17 August, 2022

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Colombo Night Races – Should Citizens Be Concerned?

By Visakha Tillekeratne

While at least 500 railway crossings remain unprotected, countless villages in Sri Lanka remain without access roads and another large number of the citizenry have very meagre means of transport, the glamorous second edition of the Colombo Night Races will be held here in Colombo on the  14th and 15th December 2012 – Today and tomorrow.

The event will be conducted collaboratively by Carlton Motor Sports Club (CMSC), the Asian Motor Racing Club (AMRC) and the Sri Lanka Motor Cycle Club (SLMCC). Qualification round of the event will be held on 14th Friday at the Colombo Fort CNR race track and races will be held on the 15th December at 7.00 PM onward at same track. The Track Layout is published below.

The event has been described in all its glory.

A tourist website describes it thus.

“It was revealed that the Race track will be similar to last year’s track with an extension up to Galle face. The GT-3 and the GT-4 category will be an international event which hopes to attracted drivers from Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan and Hong Kong. This year’s McLarens 1300 event is an addition to the Colombo Night Races with ten cars arriving on to the track, which will be driven by local experts as well as up and coming young drivers. VW Polo Cup Race is planned with seven Indian drivers in action along with three local drivers. It was also noted that the SL-GT Super Cars up to 3500cc race attracted the 24 drivers which is the highest recorded for a race of this nature. The organizers expect few riders from Maldives to arrive in the island to compete along with our local riders which to is expected to add glamour to Motor Cycle events.Four Motor Car races will be happening on race night with experienced International racers. Super Car GT3 / GT4, VW Polo cup and Toyota Etios races will race twice during the day since the given categories were identified as super experience for spectators.

VW Polo and Toyota Etios events are newly added categories for the CNR 2nd edition and expects many more foreign races for both events.

However, AMRC official acclaimed that number of racing categories which were on 1st edition taken down from 2nd edition this year to minimize difficulties fro organizers. 


MOTOR CARS EVENTS
GT3 AND GT4 CARS
VW POLO CUP CARS
SL-GT UP TO 3500CC
SL-H UP TO 1600CC
FORMULA McARENS 1300
TOYOTA – ETIOS

MOTOR CYCLES EVENTS
Racing and modified Open Event [ above 250cc]
Racing and modified bikes up to 125cc 2 stroke / up to 250cc 4 stroke [single cylinder]
Super Motor Open [Racing and Modified above 125cc]
Standard 250cc 4 Stroke

Concerns of Citizens

Usually citizens of a country should be extremely proud and happy, when events are conducted and showcased in their own country. Especially when that event is to do with endurance of individual athletes or teams, when the city is organized especially for the event, when the selection of the country is made based on best bids for competition, when the event is a classified regional or international competition and when the event is conducted transparently and with the proceeds going for the betterment of the country’s sports infrastructure or development of the sport through a national body or for charitable causes citizens should not only be proud, but support this actively.

However in the case of the Colombo Night Races, conducted on the roads used by the citizenry for their day to day affairs and the resultant inconvenience for weeks now and when there seems to be no transparency in its conduct, this situation is worrying and aggravating at the same time.

So being a Citizen of the City of Colombo an attempt was made to pose the following questions to the Colombo Municipal Council. But this attempt did not prove fruitful. It is only professional and ethical to write something based on feedback, fact and evidence. As no answers were received from the Mayor’s Office, the writer decided to put before the reading public, the questions that were asked. The reader therefore can decide if the questions are reasonable and warrant answers in the interest of good governance, central to which is transparency.

These are the 10 questions:

1. Is the CMC part of the Colombo Night Race 2012 organizing committee as public amenities are used?

2. Are the roads on which the race is worked out under the purview of the CMC or RDA?

3. As last time, is it happening this time as well – that contours and pavements are changed or flattened?

4. Who paid to get them back to original condition? Is the same happening this time as well?

5. From where are the sand bags and from which river/location was this sand mined? Who paid for the sand bags?

6. What about the nuisance factor? These are within areas of hotels, apartments and offices.

7. What about the hazards and laws re hazards – normally races are on special tracks? (In the USA and Canada such races on ordinary roads are deemed illegal)

8. Is any revenue coming back to the city of Colombo?

9. What is the total expense and income of this event?

10. As the roads are very narrow for racing, if something happens to a bystander/spectator does insurance cover this person?

Are these valid questions? Should the city’s tax payers know the answers or not?

YOU be the judge!

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Latest comments

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    go namal go with Ranil

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      BOYCOTT THE NIGHT RACES!A huge waste of funds by a corrupt Dictatorship, rather than invest in decent PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEMS
      The Rajapassa brat’s Lambughini cars should be pelted with stones..
      Right thinking young people should start a boycott movement on FACEBOOK and other social media to change the sick car culture in tiny Lanka. THe Sri Lanka car culture is all about NEW RICH CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION –
      The car culture in Sri Lanka – is a joke! Massive luxury vehicles which were built for the German auto bhan and the US, snow conditions – countries where great distances are traversed. In tiny Sri Lanka the BMWs crawling on pot holed streets is a huge waste! Its about showing off and feeling good about stupid things – shows the empty values of the great SInhala nation!
      SHOWING OFF by the uneducated Rajapassa cronies who have got rich quick. Those from old established elite families still drive small Asian cars while the new rich sprot BMWs and MERCs! Joke of the season!

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      Sons of middle eastern dictators have shown this kind of megalomania. Remember Saddams sons, Mubaraks sons even Suharto’s sons.

      Former Syrian dictator Hafez Al-Assad’s eldest son died in a sports car crash.

      These expensive toys are obtained with corrupt funding.

      Further, it seems Carlton is moving to dominate sports broadcasting in Sri Lanka. Carlton is run by Rajapassa off spring and their girl friends.

      Miracle of Asia.

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    This is an um wanted thing for Sri Lanka this time of the hour.

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    We would like to know who is behind these races and who benefits finacially?
    Are the accounts audited and available to the public?
    As public property is being used and residents inconvenienced what are the benefits to residents of the city and particularly the areas affected?
    What is the involvement of the armed forces as they are observed to be involved in the preperations. If armed forces are involved, who is paying or are public funds being utilised.
    If armed forces are being used for this event is this type of activity covered by the army act?
    What is the involvement of Carlton Sports Club or any connected organisation?
    Are any cars being used imported under the recent budget proposals to do away with import duties? If so who are the legal owners of these vehicles?

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    Thank you so much for bringing this as a topic of concern!

    No where in the globaol south except under Idi Amin would such liberties be taken without regard to the citizens who are struggling for their very survival. It really shows that Sri Lanka has become a Bannana republic ruled by a Banana King with his Banana Royal Family.

    Banana Namal looks like he is born from the back side of an elephant and is prancing around using Colombo as a Dinky Toy back yard!

    I dont know why our Marxists and psuedo Marxists are not making a big fuss over this Ignoble and Ugly speactacle at the expense of the starving and maid service economy of sri Lanka. Perhaps the major economic resources for sri lanka should not be massage paroours and prostittuion but also race care racing and looking at the backside of the Namal royal banana family.

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    It may be true that it requires transparency but i disagree with some thoughts that you have pointed out. Races on the city limits? Its better than building a separate track (which they had plans for in Hambantota).
    I think its a good thing to have it in the city (If this generates any capital) But we all know that the money does not go to the tax payer but the lokka’s son(the so called MP).

    Without hating it. try to make something valuable like generating local labor. have them trained for seasonal events like this.

    Regarding roads- We need something to maintain the roads if this event helps to demolish old ones and recreate new roads/pavements. its a good thing. In the west roads are built because seasons (make it a requirement) in our country we dont have the need to do so. (which i believe helps us be lazy)

    Basics economics let the rich spend the money and create events that they like to spend on (but i agree transparency is important).

    In terms of lack of infrastructure- its not this events fault or a single parliamentarians. its the poor legal(voicing of opinions)structures or civil rights and so many other reasons is the cause. but just hating on the event wont help build anything (its the typical complain culture we sri lankans)

    Yes to transparency NO to hating on the event instead just try to push to make a positive outcome of it (like seasonal businesses)

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    It is confirmed that Carlton Motor Sports Club is organising the event and Carlton Sports Network is Televising the event. As reported in the Mirror yesterday

    “(Mirror) – Carlton Motor Sports Club had imported 19 cars, including Lamborghinis, at a cost of nearly Rs. 100 million, but had got them cleared from the customs without paying any taxes, Lanka newspaper claims.

    Two Lamborghini Callardos, one Porsche, Aston Martin, Nissan Fairlady and Honda Civic each and 13 Itios racing cars had been imported on behalf of Carlton Motor Sports Club by Gac Logistics Ltd.

    All the cars had been cleared with the payment of a mere Rs. 2,500 as service costs on December 11, according to the newspaper.

    The tax revenue lost to the state as a result is more than Rs. 202 million.

    From the recent budget, the president exempted racing cars from import levy.”

    Carlton House is the name of Rajapakses Home in Medamelune. Carlton Sports Network is another enterprise of the children. As reported in DBSJ’s blog

    “In a fascinating investigative article published in Sunday Leader, journalist Ranjith Jayasundara has traced the profile of CSN (www.thesundayleader.lk/2011/07/24/carlton-sports-network-and-somerset-entertainment). This is what Jayasundara says about the Board of Directors:

    “S. K. Dissanayaka 7/2 Vaidya Road, Mount Lavinia, A. R. Fernando 29/3 Samudra Mawatha, Panadura, S. Karunajeewa 31/3 Horton Place, Colombo 7, R. Welivita 33 Hospital Road, Homagama. Mr Karunajeewa has rather a well connected father: Chairman, People’s Bank. Rohan Welivita is a Presidential Adviser on Electronic Media and the force behind a broadcasting licence issued in the name of Sri Lakvahini. Sri Lakvahini is currently in the market according to industry sources, looking for a suitable partner to commence operations. Rohan Welivita is married to Anoma Welivita, who is a PA to First Lady, Shiranthi Rajapaksa. Anoma Welivita’s father is the former MP for Kalawana, Lionel Gunasekera. Her brother Wasantha is a long-standing associate of Minister S. B. Dissanayaka.”

    Of these directors, Dissanayaka was just 22 years and Fernando was 23 years of age at the time of incorporation of the company. Welivita however ceased to be a director on 6-3-2011, Dinesh Jayawardana of 24, Cambridge Place, Colombo 7 was appointed w.e.f. 1-3-2011.

    Though the registered address was subsequently changed, Jayasundara in his article brings out the following interesting exposure on the initial registered address of the CSN:

    “The house at 260/12 Torrington Avenue, Colombo 5 which is listed as the registered address of Carlton Sports Network (Pvt) Limited had an extremely famous occupant some years ago. In the run-up to the parliamentary elections in 2004, the house was used by none other than Mahinda Percy Rajapaksa – who went on to become the 13th Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and then in 2005 – the 6th President of Sri Lanka.”

    This information coupled with the TRC structure is sufficient for us to come to a reasonable conclusion on how CSN had received the TV license and frequency licence. In all these deals, the beneficial owners are concealed!”

    So we know who the ultimate beneficiaries of these events are. Held at the cost and inconvenience of the people such sordid activities and nepotism are the hallmark of this regime.

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      Safa thanks for the information. Realising the adverse publicity the Night Races are drawing, they have hurriedly included an event for the Three wheelers also. Just to give cover even the small man has been given a chance. These Races should be advertised round the contry in every village for the masses to understand the mockery the first family brats are up to. From last night they have hiked the price of Petrol by Rs.10/- per litre. The Carlton Sports Club will also receive the benifit to meet the electricity expenditure incurred for froviding day light in the night, by raising the Electricity Tarrifs to the masses like the Petrol hike. What a benovalent set of Rulers the Country has?

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    What is all the fuss about thesse night races – the brainchild of the raththaran patiyas. Are not the dear children of the Royal Family and their grass-sniffing friends (with the virtuous Anarkali leading the show) entitled to a little fun and frolick? People, stop being jealous about our fortunate princelings and don’t you mind a few hours of inconvenience now and then. We owe it to them.

    Senguttuvan

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    Corrupt kids will bring down the president’s family… Same kids control the company that got cricketing broadcasting rights and sport ministry told SLBC to not to bid..
    Controlling shares of the company own by the kids valued at today’s market is around US$ 10 million, so question is where did they get this money and also why taxpayers subsidising the kids company?
    First lady control De Mel and the cricket body on behalf of kids… This same De Mel brought country to its knees using funds in Petroleum ministry and COPE is silent on this disaster…

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    I used to stay at Hilton and know that tourists are really pissed off about this race.

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    The state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has increased the price of a liter of Octane 90 Petrol by Rs. 10 effective from midnight yesterday (14).The new price is Rs. 159

    This is our contribution to Carlton races.

  • 0
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    Who cares? This is MR country. Namal Baby wants it and it will happen, no matter what people like Visakha say.

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    CMC Mayor is a virtual puppet of GR , end of the story.

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    PERSONALLY, I FEEL THE TOURISTS WOULD PREFER A BULLOCK CART RACE ON KATUKURUNDA RACE TRACK.

    (01) CATEGORY 1 SINGLE BULLOCK CART RIDDEN BY ONE RIDER (MALE/FEMALE)
    (02) CATEGORY 2 DOUBLE BULLOCK CART RIDDEN BY TWO RIDERS (MALE/FEMALE)
    (03) CATEGORY 3 SINGLE BUFFALO CART RIDDEN BY ONE RIDER (MALE/FEMALE)
    (04) CATEGORY 4 DOUBLE BUFFALO CART RIDDEN BY TWO RIDERS (MALE/FEMALE)

    ALL THE RIDERS SHOULD BE CITIZENS OF SRI LANKA AND MEMBERS OF THE PARLIAMENT STARTING FROM THE FIRST FAMILY.

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      SORRY TO REPLY LATE;
      IT SHOULD MODIFY LIKE,
      ALL THE RIDERS SHOULD BE CITIZENS OF SRI LANKANS AND BULLOCK CARTS SHOULD BE DRAWN BY DIYAVANNA OYA CATTLE YARD’S V I P BULLS [MEMBERS OF THE PARLIAMENT ]STARTING FROM THE FIRST FAMILY.

  • 0
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    MR fiddling while the Country is sliding down the depths. An established political Party may not have been able to do so, but if a demonstration was staged in the area, and each had a razor blade to slit open a sand bag in the malee, would have done the job. Can some one asses the return on the cost to the Nation hosting this event?

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    WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM A GOVERNMENT.WHICH IS INTERESTED IN “DIVERSIONS”
    WITH CRICKET RUGBY AND RACING WHILE THE AVERAGE SRI LANKAN IS STRUGGLING
    TO LIVE WITH THE HIGH COST OF LIVING , HEALTH CARE EDUCATION ETC.,
    WELL YOU GET THE GOVERNMENT YOU DESERVE.
    “SUBHA ANAGETHAYAK” ACCORDING TO “MAHINDA CHINTHANAYA”

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    The 10 questions are valid and the public have the right to know a nd the Colombo Municcipality (CMC) have the liabililty to tell the public. BUT will the CMC ever answer? NO, they never will because the lips of the CMC is forcibly sealed.

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    The public roads which are used as the racing track are owned by the people of SL and not by UDA under GR. The maintanance of these roads are done by CMC or RDA. Driving at very high speeds and applying brakes will increase the rate of wastage of the road surface. I propose that the cost of maintaing of these should not be borne by SL people. Each time the road has to be resurfaced GOvt. goes with a begging bowl to ADB and now to china for a 6% loana The racing car drivers and the car owners should be asked to bear the cost of maintaining (include 3 times the actual cost) the roads. Not to forget the cost of purchasing safety barriers, measures and cleaning after an event.

    I guess the organizers are idiots whose brains are located at the wrong place of their body. So they are unable understand these things.

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    it’s a bloody nuisance this type of sport happening in Colombo. Please go away from Colombo, there are plenty of tracks outer CMB for racing purposes. You bloody dictators and their sons let the almighty GOD punish you in front of all SRILANKAN people…………

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    Night Races are great. Go Namal go!

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      You can instead enjoy night race with MR. I am sure he will give you a good ride to remember for years! Have you seen him in a tshirt? or in the nallur temple?

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      “Go Namal go!” Yes, this playboy was seen at the races with his favourite HUKAs (Hiru/Upek/Kumudi/Anark)to name a few??

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    Oh Danny Boy!

    I love your name but please no cruelty to animals on Tirikkala races you propose. You know whom to be yoked to the hackeries. Look inside the Lambroganis and those who gave tax concessions to them.That would be jolly good fun!

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    Safa,

    The talk down the grapevine is WB/IMF wants a Rs.50/litre increase
    in view of poor peformance of the export sector and incoming remittances. The Goda Dostora and Kabara Lal plead the best, for the moment, should be Rs.25 to avoid the hungry lead by the Trade Unions taking to the streets. But the Boss felt anything more than Rs.10 for now will see stones hurled at the VVIPs going around despite the laughable heavy security. If the Central Bank stops defending the rupee against the US$ with the meagre foreign reserves we have, the rupee will be over Rs.150, which according to thst learned Minister SBD is a sign of the strength of our currency.

    So for the moment it is Petrol at Rs159 until the next
    round of increases – likely after the Sinhala New Year. Meanwhile, essentials, transport, power etc will inevitably go up and the value of the mighty SL Rupee will go down. Wait for the Rs.1 lakh coin soon thanks to the great path of the Chinthana to a glorious Sinhala Buddhist Kingdom.

    It is to divert your attention from this sickening economic scene the Royal kids have brought in the Lambroghinis, Porches, Aston Martins,
    Citroen-Masserattis and the lot. Be grateful, ye ungrateful dregs. Be there to kneel and cheer the raththaran patiyas of our dear leaders.
    It is the sights and sounds of the Miracle of Asia.

    Senguttuvan

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    Although I have not personally experienced it, I have been told by some, that rural folk in Sri Lanka are happy with how things are panning out, as they are hardly dependent on petrol or cooking gas, etc or other “urban” essentials.

    On the contrary, while generally being ignorant of the finer economic or financial arithmetic involved, maybe their lot tends to be relatively unaffected…I’d like some balanced views on this point…Thanks

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    Our country is really performing the miracle
    *The roads of the public are used by the rogues of the Royal Family.
    *The funds of the public are really hoarded by the Royal Family.
    *The lands of the public are robbed by the Royal Family.
    *The antiques of the public are looted by the Royal Family.
    *The armies of the public are used to wash dirty linen of the Royal. family.
    *The businesses of the public are snatched by the Royal Family.
    These are miracles of present Sri Lanka and there will be many more miracles to come.
    May Royal Family Bless the people and the country !

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    none of these comments matter. The donkeys in the rural area will vote for the Royal family againa dn again and again…

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    Ours is a fools-paradise.Enjoy,don’t fret about.

  • 0
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    fuck and shed for this race.

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    Comment language is English. So this comment was removed by a moderator.

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      There is no problem in using the language of English. There are more who should understand and can articualte better in the Native Tounge. The need now is for wider circualtion of thought that is stifled by a Kept press,

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    Of couse for the winners and specially the foreigners, Carlton SC has to pay in Foreign Currency, and the transport cost of the vehicles and board and Lodging and may be there is Comprehensive Life Insurance for Drivers and Liability insurance for vehicles and for coverages of surround building and spectators, special security and lighting and sand bags etc…etc…( I don’t know in Sri Lanka)…and hi octane gasolene and lubes.

    What a cost….at what price…..How much the ticket sale and sponsorships….

    Better we could have had many three wheel races, and it’s local.

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    According to Lakbima races finished last night

    Colombo Night Races 2012 which ended early morning today saw 40 motor vehicles including 10 Lamborghinis, as well as Toyotas and Volkswagens racing on the track. Prices of tickets ranged from Rs50 to Rs5,000.
    According to Rohan de Silva, president, Asian Motor Racing Club and chairman of GAC, the racing cars which were shipped for the event will return to the homeland of the owners/participants who came here to race.

    He added that drivers who came to compete were from India, Malaysia, UK, Macau and Hong Kong. Head of Promotions & Communications, Carlton Sports Network (CSN), Yuwanthaka Thenuwara, on being questioned about the revenue expected from the races said that he has no idea about it. “We are yet to make a head count on the sale of tickets. Revenue target — I would say is unlimited.”
    “It’s really difficult to say anything about the budget and the expenditure. To be precise, we are unable to do a final budget as it there was no ‘set budget’ and it is difficult to do so,” he added. The races were conducted by Sri Lanka Automobile Sports (SLAS) and the Federation of Motorcycle Sports in Sri Lanka (FMSSL). CSN and Tharunayata Hetak were the chief organisers of the event.

    Mr Rohan de Silva is Managing Director of Mac Larens. Mr. De Silva is currently a Director of Airport & Aviation Services Limited, serves as an Audit Committee member of Airport & Aviation Services Limited, and acts as an advisor to the Shippers’ Academy Sri Lanka.

    He is the President of Asian Motor Racing Club, Treasurer of Carlton Motor Sports Club, Patron of Mercantile Badminton Association, Trustee of Mercantile Badminton Trust and President of the McLarens Sports Club for 2012. He was a member of the Governing Body of Motor Racing in Sri Lanka.

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    Safa,

    If the idea of your comments is to convey the luxury speed cars imported by foreigners will be shipped to their countries from which they came, this is welcome. This will meet the criticsm of fears of outrageous imports of these by favoured persons/families. But the point
    the residential areas in Colombo should be spared this favourite sport of the princelings the inconvenience cannot be compromised. If the Royal Family insists their offspring need special sports entertaintment, they can shift this to Katukurunda, Katunayaka, Hambantota and some other place. Colombo has no apetite for the like of
    Monte Carlo or Singapore – both of which do not have space anyway
    welcome. Most middle class and upper middle class families do not favour motor sports in our country at this stage of our “economic
    development” Singapore and Monte Carlo/Monaco are different kettles of fish.

    Rohan is a nice, successful chap and will not have strange inclinations although he has been for long a speed-fiend – from a sports angle. He probably is doing this under pressure from younohoo??

    Senguttuvan

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      I think some cars may go back but many will remain. No one can track these easily.

      What is really funny is that there is no budget, income unknown. Who foots the bill? Maybe sponsors. But then the lack of transparency. The significant expenses incurred and use of our poor soldiers as free labour in the hot sun to satisfy the whims of a few.

      No corporates sponsor events without gaining some advantage or without having some hidden reason as with the Carlton Sevens, SLC etc. End of the day someone has to pay and it is the consumer and the public by way of taxes. Majority of the people have no interest in these events but will inevitably pay for these. If at all these people want to enjoy it must be at their own expense on a commercial basis.

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        We have to count in the damage to the roads that were not designed for racing , cost of the near- daylight conditions provided, the cost of policing, the cost of services provided by the army, the cost of setting up and removing the sand bags, and many other related costs. The biggest cost was the inconvenience to the public, who had to take alternate longer routes, amidst the high cost of fuel ,tyres and maintenance .

        Reminds me of Nero fiddling when Rome was burning! Racing is for the fat cats and not for the majority in this country who are struggling to make ends meet, in addition to bearing the ravages of a prolonged drought and now a deluge.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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