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Land grabbing in Sri lanka

Written By Freedam to the nation resettlement of IDPs on Monday, August 5, 2013 | 1:36 AM

The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Mysterious company with Chinese connections gets Maradana land

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Controversial state-owned Colombo land deals for mega projects are continuing with lesser known developers grabbing the contracts, opposition parliamentarians alleged.
UNP MP and Economist, Dr. Harsha de Silva revealed in parliament on Thursday details of a recent government decision to lease a valuable 29-acre property in Maradana belonging to the Railway Department to Chelina NEB Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd, a company with onlythree shareholders and a share capital of Rs. 30.
How can such a company develop this land worth over Rs.4.7 billion?” he questioned in parliament.
One of the directors of the company is Lolitha Abeysinghe who has high political connections, DNA MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake informed parliament.
Dr. De Silva noted that the value of the total investment for the first phase of development of the property amounted to US$ 1.3 billion. “How can such large investments happen without anyone knowing about it?” he asked.
According to the Cabinet Memorandum 13/0949/561/011, the land owned by the Railway Department is being handed over to the Chelina NEB Lanka on lease.
Chelina NEB is to commence the special project development and financial centre with assistance from Dubai’s national engineering bureau and China’s Syno Hydro Corporation Ltd, officials said.
The feasibility study has been carried out by PriceWaterhouse Coopers in 2010 and the Railway has already given its consent to hand over the land making way for a financial centre in the area, Investment Promotion Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena disclosed.
The project envisages the construction of 490 service apartments, 350 high end hotel rooms and 400 standard hotel rooms.
The cabinet has also been made aware that an office complex and a business centre would also be set up under the project.
The project proposal revealed that an investment of US$ 350 million would be made in the country within a 2-year period.

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