16 May, 2021

Blog

Colombo Port City & Wijeyadasa’s Saga

By Rusiripala Tennakoon –

Rusiripala Tennakoon

Many things crop up at different times in countries causing confusions and calamities. I quote below a relevant issue in the context of its applicability to a similar situation that has cropped up here.

there was extensive news coverage of Obama’s religious preference, birthplace, and of the individuals questioning his religious belief and citizenship – efforts eventually known as the ‘birther movement'”, by which name it is widely referred to across media. The movement falsely asserted Obama was ineligible to be President of the United States because he was not a natural-born citizen of the U.S. as required by Article Two of the Constitution.”

Birther conspiracy theories were used by opponents with ulterior motives generally harbored by individuals with ‘an axe to grind’ or with a special interest. M.P. Wijeyadasa Rajapakashe’s recent references to the Colombo Port City project and the disorientation it has created in the backdrop in many respects sounds and appear to be another “Birther affair”! While we have no ill feeling towards MP Wijeyadasa, it is necessary to dispel any doubts of anyone attributing any motives on our part for trying to justify the  action of the govt. due to some special sympathy or attachment.

Wijeyadasa is a sitting member of the current parliament. He has started a campaign of creating an opinion against a BILL (in gazette) which is yet to be presented to the Parliament. As an ordinary Bill It will not go through the second reading as required under the parliamentary procedure due to any pending SC petitions filed. During the various compulsory stages of the passage of a bill in Parliament the MPs will get the opportunity of bringing amendments to it or even moving to remove any sections that warrant such actions. Therefore, his going public at this stage is preemptive and looks a diversionary step.

His reference to creation of a new state is misleading hence it is our parliament that makes the laws and unless there is a binding obligation by the parliament that there will be no changes to any of those in the future under any circumstances such visualizations will be deceptive and  unfounded. All regulations under the proposed ACT are to be formulated either by the President or the designated Minister and shall be published in the Gazette and presented to the parliament for approval. (section 71)

He accuses that the legal process is extending beyond our shores. It is strange how he is oblivion to the International dispute resolution procedures which are even applicable to normal agreements with foreign entities. The ACT is clear enough regarding the applicability of the provisions, terms and conditions embodied and any offences by a body of persons coming under its purview.{sections 69 and 70}.

In its entirety the proposed Act deals with the powers and authority of the Economic Commission which is appointed by the President/Minister in charge and made answerable to the President/Minister in charge. The Master plan of the Port City comes within the purview of the Commission. And has to be approved by the Commission with the concurrence of the President/ Minister in charge.

By looking at what is contained in the Draft Bill it is not clear as to how a Foreign country, power or an entity can act overriding the provisions of the Act and the directives of the Commission appointed by the President.

If there are alligators in the tea cup which we cannot see perhaps Wijeyadasa and his colleagues including the Priests whom he is collaborating with could elaborate those and get our SC to give a ruling. In a Mega investment project of this magnitude it will not be fair for the investors to get a message that the host country is averse to it . In fact it defeats the entire purpose  and the concept of inviting investors into the country for economic development.

MP Wijeyadasa states that he was damned by the President. We do not see any thing wrong in this because Mr. Wijeyadasa has chosen to continue to remain in the group controlled by President in the Parliament. He is naturally subject to various understandings, coherence and collectivity if he remains there. It does not serve any purpose for him to make public statements about such an internal affair.

It is unfortunate that the followers of Wijeyadasa are kept in the dark about the other Financial Centers flourishing in their activities in about 16 different parts of the world without causing any dilemmas among the public of those countries. All these centers are functioning without causing any embarrassments to the host country and to their political fabrics. Their democratic rule too is not affected due to the operations in those Financial centers.

Globalization is a concept that has brought the world economy together and capital transformations are taking place between territories in a split of a second. Unimaginable technological advancements, the inevitable adjustments required in response to changing trade patterns and evolving economic formations at the National & Regional levels have created a challenging battle in every country. I wish to quote from a report of a International Trade Union Organization covering140 countries and with a total membership of 900 trade unions,( to which I belonged during my employment days), – “Think global and regional, act regionally and locally” 

In today’s context staying present and vigilant is most important. Those who have been successful in effecting revolutionary changes have accomplished the goals  by resorting to politics which determine the required changes..China- changed from communism towards market incentives. World inequality needs the politics of change.

I wish to reproduce from my own contribution to the Book Titled “Foreign Policy Perspectives: Port City of Colombo & International Financial Centre” by the Ambassadors Forum, to conclude this short write up.

In a crippling global economy, the chance we have got to proceed progressively with a project of this magnitude and future economic importance has to be considered as a sanctification. Are we waiting to see the emergence of a Unique World Class Island City with an off-shore financial center in the South Asian Region? Some of the leading and well known Off-Shore Financial centers are located in Singapore, London, Monaco,Bahamas, Baharain, US(NewYork),  British Virgin Islands and Panama. Their activities and operations are public and open and include; Asset management and protection; Special purpose vehicles; International business corporations.”

The changes proposed with regard to the operations of the Colombo Port City are in this frame of reference. No doubt they are novel concepts. But meaningful changes can only be implemented and realized by revolutionary thinking. If Prince Siddhartha then decided to carry on with his princely comforts for the rest of his life world would not have seen the birth of the greatest Philosophy!

In the words of Lord Buddha,”na thena panditho hothi, yawatha bahu bhasathi, khemi awiree abhayo, panditho hoti pachuttathi”- Dhamma pada Dhamma Wagga The Preaching about A Minister called Vinisa in Seveth Nuwara who resorted to resolve cases before him irregularly and unjustifiably. In this Stanza Lord Buddha has described what Bahu Bhasathi is, which is relevant to the issue in hand.

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Latest comments

  • 13
    3

    Rusiri, the free loader you seems to be a middleman doing road shows for a PONZI scheme. It is not Wijedasa alone who has raised concerns, there are many who have already filed cases. If it is of not much of concern, why is that your master called him in the morning and threatened in explicit language ???? First time I see you coming out of your shadows identifying your self with Double Paksas. “WE have no ill feeling towards WR”. I take that as, if any harm comes to WR, Anura or Sumanthiran then you too are responsible for it. What a clown you are, few weeks ago you were concerned with People,s Bank and now you are promoting a ponzi scheme. To make things worse you quote Lord Buddha as reference to swindle public money.

    • 6
      1

      Mr. Rusiri says:
      “He accuses that the legal process is extending beyond our shores. It is strange how he is oblivion to the International dispute resolution procedures which are even applicable to normal agreements with foreign entities. “
      Mr Rusiri knows very well that in this country, agreements are not worth the paper they are written on. Will he explain what happened to the East Pier agreement with India? Any agreement can be cancelled at the whim of the Rajapaksas, in minutes.
      Of course, the Chinese being cleverer than the bumbling Indians, have patiently waited until they had Gota’s prime jewels in their grasp. He has no escape.

    • 11
      1

      Mr Rusiripala Tennakoon,

      I’ll pay you double what the Rajapakses are paying you; if you retire with grace. Is that a deal?

      Or name your price.

    • 3
      1

      Rajapaksas are good at bribing some individuals to achieve their goal. It is going on for many years. Supporting them will give substantial benefits but it might turn against them if situation changes. Lasantha was a good example. The author of this article now blame Buddhist Monks who are now have a real fear of this country going to a communist China colony. Hambantota development project made to negative benefit to the country and yield 99 years China deal and Rajapaksas become richest.

  • 8
    1

    Mr. Rusiripala: It is understandable to see all Sri Lanka “Pandits” when confronted with any major problem that concerns the country, they have established two escape routes; (1) Examples from countries outside Sri Lanka (2) The Religion and its Teachings. You too have done it in your essay. You quote how these “Complicated” projects are being successfully operational in so many countries in the world. But do you take the trouble to study how those “Projects” are successful? To be short and simple, one cardinal “Principle” on which all the Governing laws and regulations in “Operational” and “Management” functions of those projects are “Designed” to “Protect” and “Serve” the counties” Sovereignty”, “Conformity” with the indigenous “Political”, “Economic” and “Social” standards and Laws. As a result, the “Operational” and “Management” structures differ from country to country. Next, you make a very unsuccessful attempt to shield behind “Siddharta”, perhaps to throw a pinch of salt in the eye of Rev. Muruthetuwe Ananda. But I see your point, in that, any amendments are possible. In truth, was it the “Intention” of the “President” who presented this “Draft” Legislation? Just see the “Timing” he published it, leaving only “ONE” day window to make suggestions and objections.

  • 4
    1

    Continued….. This intended publication leaving a window of “ONE” day to file objections, how do you Mr. Rusiripala, interpret that “Cheeky” and “Disgraceful” manipulation of a President who says: ” I am the President of Sinhala Buddhist” Did Siddharta resort to such “Manipulations” in trying to achieve his goal of Enlightenment? He (Siddharta) spent seven years experimenting for himself (not involving others) and “Gave Up” realizing the futility of “Dukka Magga” and resorted to “Middle Path”. Did your President do that before submitting this Legislation, leaving a “ONE DAY” window for others to properly read it? Please don’t hang on to Religions to defend “Dishonorable”, “Cheeky” and “Manipulative” corrupt politicians.

  • 4
    1

    What a load of rubbish to exonerate the regime. Criticism of another possible white elephant project in the guise of a playground for the rich (or would it be drug lords & money launders?), facilitated with casinos (for laundering money) & maybe with its own marina (no customs check?), all in the name of prosperity with an accusation by a devious ‘wannabe’ (at the time) US President & dodgy businessman, Trump, about the birth right of an incumbent President, is incomparable, even if the point is about baseless & absurd allegations.

    cont.

  • 4
    1

    cont.

    Is the port city the infrastructure for a new Business & Financial hub of SE Asia? We all know Monaco, Dubai & even Macau caters for the rich while Panama, Cayman Islands & a few other small Caribbean Islands are a haven for black money, so will desperate SL be the newest addition? More worryingly, does China have an invisible controlling hand in all this? Will we be attracting billionaires from Europe & the rest of the world or drug lords & the Asian mafia? Is rest of the country paying for the Port City’s garbage & sewage disposal, water & energy requirements, pollution & ecological impact? Can the current regime decide what is best for the country by themselves only?

  • 4
    1

    Rusiripala,

    The proposed bill violates one country, one law concept-the basis of Gotabaya Presidency.

    Does the government no longer subscribe to this concept

  • 7
    1

    Mr.RT
    Most dangerous are these two clauses you yourself quote :
    1. ALL regulations under the proposed ACT are to be formulated either by the President or the designated Minister and shall be published in the Gazette and presented to the parliament for approval. (section 71).
    2. In its entirety the proposed Act deals with the powers and authority of the Economic Commission which is appointed by the President/Minister in charge and made answerable to the President/Minister in charge.
    So if the Pres takes on the function as Minister in Charge of Port City and Commission as well, as he can, and the Pres appoints ALL members to the commission and he can remove them at his fancy, will that have any check or balance.
    One Country, One Law, One Man Show.
    Mr.RT: Killing the messenger is foolish – check the facts.

  • 2
    1

    Rusiripala. You are jumping on Dr, Rajapakse unnecessarily though knowing well how the President had treated him during his telephone conversation . You say he is in a group controlled by the President and therefor ,” naturally subject to various understandings,coherence etc.” What does that mean? Does this a Democratic government nor a Dictatorial already? As a Member of Parliament he has every right to speak out. Even as a citizen any body could take legal action if an Act is injurious to the common good of the country. Moreover, Dr Rajapakse was a Minister for Justice and an out spoken individual similar to late minister Dr Dahanayake, who always stood for justice and fair play irrespective of the party he is belonged .

  • 3
    1

    Hi, Rusiri I hear now that Double Paksas have made way, by taking over Hindu temples and Mosque lands , you may soon see Shaolin Temples in Lanka. Do not panic, China has promised to provide free , to promote culture. (it is kind of buy one/ port city and get something free, which may be of no use to you). How lucky Lankans are to get this opportunity to visit one without stepping out of country. What will be next ?? the Great Wall ???

  • 1
    1

    It is funny how the evil doers and their supporters take cover behind Buddha and buddhism. This is how these guys are surviving since independence and still no end. What a sad tale of buddhism.

  • 1
    4

    There is not a single comment here from anyone who cares for Sri Lanka. These are all traitor tamils.

    So forget them .

    You are right, Wijedasa is a tool and a fool. Most of the countries like SingaporeUAE etc etc would not have tolerated a malcontect like wijedasa, I wonder why this fool remains in the govt. I suppose he should join the oppositon and join the katin bathala brigade. but that will cramp his style so he remains and talks garbage.

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