30 September, 2022


Chandra Wants Answers On US Dollars 1,300 Million ‘Colombo Port City’ Deal

Good governance activist and former Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Chandra Jayaratne has written to the Minister of Investment Promotion requesting clarifications on the US Dollars 1,300 million Sri Lanka – China Colombo Port city deal.

Chandra Jayaratne

Chandra Jayaratne

His letter to the Minister in full is found below:

7th February 2014

Hon. Minister of Investment Promotion,

Ministry of Investment Promotion,

Levels 25 & 26, West Tower,

World Trade Center,

Echelon Square,

Colombo 1.

Dear Mr. Minister,

Clarifications Re; Gazette Notice Issued under Strategic Development Projects Act No.14 of 2008 on 24th January 2014- No. 1846/51

I kindly refer you to the gazette notice issued by you, dated 24th January, 2014, in terms of Section 3(2) of the Strategic Development Projects Act, in connection with the proposed project for the development of Colombo Port City in two phases for the construction of wave protection breakwater, land reclamation, ground improvement, revetment, canals to connect seawater, artery roads, utilities with a total investment of US Dollars 1,300 million, which is said to bring significant economic and social benefits to the country, by creating 233 Hectares of new land and attracting strategic importance in view of, the new land, inflow of foreign investments, potential employment and foreign exchange generation and changing the landscape of the country. Your attention is further drawn to the Annex detailing extracts from the Sri Lanka Ports Authority Web and the Sunday Times.

The relevant gazette notice names the Project Company as CHEC Port City Colombo (Private) Ltd, and is expected to commence commercial operations within 8 years from the date of the Project Agreement signed with the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka.

In order that the citizens of Sri Lanka can assess the long term socio economic benefits to the nation and the people of Sri Lanka, as publicly declared by you, arising consequent to this project and ensure that there are no apparent or contingent risks to the nation and its people, National Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity, Constitutional Commitments / Rights and Freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution of Sri Lanka, (especially in the preamble and Articles  (1), (3), (4) and ( 5) in Chapter I, Article (26) in chapter V and Articles 118 to 147 in Chapter XVI) and the associated Legal and Judicial Structure and Systems of Sri Lanka, I would be most grateful if you will kindly, transparently clarify the under noted issues, at your earliest convenience;

  1. What overarching steps the government has taken to safeguard the Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity, and Constitutional Commitments / Rights and Freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution of Sri Lanka, especially in the preamble and Articles  (1), (3), (4) and ( 5) in Chapter I, Article (26) in chapter V and Articles 118 to 147 in Chapter XVI and the associated legal and judicial structure and systems of Sri Lanka, in regard to the proposed new project for the development of the Colombo Port City;
  2. Assurance that the Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity of Sri Lanka will prevail  and be preserved over the new land area covered by the proposed new project for the development of the Colombo Port City in line with the provisions of the Constitution of Sri Lanka and in terms of International Law, and a further assurance that any such rights will not in any manner or form vest in full or in part in the Project Company, Associate Company or in any other third party as the creator, contractor, by agreement of otherwise;
  3. Assurance that the freedoms and rights of citizens of Sri Lanka will prevail in the entirety of the new land area covered by the proposed new project for the development of the Colombo Port City exclusively;
  4. Assurance that the Common Law and Equity of Sri Lanka and the judicial structure and systems of Sri Lanka will exclusively apply and prevail in regard to the new land area and operations covered by the proposed new project for the development of the Colombo Port City;
  5. Assurance that within the new land area covered by the proposed new project for the development of the Colombo Port City, or any defined zone within such land area, no exclusivity of property rights will vest in any party, persons or body of persons who are not citizens of Sri Lanka;
  6. Assurance that all statutes, laws and regulations of Sri Lanka, including statutes, laws and regulations of Sri Lanka imposing any specific restrictions of ownership or operations or conduct of business will not be waived or disregarded in application and regulation, in favour of the Project Company, any Associate Company or any third party, person or body of persons, unless otherwise so specifically provided for in the said statutes, laws and regulations of Sri Lanka;
  7. Assurance that by any agreement, contact or proposal duly accepted by the Government or any agency of Government or any officer of Government, including the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, no specific or general exemptions, concessions or specific incentives have been granted in general or specific terms to the Project Company or any other party associated with the Colombo Port City development, outside of the exemptions set out in the schedule to the Gazette Notice No; 1846/51 of 24th January 2014, and especially in regard to in regard to the following
  • Grant of permanent residency commitments to persons engaging in business, owning, leasing or otherwise occupying any houses, apartments, offices constructed within the proposed new project for the development of the Colombo Port City, with or without the right for future citizenship application;
  • Grant of exemption from any restrictions as regards property ownership, leasing, or rent purchase outside of the laws, regulations applying to such ownership or leasing, or rent purchase, within the city of Colombo;
  • Grant of exemption from any statutes, laws or regulation applying to operation of any business, trade, commerce, services, or the practice of any profession or any vocation within the city of Colombo; 
  1. The justification and rationale supporting the approval by the Cabinet of the covered project, classified as a “Strategic Development Project” in the national interest  and which is likely to bring economic and social benefits to the Country and which is likely to change the landscape of the country, primarily through
  • Strategic importance to the goods and services of benefit to the public;
  • Substantial inflow of foreign exchange to the country;
  • Substantial employment generation ;
  • Enhancement of income earning opportunities;
  • Transformation in terms of technology.” 
  1. Publicly make available, the undernoted agreements, reports and any associated documentation in regard to the proposed new project for the development of the Colombo Port City;
  • The Agreement signed by the Project Company with the Board of Investments of Sri Lanka;
  • The proposals made by the Project Company, or any Associate Company or any other Person(s) in regard to the balance phases forming a part of the proposed Colombo Port City Development, as described in the official announcement published in the Sri Lanka Ports Authority Website (Annex A)
  1. Publicly make available the undernoted reports, analysis and any associated documentation in regard to the proposed new project for the development of the Colombo Port City ,n order that the public can assess the;
  • Long Term Net National Cost Benefit
  • Long Term Net Foreign Exchange Profitability
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Sources from where sand and other land fill materials will be sourced for the proposed project construction

Kindly note that his intervention is made, in a spirit of democratic engagement, in pursuit of the promotion of transparency and good governance Sri Lanka.

Your early public response will be gratefully appreciated.

Yours Sincerely,

Chandra Jayaratne

Cc; Hon. Minister of Finance & Planning,

Hon. Minister of Ports and Highways,

Hon Minister of Economic Development

Secretary to H.E the President,

Secretary, Ministry of Finance & Planning,

Secretary, Ministry of Ports & Highways,

Secretary, Ministry of Economic Development,

Secretary, Ministry of Investment Promotion,

Secretary, Ministry of Justice,

Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development,

Chairman, Board of Investments of Sri Lanka,

Chairman, Sri Lanka Ports Authority,

Chairman, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce,

Chairman, Bar Association of Sri Lanka,

Chairman, Sri Lanka Economic Association

President, Organisation of Professional Associations

Editors of Media Institutions, for Public Information

Annex A


SLPA confirms commencement of US$ 15bn Port City Project


“Accordingly, approximately 230 hectares, that is nearly 575 acres, of water front sheltered by the new breakwater will be reclaimed at an investment of approximately US$ 900 million by a foreign investor. The plan has been given approval by the Standing Cabinet Appointed Review Committee (SCARC). At the recently concluded international Seatrade Conference and Exhibition at the Hilton hotel in Colombo, Dr.Priyath B.Wickrama – Chairman of SLPA emphasized that the area will be developed as a port city with roads, water, electricity, communication facilities to set up shopping areas, water sports area, mini golf course, hotels, apartments, recreation areas, marinas and with a lot more additions that would develop the area as a modern city.

“These innovations will not only change the geography and outlook of Sri Lanka, but also extend immense strength to the government’s efforts to ensure continuity and dedication towards realizing the goal of making Sri Lanka, the most competitive and preferred maritime and logistic center in the Asian region,” the SLPA said.



Colombo Port City project gets underway from China with love

Sri Lanka has finalised a deal with a Chinese company to build a port city on 230 hectares (568 acres) of reclaimed land on the sea adjacent to the Colombo South harbour and Colombo’s historic Galle Face Green seafront, officials said.

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has signed the agreement with China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) and construction will begin by September, a senior official of SLPA said adding that they plan to complete the land reclamation within 39 months.

The US$15 billion Colombo Port city is to be built by reclaiming the sea water front sheltered by the new breakwater at an investment of $1.43 billion, he added.

“The Chinese company CCCC will invest in reclaiming the land and infrastructure of the port city,” he revealed.

This company will be given around 50 hectare of reclaimed land on a 99-year lease for its investment, he revealed.

The Sunday Times was the first to report on the plan to reclaim the sea to build a port city in a deal with Chinese company in its issue on June 26, 2011 but the proposal was soon after suspended on a directive from the top and a Standing Cabinet Appointed Review Committee was asked to review the whole process before giving approval to the project.

The SLPA will oversee the reclamation project which will be divided into three segments — business, residential and leisure, officials said.

A mini-golf course, a Formula One race track, a small yacht marina and areas for water sports will be created.

The feasibility study and an environmental impact assessment conducted by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and the Moratuwa University have been completed.

Port Authority officials said the Lanka Hydraulic Institute (LHI) has provided hydrographic and modelling services.

Construction work will be carried out under the supervision of the Urban Development Authority, the Colombo Municipality, relevant ministries and the Archaeological Department.

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Latest comments

  • 5

    The reclaimed land will be leased back to China for 99 years.
    During this period only Chinese law and Chinese sovereignty will prevail in this 50 Hectares of new land.I suspect entire 233 hectares may come under Chinses Sovereignty

    Only Chinese national will be allowed inside this, Sri Lankans may need visa to enter this new port city.

    Sri Lanka may have no say on what goes on inside this 50hetares.
    Chinese may develop Nucler capability here to point towards India.

    Probably China may have the ight to defend this land against foreign intruders such as USA, India, etc.

    This means Chinese troops and Chinese armaments on Sri Lankan Soil

    After 99 years if Sri Lanka is unable to pay back the 1.3billion with the exhorbitan interest rate China may have the right to declare Chinese territory permanently and may annexe Hambantota Port and Airport to this.

    We are in for good times

    As India may decide to walk in to NE and establish an Indian stronghold Tamil Eelam.

    So Sri Lanka may end up India Backed Tamil Eelam to counter a small Chinse island; Chinese Eelam(so to speak) in Sri Lankan soil

    • 1

      India won’t do anything because they are outmatched by China. What India will do is look to the US and the West for support, and ultimately if the West decides SL can not host Chinese military then SL can not.

    • 6

      This Chandra Jayaratne is a bloody joker,instead of talking nonsense, he should have just asked how much commission Rajapakses got from this damn deal.

      He didn’t do it because his UNP is also same in this commission job.

      • 9

        he is not talking nonsense, he is making some valid points. You and I wont be here when the 99 years lease expires, the next generation will be under Chinese rule.

      • 2


        Hek..hek..hek… Bloody [Edited out]

      • 1


        Hek..hek..hek… Bloody [Edited out]

    • 2


      You have said a mouthful. The fact that MARA fool was not allowed to hoist the rag called Lion Flag in the opening of the port saga speaks volumes about what would happen to this country and the stupid bastards in this country.

      • 0

        Don’t make it sound like you care about this country or it’s people. Are you Jealous that in another 10 years time Sri Lanka will have an international level port city? Afraid that if Sri Lanka progresses your mythical eelam project will fall apart?

        • 4

          yes as international as Hambantota Air Port and Harbour.

        • 4

          Sri Lanka is not going to progress with Rajapaksa at the helm, it will only give the appearance of progress with public projects, but in the end it’s all just liptick on a pig.

    • 0

      “Probably China may have the right to defend this land against foreign intruders such as USA, India, etc”

      And finally against Sri Lanka……

  • 2

    One more open letter. Is there any private correspondence in SL anymore??

    Someone has to explain to these open letter writers that everyone other than the intended recipient, end up reading these letters.

    Also a dash of vanity. Leaving most people wondering if these open letters are more for sprucing up the writers credentials than to provoke some kind reaction from the recipient.

  • 7

    The guy is wasting his words. The questions are too complicated; nobody will understand them. If he is so concerned he should have applied himself for a seat in the House or marry a medamukalana damsel. MARA and his family will do what they want, and dont care what ever questions asked by anybody. There is no law and order in the country, so what is the point in asking legal questions, when no law exists in the country except MARA’s whims. Sri Lanaka is a stage and the actors are the FAMILY, we are just the audience, clap or hoot whatever take your fancy!

  • 5

    “The SLPA will oversee the reclamation project which will be divided into three segments — business, residential and leisure, officials said.

    A mini-golf course, a Formula One race track, a small yacht marina and areas for water sports will be created”

    Rich Foreigners and Locals have some fun
    For the ordinary citizen he may have none
    He may see and watch from a distance
    But nothing more for his humble existence

    His land taken over by the UDA
    His home demolished by the MOD.
    Citizen Silva must pay for it.
    Citizen Rajapakse makes money out of it.

    • 0

      Lol go to soviet cuba with your revolutions if you don’t like the rising Sri Lanka

  • 2

    Look here you old fool! If you and other like you had paid the same level of diligence to solving the Tamil problem we would not be in this mess today. All your ports – both vental and portal – will be worth nothing unless you sort out the political mess we are in, do you get that?

  • 2

    Hats off to you CJ! Keep up your excellent work!
    Would indeed be interesting to see the ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF THIS proposed project and its assessment of potential coastal erosion in other parts of the county given wave patterns.

    This is especially because Chinese so-called “development” projects thus far have been WHITE ELEPHANTS which place a huge DEBT burden on the country and the Sri Lanka tax payer who pays for the Chinese LOAN funds, most of which go into the pockets of Rajapaksa brothers, sons and cronies given lack of transparency.
    The Hambantota Port and Airport whose loan repayments and maintenance is astronomical are HUGE WIHTE ELEPHANTS. And of course there is the always breakdown Noroccholai Coal Power Plant.

    We understand that building a Fomula 1 Race track is the reason for the rush to reclaim land from the sea – so that Rajapaksa sons can race their lambubughinis… Is this a national development priority? There is plenty of empty land in and around Colombo for urban expansion so why is there need for reclaiming land from the sea, with potential of massive environmental damage to other parts of the coast line, built environment and wildlife – most of the land which will be gifted to dubious Chinese companies and the rest of the land shared by the Rajapaksa family military dictatorship, junta and cronies?
    Environmental groups are concerned with environmental impact assessments since other parts of the coast of Sri Lanka will be VULNERABLE to erosion when new land is accumulated at one point.

    • 2

      “There is plenty of empty land in and around Colombo for urban expansion so why is there need for reclaiming land from the sea,..”

      Chinese wnat access to the sea …another pearl in thei “string of pearl” defence strategy

      • 0

        There are plenty of land in colombo but they are been occupied by illegal settlers and when those settlements are been cleared it is the same people who make that into conspiracy theories of chasing away minorities.

        You don’t see the problem with you don’t you? You have so many criticism but zero solutions.

  • 6

    CBK spent over 8000 mil on a Presidential Palace abutting the present Parliament which foundation is over grown with shrubs today. I will not be surprised if this Port City too end up in the same manner.

    This Priyath Wickrema Chairman of Ports Authority after printing Posters of MR at the last Presidential Election, mortgaging his family Jewellery was allowed to rob by MR to redeem same. A man who had no wealth to call his own, not very long ago, today is a Billionaire thanks to MR. I do not know about a Port City but this type of Character certainly will line his pockets well. Way to go Sri Lanka.

    • 0

      It’s like the corruption during the 17 years of UNP rule isn’t it. Can you recall JR cancelling the General Election in favor of a referendum so that he could remain in power? What would you say if MR did the same?

      • 2

        MR is not that stupid , he knows the art of winning every election , lets see how your king is going to win the next presidential election with the 17 th Amendment !
        Remember how Modawansa ( even if Gen SF won , he can’t be the president ) gave a live interview during the last presidential election , you guys call it free and fair election ???

      • 2

        Teller donkey,

        JR cancelled GE for a purpose to develop the country and not to rob it like your joker MARA. Had JR continued further without allowing RP fool this country would have been in better shape today. Indian [Edited out] s too are responsible for this situation.

      • 2


        For your information, JR, Ranil nor any previous UNP leader robbed this country as R. Premadasa, CBK and the Tsunami Hora MR has done. So please do not try to compare chalk and Cheese.

  • 2


    Unfortunately , you a lone crusader in the wilderness . To make an impact , you might have to consider aligning yourself with a group of persons who have the best interests of the country at heart . Politics ?

  • 0

    The bigots brag about the ports cities, highways and what not of other countries when we have nothing. But when we start building something they criticize and make up conspiracy theories out of them.

    Our enemies getting alarmed and frustrated means we are on the right path.

  • 1

    No need to worry about Chinese invasions…. Our ‘brave soldiers’ will eliminate anyone! They are only afraid of the ‘Diplomatic kind’ in Geneva!!

  • 1

    Who cares what Chandra thinks. Who the hell he is!

    Govt. is not obliged to give him answers. Just go jump in the Natthikaddal lake.

  • 0

    Hope china has not a single soldier in our an Island.
    This proposed project not going to undermine sovereignty or democracy or independence of our soil. Developing nation like us, that we want such a projects to boots enterprise ventures economic revitalization national economy of SL.
    We have to think clearly about how proposed projects is essential tools can be improved and divercification of national economy as whole.
    New structure of projects of these decisions-making and always in which measure progress that towards goals that have a profound influence future economic that we will actually create.
    By making new venture of economical projects that new choice in favor of growth and rapid progress of build New National economic an opportunity for all Sri Lankan, irrespective race religion and party politics.
    Chandara Jayartahns has omitted his UNP-orthodox political views now is the time being Look for better economic growth with new vision economic PERSPECTIVES. Capitalism is created adverse growth that it will seeds for rampant corruption in society is natural phenomena.

  • 0

    [Edited out]

  • 0

    BRACE YOURSELF….the white van is on its way….

  • 0

    Thank you Chandra Jayaratne. Fine letter. Yours is a lone voice, but let us hope there is somebody in this government who will examine closely the implications of the many points you have emphasised in the interest of the citizens of this country. The interest taken by you is greatly appreciated by the real patriots.

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