30 March, 2020

Blog

On Allegations Made By The New York Times

By Mahinda Rajapaksa

Mahinda Rajapaksa

The New York Times published an article titled “How China Got Sri Lanka to Cough Up a Port” on Monday June 25, 2018 and our political opponents have made quite a carnival of it, marching to the FCID to make complaints, holding press conferences and calling for presidential commissions of inquiry. However the main allegation in this article – that 7.6 million USD had been given to me as campaign contributions by China Harbor Co during the 2015 presidential elections, is based on a Reuters report that appeared three years ago in July 2015. At that time the new yahapalana government had suspended all Chinese funded projects and all Chinese firms including China Harbour Co which was building the Colombo Port City, were being investigated. More than a year later, this government cleared China Harbour Co of any wrongdoing and the Port City project was handed back to them.

No contribution was made by China Harbour Co to my 2015 presidential election campaign. While claiming that my ‘affiliates’ and ‘campaign aides’ had got the money and that ‘volunteers’ had delivered the cheques to Temple Trees, the writer of the New York Times article has been intentionally vague about who had given this money and who had received it. This seems to be a way of carrying out a smear campaign without incurring any liability. The Prime Minister himself has gone on record describing the Colombo Port City as the premier project on which his government has placed its hopes. If any election campaign contributions had been made to me by China Harbour Co, the Port City contract would not have been restored to them and neither would they have been allowed to bid for the lease of the Hambantota harbour. The NYT writer has stated that they had obtained some of the details in that article from a Sri Lankan ‘government investigation’. Every Sri Lankan knows that the main preoccupation of this government since it came into power has been to sling mud at the opposition.

The NYT writer alleged that China financed the Hambantota Port project with the ulterior motive of ensnaring Sri Lanka in a debt trap even though the feasibility studies said the port wouldn’t work. That is not true. One of the world’s foremost engineering consultancy firms Ramboll of Denmark was identified by the Chandrika Kumaratunga government to do the first feasibility study but that government was defeated before the study could get off the ground. Then the Ranil Wickremasinghe government commissioned another top engineering consultancy firm SNC Lavalin of Canada which completed its feasibility study in June 2003. In 2004, under the second Chandrika Kumaratunga government, Minister Mangala Samaraweera commissioned Ramboll of Denmark again to do a feasibility study and this was completed in 2007. Thus, two feasibility studies under two different governments recommended the building of the Hambantota port.

The loans taken to build phases I & II and the bunkering facility of the Hambantota harbor amounted to around 1,322 million USD. The NYT writer alleged that the initial loan of $307 million had been renegotiated to a 6.3% fixed rate after having been taken initially at a concessionary rate. The intention was to make the point that China was lending at exorbitant rates of interest. This initial loan was taken at the LIBOR benchmark rate plus 0.75%. During that period, the LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) increased, pushing up the actual interest rate of the initial loan to 6.5%. It was then that a fixed rate of 6.3% was negotiated. However the remaining USD one billion was taken from China at the concessionary interest rate of 2%. The writer states that loans could have been taken from other countries at an even lower rate of interest. However in taking project loans, the interest rate is not the only criteria to be considered. When such bilateral agreements are entered into, the lending nation recommends the contractor and the price quoted by this contractor also has to be taken into account. In that respect China provided the best deal. The Hambantota port was actually built at a lower cost than the estimates in the Ramboll and SNC Lavalin feasibility reports.

The Hambantota Port is deemed to have failed because it drew only 32 ships in 2012 compared with 3,667 ships at the Colombo port. However the NYT writer fails to mention that this increased to 335 in 2014. The port made an operating profit of Rs. 900 million in 2014 and Rs. 1,200 million in 2015. These are investments that last centuries and a new harbour that opened in 2011 cannot be expected to produce profits by 2012. The writer further claims that the present government was compelled to lease the port to China because they were unable to repay the loan taken to build it. The total cost of financing the Hambantota port (capital plus interest) will be USD 1,761 million by the time the loan expires in 2036. By the end of 2016, nearly USD 500 million of this total amount had already been repaid. There was never any problem about meeting the payments for the Hambantota port because it was paid out of the profits of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA). The Auditor General’s report for 2014 states that the profit of the SLPA in 2014 after paying all loans and taxes was Rs. 8.8 billion.

Even though the NTY writer appears to be unaware of it, every Sri Lankan knows that the government did not use the 1,120 million USD received from the port lease to repay the loan taken to build it. Instead it went to the treasury to meet the day to day expenditure of the government and the loan still remains on our books. Though the writer claims that China has got the Hambantota harbor (with its industrial zone of 5000 acres) and an additional 15,000 acres from Sri Lanka due to the debt trap that China inveigled Sri Lanka into, there was never any Chinese debt trap as alleged. The SLPA had made careful plans to raise the money to meet the loan repayments until the Hambantota port broke even. This included the development of the Colombo East container terminal which was expected to bring in an additional income of 100 million USD a year to the SLPA.

When my government was voted out, we had already signed a Supply Operate and Transfer contract with China Harbour Co and China Merchant Co to operate the Hambantota container terminal for 40 years. The other terminals and the 5000 acre industrial zone in the harbor was to be controlled by the SLPA. We never had any plans to lease the entire free port for 99 years to any foreign company. That took place under the present government which was installed in power by the very Western nations that are now complaining about the Chinese presence in Hambantota. When I was President, China never asked for the port on lease or for any land outside the port. It is the present government of Sri Lanka that proposed to China that they take the entire free port on lease.

The NYT writer states that the lease of the Hambantota port gave China control of territory close to the shores of India, and that India was now apprehensive about the uses that this port may be put to. Such a situation would never have arisen if my government had continued in power. Former Indian External Affairs Secretary and National Security Advisor Shivshankar Mennon has said in his 2016 book “Choices: Inside the making of India’s foreign policy” that my defense secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa had a clear view of Sri Lanka’s interests which was completely compatible with India’s interests and that India had been given assurances about the nature of Sri Lanka’s relationship with China. Mennon further stated that Gotabaya was sensitive to India’s concerns and that the assurances given to India by my government were respected throughout the duration of the Congress Party government which was voted out in May 2014. The New York Times has described me as China’s preferred partner in Sri Lanka. Given what has taken place after 2015, I have no doubt that I am now the preferred partner of India as well.

*Mahinda Rajapaksa – Former President of Sri Lanka

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 37
    4

    If it is so why dont you all take legal action against NY Times and claim the damages of some $ bilions?
    Also you should tell the citizens of this country re Tsunami Scam and the controversial statement of ex CJ for his Pardon for giving a false Court Decision re you at that time.

    • 19
      5

      Dear Mahinda,
      Can you please tell us how did you become the richest person in Srilanka?

      • 6
        12

        Ajith
        He will do so if you prove he is the one.
        Tissa Atanayake said in December 2014, UNP didn’t even have money to pay the electricity bill of Sirikotha. You should ask Ranil how he became the richest person in Sri Lanka in one month to spend billions for his election campaign in January 2015?

      • 5
        6

        Dear Ajith, Could you please let the Colombo Telegraph readers know how you came to the above conclusion, and publish any evidence you seem to fortunate possess about the finances of Mahinda and the clan. We are eager to find out from where you Ajith got this infomation. Thank yo in advance.

        • 2
          1

          The following sources are used to come up with this conclusion. If anyone has a different figure or information about Mahinda’s wealth is welcome. Asian Tribune is one of the publication which has always a Mahinda Backing publication.
          http://www.asiantribune.com/node/91612
          According to Forbes Report for the year 2018,
          Of course Percy Mahendra ‘Mahinda’ Rajapaksa, the sixth President of Sri Lanka from 19 November 2005 – 9 January 2015, is the top most Sri Lankan richest politician with US Dollar 18 Billion.

          • 1
            1

            Dear Ajith, What is written in a news paper is not evidence, evidence should be in the form of Bank Statements, Asset declarations, Internal Revenue Reports to name a few, would you please publish those. Thanks again

            • 1
              0

              wannihami,
              It is not the courts to produce evidence, it is a news forum. You can ask Mahinda to publish his bank statements or assets declaration to prove that his wealth staus. I don’t know whether he has done that already. If you know the details, can you publish those in this forum?

            • 0
              0

              Lol. In order to get hold of such statements and reports, one must file a court order and there are numerous juridical proceedings and approvals to pass through before you can get hold of such information. It is obvious the client (MR) would happily disclose those informations by his own will. Considering the system of law and order in Sri Lanka, that will never happen and until then we can only trust the reporters.

          • 1
            2

            Ajith
            Hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, USD 18 billion was Mangala’s fabrication which he couldn’t prove for the last 3 1/2 years.
            Losers……………….. Hoooooooooooooooooooooo again.

      • 7
        1

        Ajith – Can this bugger also tell us how his GCE (OL) FAILED son Namal became a “lowyer”?

    • 6
      2

      Old Codger, Spring Koha, Burt, ……………………. and all other sane minded readers

      Dr Mahinda’s speech/ghost writer types:

      “Mennon further stated that Gotabaya was sensitive to India’s concerns and that the assurances given to India by my government were respected throughout the duration of the Congress Party government which was voted out in May 2014. The New York Times has described me as China’s preferred partner in Sri Lanka. Given what has taken place after 2015, I have no doubt that I am now the preferred partner of India as well.”

      Any interpretation of the final para in Dr Mahinda’s (LLD) column?
      Is he assuring Hindia on geopolitical strategic issues?
      Is he begging Hindians to go easy on him and Gota?
      Is he begging Hindia to support Dr Gota’s candidacy?
      Is he showing official two fingers to Basil?

      Is he saying the world needs him?
      I remember some years ago VP the psychopath too thought every country in the world needed him. Then every country in the world got together and obliterated his fighting machine and eventually let some psychopaths to explore his bum.

      Therefore Dr Mahinda/Dr Gotabhaya too must understand that being nice to all powerful countries may not help any of them, eventually they will have to cover their own bums too.

    • 4
      5

      Dudley
      New York Times has published deconstructed gossip. In Donald Trump’s words – fake news. I wonder whether their rates are low these days for anything about Mahinda Rajapaksa and China can always sell like hot cakes worldwide and especially in the USA.
      I know nothing about Tsunami scam. But if the ex CJ gave a false Court decision, he should be charged, shouldn’t he? And he may be declared persona non grata given the high office he abused and disgraced.

      • 3
        6

        Absolutely Champa, NYT is the darling of pseudo liberals and the elitists world over, and the NYT publishes articles that would please that demography so that thier readership will not dwindle any further (the new generations are moving away from the mainstream media and the old guard media is grasping at every straw). NYT will publish any rubbish as long as it is read by the elitist..and we the sane need to be aware and constantly debunk their fake news and other rubbish

        • 1
          3

          Wannihami:
          The very fact that you espouse “Champa’s” downright idiocies speaks louder about your intelligence than anything anyone can say.
          However, perhaps, you’d care to recommend to readers of CT what daily publications they should be reading from other places? Rude Pravo, Pravda, the Chinese government’s publications, perhaps? I’m sure they’ll have lots of positive news about your heroes.

      • 6
        4

        Champa:
        To suggest that the readers of the NYT are waiting with bated breath to hear about your heroes speaks far louder of your intelligence and knowledge than anything anyone can say about someone who, obviously, dwells in a very deep well.
        I believe the Sinhala term, “Lin-gemba” is relevant in this context.

        • 3
          4

          Emil van der Poorten
          All who write against MR are intellectuals while all who write in support him are “lin-mediyas” seems to be your perception. Sound pathetic.
          I don’t see anything constructive in your comment to prove your point.

        • 0
          0

          This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 2
      0

      Mahinda Rajapaksa

      RE: On Allegations Made By The New York Times

      Shouldn’t the Citizens of Lanka sue you and your family for all the corruption, stealing and mismanagement?

      How China Got Sri Lanka to Cough Up a Port

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/25/world/asia/china-sri-lanka-port.html

      MR doubles down on suing New York Times

      https://www.newsfirst.lk/2018/07/mr-doubles-down-on-suing-new-york-times/

      Colombo (News1st) : Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa reiterated on Monday (July 3rd) that measures are being taken to file legal action against the New York Times for its recent investigative report which claimed the Former President accepted funds from China for the Presidential Election.

      Responding to questions by journalists, the former President stated that the matter has been handed over to his lawyers. He described the article as an attempt to set the entire country in flames based on false claims.

    • 2
      0

      Mahinda Rajapaksa

      RE: On Allegations Made By The New York Times.

      The Truth hurts.

      RE: On Allegations Made By Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler that the Earth moves and that the earth orbits the Sun… The Truth hurt the catholic Church s well.

      So WHAT is the TRUTH?

  • 20
    3

    At least you have the guts to write a reply. Normally your style is to daily attend a temple ceremony prepared and funded by you along with a TV crew and utter few political statements. You never make any statement of such issues in Parliament or in a TV debate, knowing very well you will be cornered and challenged.
    New York Times is a respected global newspaper. If these allegations are untrue why not sue the paper. Then we will get all the fully documented information.

    • 6
      3

      Sam Panditha – This bugger, Medamulana Meeharaka, cannot write. To be precise he will not understand the nature, effect and content of any document he is asked to sign!

    • 1
      7

      Sam Panditha
      Really? New York Times is a respected global newspaper? Respected, my foot! The article shows that they are bias and publish lies and bullshit.
      .
      They were fully aware that the story they carry could humiliate and offend the former Sri Lankan President who is a well known charismatic leader, unless the story is verified for accuracy to the dot.
      .
      Against all media ethics, NYT has opted to publish the article with many inaccuracies despite their failure to obtain the other side of the story. This isn’t true. There are many sources for them to check the veracity unless of course NYT had ulterior motives. Did the writer contact the Chairman/Elections Commission to check whether there is any Parliamentary Act on Campaign Financing? Did the writer contact Commission of Bribery and Corruption to check whether there is any legal authority for them to charge any candidate for accepting campaign funds?
      .
      Former President and China both have denied the campaign financing story but in Sri Lanka it is common for candidates to receive campaign financing same like in USA. In 2008 Hillary-Clinton accepted campaign funds from a well known LTTE-terrorist supporter Raj Rajaratnam. I don’t remember NYT publishing an article about that. According to Trump, Clinton has even accepted tens of millions of dollars in 2016 from Saudi Arabia violating the Federal Election Campaign Act that prohibits receiving contributions from foreign individuals/foreign governments. Did NYT publish an article defaming her?
      .
      NYT article is downright bias which should be ignored as deconstructed gossip.
      Moreover, they published a story that has no current political value. It is pretty obvious that NYT’s aim was to defame the former President with some campaign bullshit.
      Some say he should file a case. How could he file a case against a vague bullshit article?

    • 2
      4

      I doubt any one in the right mind will sue the NYT and tell the world about it, instead what people do is send a letter via a reputed law firm and NYT will settle out of court, you may be a Panditha by name but not aware of the American legal system

  • 7
    2

    My word. Look at all this information coming out. Why wasn’t the public made aware of this whilst it was happening? Where was the transparency?
    It has to come down to such a situation for you to open up on details regarding such important business dealings on behalf of the country.

    • 4
      2

      WV – white van

    • 2
      3

      derp
      The information carried in former President’s statement was always in the public domain and he had repeated the same information umpteenth times since 2015. If you have missed it, it is not his fault.

    • 3
      4

      derp, very true, Mahinda’s greatest mistake was not publishing the details when these deals were done, he has learnt his lesson and will do much better next time around.

  • 8
    12

    The fact of the matter is Ranil is a pariah with no traces of charismatic leadership in him or even an iota of worthwhile ideas of his own that could be utilized for the benefit of the country. He steals other peoples thunder when it comes to development projects, steals their friends and achievements having first uttered disparaging comments, sticks his label claiming ownership. Look at the man’s attire, still wearing his blacksuit aping the uncle US. Toilet papers like NYT has a habit of smearing faecus here and there to aid this clown back to power at the next election but it has not got the strength of character to own up that the clown has gone to China with his begging bowl to find a buyer for the Hambantota Port. Beggars! Bank robbers!! Conmen that steals poor citizens pension funds!!!

    • 1
      0

      As you say, this port project was conceived in the CBK era amid many other things as stated in this article.

      Bank robbers are currently in custody with evidence. What about all the other robbers?

  • 8
    11

    Dear President Sir,

    If you are indeed reading this, it is not too late to thank you for your efforts to protect and develop Sri Lanka during your term as President from 2005 to 2015.

    You inherited a war you did not start, but never complained about it, despite the fact that we know who started it, and which party was in power at the time. That party had so much power at that time that there was talk of folding up the electoral maps as they would no longer be needed. You may remember that time. They had enough firepower to burn a library. When you pushed your constitution through it was not with a fake referendum and threats to force resignation of the ministers at that time.

    It is a matter of concern as well as disappointment that those who reap the benefits of the peace and development that your government brought about, despite its flaws, are so ungrateful for the services you rendered at great risk to yourself. You also did so without robbing the bank.

    Sir, it is my belief that the billions of dollars you have been accused of stealing is too small a sum to repay the debt this countries owes you, your ministers and your war heroes.

    It is not possible to communicate with you in person, but if an organization is set up to enlist professionals to assist in putting forward a candidate and a manifesto for the next presidential campaign, many educated people must be ready help you. We all know what has to be done, we need a strong man to push it through. You must be aware that the next presidential candidate must promise to uphold the constitution and human rights, as well as ensure harmony among the communities, and take a second look at the relationship between the government, Sinhala majority, and the Tamil people. The LLRC went a long way towards the latter, and even the Bishop of Colombo was pleased with it. To qoute the Ground Views article:

    “The report of the LLRC was like a breath of fresh air in this country. It was one of the good things that happened over the past so many years. This is why it is imperative that it must come out in Sinhala and Tamil, not tomorrow. It must come out today.”

    Only the Sinhalese majority and the so called Sinhala hardliners can solve the problem of racial harmony, there is no one else the Sinhalese community will listen to. They will listen to you, so I request you to use this power well.

    As for the article: it is no secret that the United States is very concerned about the situation. In fact your good friend Ranil said he attended a course, probably Masters level, on how to overthrow you government, conducted by the intellectuals in the United States. The lackies and bus boys of the American government, their slave press and others no doubt will be starting their propaganda war. That is to be expected.

    People praising Lee Kuan Yew and Mahatir Mohammad on one hand tend to condemn the thought of a dictator on the other hand. These people also, some of them, supported our former dictator Junius Ceaser, our own President Jayawardene. No matter. Mahathir Mohammed is now the leader of Malaysia at 90.

    I hope we do not have to wait that long.

  • 12
    3

    Dear President Rajapakse,
    I am calling you president because even after bankruptcy Mudalai should be called Mudalai. Your response does not answer the pivotal issue. This what is relevant.

    Quote At least $7.6 million was dispensed from China Harbor’s account at Standard Chartered Bank to affiliates of Rajapaksa’s campaign, according to a document, seen by The Times, from an active internal government investigation. The document details China Harbor’s bank account number — ownership of which was verified — and intelligence gleaned from questioning of the people to whom the cheques were made out.

    With 10 days to go before polls opened, around $3.7 million was distributed in cheques: $678,000 to print campaign T-shirts and other promotional material and $297,000 to buy supporters gifts, including women’s saris. Another $38,000 was paid to a popular Buddhist monk who was supporting Rajapaksa’s electoral bid, while two cheques totaling $1.7 million were delivered by volunteers to Temple Trees, his official residence.

    Most of the payments were from a sub account controlled by China Harbor, named “HPDP Phase 2,” shorthand for Hambantota Port Development Project. China’s Network unquote.
    You are fortunate to have a true friend in Mr.Ranil Wickremesinghe.

    • 1
      0

      ” You are fortunate to have a true friend in Mr.Ranil Wickremesinghe.”

      Ranil went and took the keys at Temple Tree House in 2015. That time Ranil was only opposition leader in Parliament.

    • 0
      6

      Sarath de Alwis
      I took liberty to post a reply here though your comment was addressed to former President.
      Surely President Rajapaksa is not bankrupt. Otherwise New York Times would not take pains to publish an article which has no current political value.
      About campaign financing said to have done by China Harbour, can you show me any Parliamentary Act that has prohibited candidates accepting contributions from foreign companies or foreign governments or from locals?
      The campaign financier can distribute “his company money” that has nothing to do with Sri Lanka, the way he or company wants by allocating a certain portions for sarees or T-shirts or anything else. Both former President and China have denied any campaign financing from China Harbour Co. But nobody can dictate terms to an independent foreign company as to how they should spend their money. Almost all multinational companies in Sri Lanka contribute to individual political candidates and their parties during election campaigns along with media institutions and private companies. I am surprised of your ignorance.

    • 2
      4

      Sarath, you are becoming mighty respectful towards the Rajapakshas (because the coming colour is not good for your pal eh?), anyhoo, if I say I have seen a pink elephant in the jungles of wanni it is my responsibility to show a photograph at least of the said elephant if I want to make my claim credible, the same way it is the burden of the NYT to show/publish all those documents if their claims are to be considered credible..let them prove, proof of burden is on the accuser not the accused.

  • 1
    2

    After examining both sides of the same coin, it must become obvious that the bottom line is that it is a crooked deal worked out by crooked minds.

  • 7
    3

    Sam Panditha.

    …..At least you have the guts to write a reply….
    Do you seriously think that MaRa is capable of writing a reply let alone read it?
    GLP as usual,has done the honours.MaRa is no fool .The last thing he would do is to sue the New York Times.,and lose all the hard[or soft?] earned money over the years!

  • 8
    4

    The New York Times is a reputed newspaper. Assume they would have verified all sources of information and documents before the editors would have allowed the article to be published. This is a serious matter as it involves a former President of an independent country. The former President has the right to sue the newspaper for defamation. That should give him enough funds to finance future campaigns.

    • 2
      0

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 0
      0

      Hahaha Steve, would have? should have? or could have? If they had seen a document they will for sure publish it with parts retracted so as not to cross privacy boundaries, imaginary documents are just that, IMAGINARY!

  • 9
    4

    Dear Mr. Kurunegala MP and ex-President (Chased out of power by the people),
    Here is my considered response to your pathetic rebuttal against those grave and highly treacherous corruption allegations. In highly credible investigative against you by NYT:
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHHAHAHAHHAHHA!
    Cheers!
    PS: You should be behind bars by now for treason against SL.

    • 1
      3

      Oi gono, newjoke time has quoted ITN news…..

    • 0
      3

      Ben Hurling
      What is the highly treacherous corruption allegation? Highly credible investigative by NYT?
      The rebuttal is well versed repeating the facts which could have been obtained easily by the NYT if they really wanted. Instead, they have published an article based on hearsay and assumption that the former President could have taken the loan to built the Hambantotata Harbour from some other country other than China.
      It is clear that India is now repenting for not considering the value of the harbour in the long run and lend money to built it. I am glad the former President took the loan from China, not from India.

  • 7
    2

    Very poor and inaccurate response by MR and the puppet writes cabraal and glp. a load of bullshit which any intelligent reader will glean at a glance. Two rogues well known in sri lanka for robbing the country and the central bank are hoping that they can muddy the waters by writing this rubbish. All these infrastructure projects financed by loans from china are dead loss ones and the motivator for borrowing at extraordinary interest rates form China and not the development partners like WB and IMF and ADB were because when China lends no conditions or accountability is required and the Rajapakse family and group of morons and sycophants who were getting the crumbs under the table were only interested in the big commissions that were there for collection in the presidential toilets. A bunch of frigging rogues now trying to be soooooo honest. Get real Cabraal we all know what a crook you are. The NYT is not like the disreputable and crooked media we have in SL.

  • 11
    2

    So are we going to argue or debate here a Tsunami thief who stole millions of rupees got for the poorest of the poor living in huts after lose any tangible asset will accept this kickbacks from Chinese ?

    Rajapaksas have taken stealing state assets and corruption into a new level.

  • 15
    2

    Dear Sir,
    I just want to know one simple thing.
    First and foremost, who builds inland ports these days? Is Colombo port an inland port? What about Galle port? Is it an inland port?
    Then why did you choose to waste our land in Hambantota by building an inland port when you could have chosen to build it like Colombo or Galle?
    When you take a loan, obviously you intend paying it back from the revenue generated from the business coming to the project, is it not?
    Then how come, when phase I was not productive, ships were not coming as expected, you gave the go ahead for phase II, and at the same time you started expanding the Colombo port.
    If you honestly thought that Hambantota port was going to be successful you wouldn’t have gone for a port expansion at Colombo.
    Either you were played by the Chinese or you wilingly conceded the port to help Chinese in return for their favour.
    Chinese have the same modus operandi in most places where they have vested interest, Sri Lanka is no exception.
    Particularly when your record with war crimes was on shaky grounds, they had an advantage, they would use their VETO powers at the expense of a bit of land in Sri Lanka.
    Worked well didn’t it? Well all this had to happen because you knew you were guilty, otherwise why fear?
    Did you know that Chinese submarines based ballistic nuclear missiles didn’t have the range to hit USA from Chinese waters back then? And neither did they have the capability to stay submerged for long periods of time? Hence the Chinese nuclear deterrent was not effective, unless they had a base in a vital place. Did you not know the strategic importance of Hambantota in controlling the south Indian ocean?
    Did you know that perhaps the Chinese wanted to use Hambantota port to hide their nuclear subs?
    And perhaps they sabourtaged the ability for the port to operate productively so that they could gain control?
    I bet you did, they have done this type of thing in other places too.
    You built a commercially non-viable Airport at our expense close to the seaport to match. How stupid.
    An airport the Chinese can use for logistical support for the seaport!
    Do you know that USA would have aimed a couple of their nuclear assets at Hambantota to nullify the advantage the Chinese have in Hambantota in case of a conflict?
    How much did they actually pay you for this?
    7.6 million usd is chicken change for this kind of massive obvious “blunder”.
    You sold us out.
    You are a traitor in my eyes my friend. You have compromised us for your selfish interest, and you still want more, what a shame.
    Don’t think for 1 minute that all Sri Lankans are stupid, as you would wish, your appeal is with the frogs in a well kind of guys, their numbers are dwindling everyday. Sorry for you.

    Lasith

  • 5
    3

    . My dear Discarded President, Please go and tell it to those `konde bandapu Cheenaas` of Thangalle who may be gullible enough to believe you . Sensible people living in this country know that you are an ardent follower of Arnold Lustig and Baron Munchaussen! Now, at least for our amusement, will you please tell us something about that ” Saving (or Shaving) Hambantota Tsunaami Fund ” Jalbariya and how you managed to `Jilmaart` the presedential election!

  • 6
    2

    Mahinda old pal,

    I am once again impressed with your explanations of your good governance. Of course, I belong to the average gullible SL sect with the ‘frog in the well’ syndrome but despite my ignorance when it comes to world politics, foreign policy & the cost/benefits of mega development projects, if I were you, I would have immediately written to the editor of NY Times in the strongest possible terms to set the record straight (unless you have done so already but you would have mentioned that in your article wouldn’t you?) After all, NY Times is a respected International newspaper & they would take pride in reporting the truth & not go for sensationalism to sell their paper.

    I hear that in America, law suits are common but even if you don’t want compensation for smearing your character internationally (you obviously have a comfortable life style with your Govt, pension & savings from your earnings during your term as President without having to resort to blood money from a newspaper), an apology by the editor for misinterpretation would be invaluable as you still have political aspirations. You can then face International leaders with your head held high, your character unblemished, that is if you are successful.

    • 4
      2

      Nah, he rather speak about such preposterous allegations with innocent folk of the outskirts with words acknowledged by a monk in the background to solidify the dialogue.

      This has been going on for years now. Dodging allegations and arrests.

      All a dramatic hoo-haa bound to reach demise eventually.

    • 1
      4

      Raj
      Donald Trump accused US media for publishing fake news numerous times but he didn’t write to Editors individually as there is no reason to do so.
      NYT bullshit can’t do any damage to former President’s character. I don’t see any reason for him to stoop to their level as China already categorically denied the article and its fabricated allegations based on assumption.

      • 1
        0

        Well said Champa, there are too many apes here, jumping from their trees to NYT garbage dump, getting their feet smelly. They have no brains of their to think, but only to mimick propaganda of the traitors.

  • 3
    1

    The New York Times has described me as China’s preferred partner in Sri Lanka. Given what has
    taken place after 2015, I have no doubt that I am now the preferred partner of India as well.

    Only after the new york times described as China’s preferred partner in Sri Lanka,
    that india became the preferred partner, other wise what was you position of partnership with india.

  • 1
    1

    What a gimmick of putting this in free CT. NYT saying nobody responded for its repeated request to comment.

    Not worth to comment on gimmicks like this.

  • 0
    1

    sarath de alwis: Don’t worry. MR will explain all those transactions in the same way Mr. Sujeeva Senasinghe, the Deputy Minister explained the “Campaign Funds” given to him by Aloysious of Perpetual. In the “News”: “MR has already instructed his “Lawyers”(not Namal) to sue New York Times for “Defamation”. Let us start a “Campaign” to expedite that action against NYT. If not, MR will slowly “skip” that even to lose millions of much needed “Dollars”.

  • 2
    0

    Can somebody link the feasibility study reports GLP quoting from Canada and Denmark?

    I want to see how these engineering companies were estimating the revenue, in those engineering feasibility studies. I want to know if they have shown breakeven points in those reports and if they two matched time of occurrence of it without contradiction.

    Can somebody make a request to RTI to release the documents in GLP’s reply and NYT’s essay?

  • 3
    2

    Interesting to know why the CID/FCID suddenly shelved this inquiry which popped up in 2015. Read the Daily News story here:

    CID bust massive money transaction during Presidential election
    Rs. 149 million transferred from Chinese company’s accounts
    Money used for T-shirts and caps sporting MR badges
    Wednesday, July 22, 2015 – 01:00
    Print Edition
    Local
    The Criminal Investigations Depart-ment (CID) is investigating a case where the China Harbour Engineering Company has allegedly handed over a staggering Rs. 149 million to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s election campaign, last year.

    China Harbour Engineering Company was a company involved in a number of key construction projects in Sri Lanka – including the Hambanthota International Harbour- when former President Rajapaksa was in power.

    The company is an international contractor that is a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC).

    The CID had found out that money had been obtained from HTPD Phase 02 013359190/19 account of the company, maintained at Standard Chartered Bank, Colombo. A person by the name of V.H.R.H. Francisco had obtained Rs. 89 million on December 12, 2014 and January 07, 2015 in three cheques, CID sources said.

    The Police had found evidence that the money had been handed over to a person named Hema Madiwela, who was involved in election operations at Temple Trees, to produce 245,000 T-shirts and 125,000 caps containing the picture of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

    http://www.dailynews.lk/2018/06/30/local/155454/cid-bust-massive-money-transaction-during-presidential-election

    • 0
      0

      What happened was Ranil turned all these into Vehicle abuses. Ranil even turned Thajudeen case as Beauty queens abusing ICRC’s SUV. What Ranil saying is he is saving the country, after all his earlier Heroes too repeatedly saved, i.e. from Don Stephen to Old King?

      Now China is claiming the manmade Island in Hangbangtota is Chinese Free hold Property. China promised not to use Harbor for military purpose. But that Island seems to not include in the contract by Ranil, so they will use that to military purpose. I do not know if is that is why Ranil rushing to move Galle Navy Camp to Hangbangtota. Will the mouse by standing on the doorway block the elephant walking in?

  • 4
    1

    a story every Sri Lankan should read from the leading and (virtually) only English language newspaper from Hong Kong and owned by Alibaba Group.

    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2153194/hooking-razak-arroyo-and-rajapaksa-risks-chinas

  • 6
    1

    Geeze man, Mahinda ……. so LIBOR, eh?

    You are an economic wizard!

  • 0
    1

    There is news that Old King is filing a law suit against NYT. Here is GLP drafted, in defense essay, is appearing. Normally a party in the law doesn’t discuss the matter publicly. It is not just the defense can build its points, but the judges wouldn’t like it either.
    What is interesting here is, as Sarath De Alwis has pointed out above, GLP did not discuss the main contents of the NYT’s article. That is the area, if proven wrong, can bring a fortune to Old Royals. So the question is, when GLP was drafting this, did he use his legal expertise and purposefully evaded venturing into it.
    NYT’s essay is saying that China spent a $7.6M to have Old Royals reinstalled in the Temple Tree House. If NYT win the case, I think the international forces, including IMF, ADB who spend development money on Lankawe will be pressuring the Yahapalanaya to black list the Chinese institution attempted to bribe. This may temporarily hurt UNP, SLFP, GLP’s Slap party and the Chinese institutions. But soon they will find out work around the proscription, if ended to that extent. I think some Sinhala Buddhist may start to outcry that this as CIA’s new trap to catch Appe Aanduwa.
    New York Times had asked for comments from Old Royals. Royals stayed away from commenting, but did not decline it seems. To keep up their balanced appearance, Journalist asks the relevant parties to comment. A judge may not take not responding into consideration as a substantial flaw in plaintiff’s part, but though a suspicion of plaintiff’s motive of the law suit will be present there in the court. GLP’s rebuttal draft appearing here is not telling if the Old Royals has requested to publish a statement on their behalf too, in NYT.

    • 0
      3

      Mallaiyuran
      There is no law in Sri Lanka prohibiting any Presidential candidate accepting campaign financing or making it compulsory to issue a declaration indicating the amount of the contribution or the source. In that sense there was no reason for former President to answer any questions posed by New York Times or any other jokers or local monkeys on that matter.
      .
      Former US Secretary of State John Kerry, in the preface of his Department’s Financial Report for Fiscal Year-2016 stated that “$585 million” was spent for funding various agencies such as; civil society, citizen movements, faith leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, political activists, organizations and others in Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Burma with a view to make important democratic changes; in other words financing election campaigns in 2015 to ousting “authoritarian” leaders of those “post-conflict states.”
      .
      I wonder as to why your reputed New York Times “investigative journalism” was failed to find out exactly how much John Kerry funded former President’s opponents Ranil and Maithree to initiate and strengthen their political backstabbing campaign to ousted him.
      .
      To make it easy, $585/3 is $195. That means if John Kerry spent US$585 million equally among the three countries; Ranil and Maithree, their allies and NGOs in Sri Lanka may have received “$195 million” which is 26 times high vis-a-vis what NYT claimed China Harbour company said to have contributed to former President’s election campaign in 2015.
      .
      Man, New York Times or any other foreign newspaper is not the Holy Bible to believe every bullshit they publish against the former President.

  • 0
    0

    Normally all cases for damages, have two aspects, criminal and Civil. The lawyers prefer the criminal case go first so the compensation will be splendid. Ramanayake has asked to investigate this in Lankawe. If that investigation can succeed it will be a drawback to Old Royals in New York. Any investigation taking place in Lankawe is unlikely. Further, American lawyers may like to expedite the case, irrelevant of any possible criminal cases in Lankawe.
    NYT reporter has already rejected some of the claims Ranjan’s said. Health Minister Rajitha has said NYT has brought out something that both, CID and F word CID missed. Some other UNPyers too have talked on this, but Ranil is keeping his mouth shut. JVP is showing interest in this, but TNA is said to be willing to restart negotiation with Old Royal, after the stand still experience with UNP. So Official Opposition party is unlikely taking this to Parliament.
    Our comments above are on the assumption of a case being filed in New York. 1. That is where the report was published. 2. That is where the award for libel damages are very heavy. We know recently New King demanded Lanka-E-News editor extradited to sue him in Lankawe. The disastrous failure on that made New Royals to back track on that request. So that is unthinkable in this case for Yahapalanaya asking for an extradition of the reporter to save the name of the Old Royals, by cooking up Sinhala Jury Verdict Kangaroo Court .

  • 0
    1

    MR, you were soft towards Chinese. You ordered Norachcholai staff to keep quiet when it was designed (by Chinese Engineers) and constructed (with mainly Chinese labour). Rest is history.

    Remember just before handing over the Hambantota Harbour, the Chinese engineers told you that ships cannot enter. They wanted US$48 million to blast the rocks. They brought their own explosives, stored and used it without accounting.

    The world, particularly poorer nations, is waking up to the Shylockian tactics.

  • 1
    0

    MR, the Chinese Embassy issued an explanation of sorts to New York Times.
    Lankans seem to attach importance to NY Times. Why?

    Perhaps you should ask Basil and Gota as to why the duo are reluctant to renounce US citizenship?

  • 1
    0

    NY Times must be challenged. Why not sue them in a Lankan court?
    PS: Those traitors in black robes please be warned.

  • 1
    0

    LOL.

  • 3
    0

    “Profit of the SLPA in 2014 after paying all loans and taxes was Rs. 8.8 billion”

    Fair enough. SLPA may be doing well in profits from a Rupees perspective. But this amount will be less than 80 million US dollars per year. If the loan is approximately 1800 million dollars payable by 2036, then dishing out all the the profit from SLPA enough every year will not be enough to pay the whole sum.

    Of course, Hambanthota Harbour will grow, but what about the detrimental effects on Colombo in long term?

    As usual, I feel this article is trying to hoodwink the gullible public by deception

    • 0
      0

      Colombo business will be eroded by India. Most of the Colombo Business is Indian Transshipments. Now, after China took the Colombo Port management, they are getting out of their winter slumber. If they develop Seth, their ports can be upgraded, Transshipments would not be necessary, thereafter. But in contrast, India is thinking to improve Railway System in Lankawe with a bridge between the countries so the transshipments will be easier. If that works out for India, Colombo and Trinco will gain more grounds than Hangbangtota. India is still considering Pakistan as the main problem. So they downplay the headache of Lankawe.

      We don’t know if the Hangbangtota can really kill Colombo. If China keeps enhancing Hangbangtota only with modern facilities it may damage Colombo. (It is China managing the major part of the Colombo port too.) If China attempts to capture the Colombo Transshipments in Hangbangtota, the ships may still have to dock again at Colombo, because local shipments on those ships can be handled only by Colombo, it is from where only road network exists for other local towns.

      Feasibility studies said to be done by Canadian and Denmark companies. There is a chance they concentrated on engineering evaluation, instead of business analysis. I remember American Ambassador Robert Blake repeatedly discounting it as commercially not viable project. So I would guess he did know minimum the Canadian Feasibility study’s existence. Even if there is enough Business plan included in those studies, now Chinese have taken upside down turn. They want to build an industrial zone to cater the harbor. They demanded and took five villages land for this purpose. They said without the land for exploiting in industrial zone, the harbor would be loss for them too. Already power and water strived Lankawe will be taking the ponding of the power and water hungry Industrial zone. Ranil is talking about saving the country. We will know the real meaning of these words when really starting to experience it.

  • 6
    1

    Mahindaya is not capable of writing this piece at all. As is well known to those who have associated with him closely, his English grammar is very poor. This is written by a hack writer, probably G.L.Pappa. Mahindaya cannot write well even in Sinhala nowadays. The reason is he had given up reading anything substantial long time ago. For a number of years he has been reading only the astrology pages of Sinhala tabloids and social media comments pertaining to his scandals.
    *
    Once I ran into him when he was about to have lunch with some of his political hacks at the Hambantota Rest House sometime in early 2014. We had known each other when he was a political novice, but that’s another story. Anyway, Mahindaya being his usual sociable self, asked me to join them for lunch. After a few rounds of the distilled stuff, the mood turned lighter and I became a little bold to compliment him by saying, “you have emerged as the greatest leader of modern Sri Lanka.” I could see this made him even more intoxicated. He replied – with what I thought was false modesty – “I do what I can.” I then told him he must be reading some great books in order to cultivate the qualities of a great leader … like English poetry and fiction. He then took one more sip, thought for a while and then turned to me and quipped, “Where is the time to read all that stuff … the only English poetry I have ever read is Baa Baa Black Sheep and the only novel is Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves … and that too while studying at Richmond College.” To this day I don’t know if he was being sarcastic or if he was telling the truth.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.