23 October, 2020

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Making Sri Lanka The Miracle Of Asia

By Fr. Sarath Iddamalgoda

Fr. Sarath Iddamalgoda

Fr. Sarath Iddamalgoda

Mr. Champika Ranawaka, the ministerial authority for the Megapolis, has announced that the work on the Colombo Port City is to be resumed soon after renegotiating the contract with the Chinese authorities. The project has been halted by the present government due to the irregularities found in the contract.

The government will not encounter any serious problem in rectifying the illegality of the contract and any irregularity can even be regularized if necessary by enacting new laws in the parliament.

What is to be pointed here is the unresolved and the most crucial matter of the entire Colombo Port City project is the prevention of threats to the environment. It is to this that there is a lack of concern. If the authorities decide to go ahead with the project, the marine resources and the fish breeding grounds and corals will be seriously affected, due to the heavy extraction amounting to 100 million tons of sand from the sea. This will cause depletion of rich fishing grounds resulting in livelihood problems to thousands of fishermen living in the western coast.

It also need to be pointed out that around 16 million metric tons of granite has to be found from the interior of the country to reclaim the sea to construct the Colombo Port City. What would be the impact of such human activity on the water resources, flora and fauna and other various species living in the rock hill environment.

We can appreciate the recent statement that President Maithri made at the the 9th Annual Summit of the Institute of Environmental Professionals of Sri Lanka (IEPSL), held today (Oct. 20) at Waters Edge Hotel, Battaramulla, at which he assured that “the government would take legal actions against those who destroy the environment, irrespective of their status”.

We now await to see how he would prevent the destruction of environment if he says yes to the Colombo Port City or any other projects of that nature in their development strategy in the implementation of the proposed “megapolices”.

To make Sri Lanka, the Miracle of Asia, has been the dream of the members of Rajapaksa family, which they unfortunately failed to realize due to an error made in their calculation of their own future destiny.

Now it is the turn for Sirisena and Wickremesinghe administration to perform the same miracle. Their ambitious plan is to build “megapolises” in the Western and Eastern provinces, which the Rajapaksa administration in their times named them as Metro Regions. The purpose of both was to attract foreign investors to develop our country.

My question for Sirisena and Wickremesignhe administration is whether such mega projects will satisfy the needs of the farmers and fishermen and workers who comprise the 75% of the population. Has the new administration identified any other solution to the problems of the peasantry and small fishermen? It is my view “megapolises” are not the answers. What is not clear is on what basis has Colombo Port City been classified as a priority project?

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Latest comments

  • 6
    0

    “Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Patali Champika,- It is my view “megapolises” are not the answers. What is not clear is on what basis has Colombo Port City been classified as a priority project?”

    Thank you, Father Sarath Iddamalgoda:-

    Ranavaka has also told a Chinese newspaper that China Port City project will be included in the Megapolis Development Plan for transforming the country into a “smart and technologically advanced nation” in the coming five years.”

    The question, Mr Ranavaka is whether you are listening to the People who voted you in.
    Sri Lanka is a Democracy, and if you believe in ‘Government By The People, For The People’ you have to listen to ‘The People’.

    Do We, The People, want a ‘“smart and technologically advanced nation” in the coming five years’. Or do we want That Expenditure to be used to Upgrade Health, Agriculture and Education Facilities in the Immediate Future?

    • 6
      1

      Sri Lanka’s delicate natural beauty will be fully destroyed. Sooner or later. On the altar of political egomaniacs. Both from SLFP, UNP & other places.

      These guys are busy building their own ego. Not the nation.

      They see Dubai and Singapore. They want to copy them. Add their names to “Mahawnasa” as great leaders etc.

      Truly innovative leaders who love this country will not copy either Dubai or Singapore.

      Sri Lanka is unique. We need unique solutions in line with our needs, culture & environment.

      Nobody asked for a Megapolis either in Colombo or in beautiful, tranquil Trinco.

      Sri Lanka’s environment must be protected at all costs. Stay wide awake. Before political lunatics ruin all of it. You have seen what happened to beautiful Hambantota under corrupt Rajapassa egomanaics.

      Cheers!

      • 0
        13

        Oh for God sake, wake up mister!!
        stay in “natural beauty” and stay “many decades” behind the world.

        Cannot understand the stupidity of people !!!

        • 7
          0

          George,

          I am awake. However, feel sleepy again.

          Totally depressed after seeing the traffic jams from Colombo to Hambantota and Kandy. Is that development?

          Going back to sleep.

        • 2
          0

          George:-
          Yes, I am awake, and seeing the White Elephants in Hambantota. Is this what the people of Hambantota wanted? It is what we used to call, ‘Gamayata Magic’!

          Politicians have to cater for the Welfare of the Majority of the People, not Pander to their own Massive Egos!

          • 0
            0

            George– If you moving with the times you will realise that:

            1. Chinese middle class — nearly 500 million people — exceeds the total population of US
            2. They are increasingly travelling abroad for tourism
            3. Chinese had helped Sri Lanka for over 50 years because it is the only Buddhist country in South Asia
            4. The Chinese have money
            5. They need hambantota Harbour as a stopover for their ships transporting Soybeans, Corn, Wheat, Sugar produce grown in Southern Africa where they have leased millions of acres from African governments
            6. They also need the Harbour to transport millions of tons of rare mineral from African countries.
            7. The harbour is for them .. not for us.
            8. We need money for infrastructure
            9. We need a second internation airport very badly( when the only airport at Katunayake git bombed flights had to be cancelled or diverted to India)
            10. We need to move International meeting away from Colombo because of hardships caused to local
            residents due to road blocks and congestion.
            11. Hambantota project would provide several solutions for all above goals – providing harbour for the Chinese, Jobs for locals, money for infrastructure projects, second Int, airport, convention centre, tourism to attract Chinese, etc
            12 Hambantota is ideal for Conventions and Tourism – after meetings delegates can travel to Yala. Bhundala, Kirimetiyawa sanctuary, Uda Walawe, Kataragama, Arugam bay and Tangalle– and some of the best Beaches and Hotels in Sri lanka
            13. Provides locals employed in the midde-east to fly directly from Mattala to Mid-eastern countries.
            14. Direct flights from Mattala to Beijing would bring in high spending tourists

            One has to realise that high capital spending projects like these will have a long break even point. One should not expect profits within 10 years. Only inexperienced dim – wits lacking business experience will call the Hambantota project a ” white elephant ” ( By the way white elephants are very rare and usually attracts millions of tourists. ). Leave aside prejudices and politics and you will see that it is a fantastic project. I have flown there many times and I can see a bright future if it is developed.
            ,

      • 2
        0

        Cheers!

    • 1
      1

      Well said

      To be or not to be – Hamlet

    • 5
      0

      “Megapolis” is one of the mega-follies of Sri Lanka:

      It will be another white elephant like the Hambantota airport among others.

      The present regime cannot displease the Chinese, who have already invested time and money including in commissions to the former regime. So it goes on.

      Anyway the present government is not much different from the earlier one in many respects including nepotism and we don’t know what the vested interests are now.

      It will be an utter waste of resources which the poor need it more urgently.

  • 6
    0

    In our system the ruling elite can make the “kabaraya to thalagoya” if necessary. For sure this man made stress is going to cost heavy on our marine life. Its a simple truth. And they will say there are ways to construct it without harming the nature and that’s bull**t and you have pointed out all the reasons why. They will all drag us to hell step by step on their narrow minded short term success and the contractors who do all the blasting for them will prosper for a while , that the capitalist economy syndrome. I think we need to develop the the current available area in Colombo and it’s suburbs into more sustainable environmentally friendly as well as “common man friendly” livable land mass. If we can convince our leaders still they can make some quick bucks out of that projects maybe they will rethink. The countries like Sweden has got rid of their garbage problem but we are yet to tackle it. The miracle of Asia is not a unrealistic goal, that’s achievable.

  • 9
    0

    Why should most of the development be concentrated into one province and especially into one metropolis? There should be a fairly even development throughout the country and for that to be achieved there there should be proper devolution of power to the provinces. A few people in Colombo cannot decide as to what is best for the periphery. Only the people in the region will know what their priorities are.
    Sengodan. M

    • 7
      1

      Sengodan. M

      Development programmes to be successful, it should be approached from bottom up basis, people to be central to any development.

      Most of the bureaucrats at the ministry are living in the 1960s as they have not upgraded their knowledge and skills. I was told Pali graduades were running the planning ministry without any basic knowledge of Economics.

      Even the lecturers at universities are using teaching notes that they prepared/copied from the 1970s.

    • 0
      3

      Mr Sendagon

      “…there there should be proper devolution of power to the provinces…?

      But sir, in a previous comment you say:

      //Physically Sri Lanka is a very tiny country in close vicinity to a giant neighbour…//

      Now, how small can we go? Then again the very same people who argue on this line also demand that North and East should be joined together to make a bigger province.

      I am really confused.

      The ideal would be to devolve power to urban and village council levels ??

      Soma

      • 2
        0

        Soma,
        You should understand that sizes of countries are relative. The whole problem with you is that when one speaks of devolution, you confuse that with division or separation which it is definitely NOT.
        What is the meaning of confining development to just one province making it possible for that province with 20% of the population enjoying the benefit of 50% of the GDP? Isn’t that a lopsided uneven development? Mind you I am not making any reference to ethnicity here!
        It is true that devolution of power has to go down in stages. The secondary level from the Centre naturally is the provincial level which can handle a good proportion of the development activities instead of making everything Colombo centric. Those in and around Colombo can decide on what is best for the areas in and around Colombo but they will have very little ‘touch’ with the periphery’ where the locals will have a better understandings of their needs and priorities. Think of this fact also outside your obsession with ethnic differences. Then you will understand!
        The local bodies including village councils are the tertiary level and because they are too small in size could handle only very small projects.
        Sengodan. M

  • 8
    0

    Yes Father you are right. There are better projects for the benifit of the masses. In recent times our dry and zones have experienced unpresidental drought
    People are left without drinking water leave alone the agriculture. Government should invest on schemes to conserve and capture Monsoon rain waters by building
    catch dams like our fore fathers centuries ago. The agrarian masses have been neglected by successive administrations;
    Its time that measures are taken to face the global climate changes

  • 4
    0

    Not even the minister of Horapolis can make the country the miracle of Asia. How can he when it has always been governed by power hungry thieves?

    • 2
      1

      Pabakaran:

      Destroyed Tamils.

      Stupid Mahinda Rajapakse got rid of him.

      He did not wait until all the Tamils are gone.

      IF he waited, All the Tamils are gone, Pabakaran would be very old would not care about the homeland for Tamil except for his children…….

  • 3
    0

    So now we are avowed to become the miracle of Asia. !!!!!!

    Sorry, missed the boat. Singapore and Malaysia and Thailand jumped aboard that boat when we where fighting among ourselves.

    We are the laughing stock of the rest of the world.

    In 1948 when we gained independence to rule ourselves as a proud we w

  • 2
    1

    If Sri Lanka becomes the miracle of Asia, it WILL be the miracle.

    For miracles to happen, the attitude of politicians and the people MUST change.

    As long as there is corruption, people not being held accountable, bribes, commissions, and basically doing
    something for the country superseding personal gain, we will stay a corrupt nation.

    Singapore is successful because there are strict laws, less crime, and people are held accountable.

    It will be a miracle indeed if we can achieve that. The change starts from the top, and right now it
    sees impossible.

  • 4
    1

    This Christian priest knows more about Buddha’s word than persons like Sobitha Thero, whose sole aim is to evolve the Lankan brain into the Western brain. As per Champika, talk about environment and Buddhism, and Champika is the …..Oxymoron!

    75% of the populations is of farmers and fishermen, and they bluff the polity for the sake of rising up as the sole lotuses from a pond full of toxic and fecal matter.

  • 3
    0

    “Megapolis”is just another name for “Colombo Port City” to be constructed by the Chinese. They will complete the work undertaken by them and that will be it because Champika has not achieved anything worthwhile in his political life.
    As minister of environement he failed to fight the river sand mafia and failed miserably in urban garbage disposal problem. His only achievement in that field of course was the infamous ‘dum sahathikaya’the emission reports for vehicle which serves no one but a few businesses.
    As minister of power and energy his greatest achivement was getting the treasury to pay the its debt to CPC. He failed to get the Norochcholai running uninterupted until it was taken over by the Chinese and showed them how it was done!
    At best Champika is a grand talkshop and Megapolis wil also end up just that.

  • 1
    0

    The most pertinent question today is who is going to foot the bill for the stupid decisions of that good for nothing mutt? Two most costly being stoppage of the port city work and storing ‘paddy’ at Mattala airport warehouses.

  • 1
    1

    Father:

    What do you say ?

    It is the way Almighty created world. Ignorant humans correct it the way they can.

    One thing you can do is pray 24/7 to Almighty asking him to change his ways.

    No one in the world’s govts including Almighty solved problems of poor or destitutes. They always supported the able and the masses.

  • 3
    0

    Sarath Iddamalgoda

    Making Sri Lanka The Miracle Of Asia

    *** It should be reworded to Making Sri Lanka a Playing Field.

    1) Mr. Champika Ranawaka, the ministerial authority for the Megapolis, has announced that the work on the Colombo Port City is to be resumed soon after renegotiating the contract with the Chinese authorities.

    *** The key word here is Renegotiating. What that means in Civilised Diplomatic terms is that after Renegotiating it will be politely turned down .
    The Colombo Port City under the Terms on which it is granted to the Chinese gives them Sovereignty over a piece of Land with No Fly Zones threatening the Security of India.
    No one in their Right Mind would expect India to accept or agree. If that is the case India might as well allow China to take over Tamilnadu.

    2) The government will not encounter any serious problem in rectifying the illegality of the contract and any irregularity can even be regularized if necessary by enacting new laws in the parliament.

    *** The above will only happen if Sinhlala Lanka has the final say. No my friend India has the final say.

    3) What is to be pointed here is the unresolved and the most crucial matter of the entire Colombo Poet City project is the prevention of threats to the environment.

    *** The above is a Life line given to Sinhala Lanka to pull out and pull out she will. It is like ” will she” or “wont she”.

    4) It is to this that there is a lack of concern. If the authorities decide to go ahead with the project, the marine resources and the fish breeding grounds and corals will be seriously affected, due to the heavy extraction amounting to 100 million tons of sand from the sea. This will cause depletion of rich fishing grounds resulting in livelihood problems to thousands of fishermen living in the western coast.

    *** The above is nothing compared to the threat to the very existence of India.

    5)My question for Sirisena and Wickremesignhe administration is whether such mega projects will satisfy the needs of the farmers and fishermen and workers who comprise the 75% of the population.

    *** You are asking the wrong Question. You have to ask how MS & RW as to how they intend to get off the hook without humiliation. Good Luck.

  • 3
    0

    This Scheme is more important to China than Sri Lanka and by hook or crook they will
    entice the decision making politicians to tow their line. What is frightening is the
    geo-politics, as China will agree or has agreed on the basis of a 99 year lease of 45
    acres of the sea-filled land, thereby the aero-space will be freely used by Chinese
    planes and ships will make use of it arrivals as freely as a part of China? India
    will re-act discreetly if MS Govt. gets about this despite a majority thinking of its
    priority.

  • 4
    0

    Few days ago I read again Kalaya Sinhala magazines published in 1980s by Jathika Chinthana pioneers including Minister Champika Ranavaka, the so called eminent Parisara Mithura who began his political agenda in 1990s. What a big U turn. This is hypocrisy. The present Prime Minister promised to stop the development plan of Port City before the presidential election.The president seems to be the champion of environment-friendly persons after taking lethargic action against the Mutinational Coca Cola Company which polluted the drinking water of Kelani River.

    Nobody is against well planned environtmental friendly development. All religions mainly Buddhism upholds such genuine develpment and in Christianity, Theology of Environment is gaining prominence after the publication of Pope Francis’ latest encyclical on Environment and Human Ecology (Laudato Si)

    The heirarchy of the Sri Lankan Catholic Church is silent. May be because of the power of money (Worship of Mamona) offered to rebuild the roof of Thewattha Basilica by the Port City, Chineese Company. It is the Fisher folk from Kalpitya to Beruwala who will definitely face the drastic consequences of this destuctive development project.

    Hence Let’s gather all forces of genuine environment-friendly people to defeat the hidden agendas (Horapolis) of all these hypocrite Parisara Mithuras!

  • 5
    1

    When the work of this project is completed we will erect a statue of Rajapaksha at the entrance.

    Soma

    • 3
      0

      somass

      “When the work of this project is completed we will erect a statue of Rajapaksha at the entrance.”

      Its a good idea, which might bring some solace to the people who survived this tyrant.

      When people are angry they could walk to the statute, take their anger out on it by showering it with rotten egg, tomato, fish, shoe, … stale curry, a point where people can relieve themselves when their bladder reach blasting point.

      We will be right behind you.

  • 2
    0

    These are all a set of monkeys whose policies are created from abroad. They only carry out those orders.and get their 10% at the expense of Sri Lankan citizens. It was recently that the economic benefit of urbanisation was suggested by the world bank and the monkeys are carrying it out. Whose benefit might I ask. Disgusting!

  • 2
    0

    Just remember one thing folks. There is no “real” change in governance. The current government’s MPs and Ministers are “wolves” dressed in sheep’s clothing. They are only interested in one thing – furthering their agenda. Champika Ranawaka maybe considered as having some technical intelligence. But if this intelligence is not tempered with good intentions it is nullified.

    The Port City has to be scrapped. No two words about it.

  • 0
    0

    It is necesary to build up our savings. The rich must be given tax incentives based on there life style. Also the poor. There has to be a credit squeze. Visa marster card and american express must dance to our tune. Morgages to only the pooer. LC mrgin increased for the rich. Extend please. We must make sacrifices for the dying of hunger and for our future. Break down of imports and exports should be made available in a stratified form at no expense therough the banks.Bank of ceylon should call back loans governed by the central bank. Politised loans.

  • 0
    0

    Singapore reclaimed about 20% of its entire land and Malaysiya and Japan also did the same..did anybody find serious causes or benefit today and tomorrow beat the causes

    Natural resources are here for human and not to keep human poor and without food..

    We have to move to hi-tech fishing from traditional fishing

  • 2
    0

    Land Reclamation from the seabed, riverbeds etc., has been planned meticulously and carried out by many nations which did not have sufficient landmass for civilian activities which would benefit each nation.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_reclamation

    Sri Lanka has 25,000 square miles of land, most of which is lying unused for the benefit of the citizens.
    There is/was no need for this so-called Port City at such massive cost which will have to be repaid in installments over many decades at exorbitant interest, when there are many other needs for infrastructure projects to benefit the populace.
    This project given to a Chinese company/firm – NOT to the government of China by the former government, will benefit the firm more than the people of Sri Lanka.
    The terms and signatories of this project are not known fully.
    This information should be known to the citizens who are going to pay for it, and also the projected details of benefits to the nation.
    The present government does not divulge all these details – ‘why’ is the question.
    How much “commission” changed hands when this project was approved?
    Who benefitted? It was reported that the percentage interest on the massive loan was suddenly increased at some point during the negotiations.
    These are questions for the Financial Crimes Investigation Division,
    but appear to be completely ignored.

    • 1
      0

      “Land Reclamation from the seabed, riverbeds etc., has been planned meticulously and carried out by many nations which did not have sufficient landmass for civilian activities which would benefit each nation.”

      Justice:-
      Have you thought about the Water and Fish that would be needed by the expanding Civilian Population, created by Land Reclamation from our Seas and Rivers?

      China had a solution to the expansion of the Civilian Population, by restricting Chinese families to One Child each!

  • 0
    1

    JUSTICE – There is no cost involved for the Port City. Its fully funded by China. SL had nothing to loose.
    Work agreement was Government to Government. President Of China innaugarated the project.
    Yahapalanaya has cut its nose to spite the face and to get even with MR at the expense of China and humiliating the President of China by halting the PC work.
    Since the Jan 08th, China has invested $ 47b in Pakistan in April 2015 AND just yesterday Pounds 20b in the UK & The Chinese President being hosted by the Queen at the Buckingham Palace.
    THE HUMAN RIGHTS TROJAN, CAMERON IS LIKE A SWEET LAMB HAS FORGOTTON THAT THERE WAS EVER A DOCUMENT CALLED MAGNA CARTA CREATED IN U.K.
    Oh yes !!! they remembered that it was they who traded white slaves from Ireland long before black slave trade.

    The repayment of Chinese loans lay heavily on Ravi.K
    Going back on Port city development agreement losses are mounting daily.
    There is no MR to tell China to waive off loan instalment payments.

    Yahapalanaya in a financial fix. What do we do ?
    FCID can not solve repayment or pay losses for monies burrowed or utilised for business.
    China have not yet tightend the screws on Sri lanka…
    Justice can run to Yahapalanaya or vice, versa.

  • 1
    0

    Hold it Iddamalgoda…………..[Edited out]

  • 1
    0

    Has the new administration identified any other solution to the problems of the peasantry and small fishermen

    HOw many fishermen are fishing in that of the sea around Colombo port except in those when LTTE was active ?

    It is like who OCean was filled and no more fish there.

    • 1
      0

      Jim softy

      “It is like who OCean was filled and no more fish there.”

      It is because Chinese are fishing in the troubled waters.

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