The Rajapaksa-regime’s desperate need to be in China’s good books has resulted in a significant loss of land as land transfers have been agreed upon to two Chinese firms as charges for their projects in Sri Lanka, the weekly Sinhala newspaper Ravaya has reported.
It has been noted that a Chinese firm has requested for the ownership of the 198-acre land in Gampaha, claiming the expressway construction under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme is not profitable.
The Ravaya report also states that another Chinese company has requested for a large land area in return for constructing a dam to prevent coastal erosion along Colombo South Port to Moratuwa.
Despite pledges made by the Rajapaksa-led UPFA of not allowing a single inch of land to be sold to foreigners, it has already sold 10 acres from the Army headquarters’ premises in Galle Face Green to the Shangri La group and has agreed to handover the ownership of 1/3 of the Port City that is currently being constructed in Colombo on land reclaimed from the sea to another Chinese firm.
Meanwhile, the weekly English newspaper – the Sunday Times reports Sri Lanka’s continuous coaxing of the Chinese has ruffled feathers of Indian authorities. ST Political Column titled ‘UPFA loses friends and influences disasters’ states that Indian External Affairs Minister Swaraj had raised issue with her Sri Lankan counterpart Peiris over a decision by the Government to permit China National Aero-Technology Import-Export Corporation (CATIC) to establish an Aircraft Base Maintenance Center worth 40.3 million USD in Trincomalee, pointing out it violates the Indo-Lanka Accord of 1987.
The Column exclusively reports that the project aims at producing indigenous aircraft and will also provide for a large housing block in the picturesque Marble Beach to accommodate the Chinese crew.