision was removed from the 'a.ette notifi!ation+ /laimin' he would spea% on the issue at a future point, he re!alled that Pa!%er&s !asino had to !han'e its desi'n on the order of #a$apa%sa as well+ Posted b

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