Saturday, June 11, 2011

The scandal of the sale of land at Galle Face, Colombo

Galle Face is considered some of the most sought after land in Sri Lanka. A huge chunk of it has been sold (20acres) to three sets of people for Hotel development projects. Vast sums are involved and approximately US$150M has been paid and no one knows what the under the table amounts were to the fixers and govt. leaders for this sale. Once the facts come to light in a few years it will be too late as the rogues would have gone on to greener pastures with their loot selling this country short.

The fact that the opposition is only now harping on this when they should have made a stink a long time ago, and also the fact that they are not even aware that there are three transactions and that Shangri La are most unhappy because the final transaction has taken away the Beira view of the Shangri La is not even alluded to.

The fact that the land was sold for Rs4M acre when land is currently going for more is moot because large blocks do not always command the higher prices. The attack should have been on the sale of the land free hold or 99 year lease amount to almost the same thing. A govt which has pledged not to sell state assets is doing the very thing they promised not to in the interest of strategic investments which are given special status to be used in their propaganda.

What troubles me more is the well known amounts of bribes these companies have paid to the leaders to obtain this land which if they had not been paid would have meant that the land would not have been sold. This is the principle of bad governance that needs to be investigated more than anything else as the shortchange then is the people who have not received the full value as the bribe is part of the full value.

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