Written by Staff Writer
03 Jan, 2020 | 9:13 pm
Colombo (News 1st): Criticism was raised about the possibility of a Singapore mixed project in Colombo. The National People’s Council today revealed that the project is being implemented by the parent company of the Shangri-La Hotel project.
Convener of the National People’s Council Chameera Perera noted that this government’s first FDI is the 3 acres land located near the Shangri-La hotel and the land was sold for $250 million to Perennial Real Estate Holdings Limited. He pointed out that this company’s parent company is based in Singapore.
He questioned; “Do such transactions take place in a transparent manner? Were tenders called for? Were such transactions discussed? Who were part of the discussions?” He stressed that no one knows anything and no one knows who sold it. He said this is the same company that did the Shangri-la project, but they are representing themselves under a different name.
Perera said it’s the same company that has taken over some of the most valuable properties in Colombo. He asked where is Wimal Weerawansa, Vasudeva Nanayakkara and Udaya Gammnpila who once shouted that national assets were being sold to private entities.
Meanwhile, UNP MP Ashok Abeysinghe noted that they said not to purchase any property during our regime, claiming if they come to power, they will reclaim such assets and against such a backdrop, the present government has provided a 3-acre land to a subsidiary of the Shangri-La Hotel, without any tender process. He said previously, they engaged in such transactions, in the form of unsolicited proposals, without any tender process, and now they are doing the same thing. He believes they are doing the complete opposite of what they pledged to the public.
UNP MP Thalatha Atukorale also commenting on the issue noted that when the Hambantota port was given out on lease, they said it was sold and those who believed them, are the ones who voted for them. She believes that a proper response should be provided for this, starting from the leader.
Making a statement in this regard UNP MP Mujibur Rahuman noted that it’s been less than one month since they came to power and just like the former army headquarters, they have given out some of the most valuable properties in this country. He noted that it is clear that they have started their old tricks.
During the cabinet briefing this afternoon, Co cabinet spokesperson Minister Ramesh Pathirana responded to these statements.
Min. Ramesh Pathirana: These agreements were formed by the previous government. It is actually a lease agreement. The agreement is not an outright sale. This was a decision taken during the previous regime.
Journalist: Will the agreement be enforced as it is?
Min. Bandula Gunawardane: As a policy, it is important to promote foreign direct investments. Privatizing state property is not President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s policy. We will continue to lease. Once the leasing period is over, the ownership of the property or land will remain with the government.
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