This Is The Colombo Port City?

Filed under: Colombo Telegraph,MORE OPINION,Opinion |

By Yudhanjaya Wijeratne

Yudhanjaya Wijeratne

Yudhanjaya Wijeratne

Yesterday, I was invited to go on a (guided) tour of the much-discussed Colombo Port City. I, along with a small crowd of twitterati, were taken to look at what’s already built, ask questions, take photos and cross-examine the management of CHEC Port City Colombo Private Limited, the people doing the actual construction. When I told my friends that I’d be at the Port City in the morning, the first thing everyone said was “Don’t get shot”.

Indeed, I expected people with guns and boards saying “no photography”. It was something of a disappointment: I wasn’t shot at, was never told to put my camera down. We were taken in vans to the actual site, and I did not see a single soldier: instead, my group had David (Li Yue), a very cordial fellow who told me he’d been here for a year and a half and lived near the Beira Lake, towards the temple. He mentioned using Yamu.lk to explore the city and said that liked to get his coffee from Wight and Co on Marine Drive.

David was worried; he referred multiple times to “this pressure”. We were escorted around by the chief engineer of the project (a Sri Lankan, though I did not catch his name). He’s the man on the left in white shirtsleeves in the photo below.

Port City

*The only thing even remotely threatening was the scowl on the face of that guy in the black shirt.

I expected the tour to lead us away from the actual building of the land, and in that I was correct. We started at an engineer’s barracks, headed a brief distance to the edge of the marina being constructed, and then were whisked inland to the top of the Pagoda for “a bird’s eye view”. After that, it was off to a boardroom discussion with higher-ranking officials from the project. In short, we didn’t get to set foot on the significant portion of the work. Thankfully, my camera, while not very fancy, can still read numberplates at that distance.

I don’t tweet often, but those who were tweeting that day were taking a phenomenal amount of flak on Twitter, so let’s start off with a disclaimer:

  • I do not represent any government.
  • I was there in my capacity as a blogger, and not representing any person, organization or group of persons that I work for or have affiliations with. I went on the condition that I would get to ask questions and expect some straight answers.
  • I was not involved in the selection of those who attended, nor am I affiliated with those who presumably did the selecting.
  • I was not paid for this. We were given lunch, a notebook (paper, not electronic) and a pen drive. I can easily afford all three (and I believe this is true for all who were there that day), so I do not take this is a bribe, but rather, a courtesy.
  • All images used in this post are mine, unless otherwise mentioned. Feel free to use them.

The Numbers

Port City

The tour began from Galle Face Green and into a visual overview of the Colombo Port City. But before I project my opinion, here are the numbers. They’ll make it easier to understand (or visualize) the photos:

  • The Port City will be 223 hectares in area (2.23 square km, or 541 acres). It’s a huge curving shape that’ll stretch from the tip of the Colombo Port parallel to the Pagoda, curving towards an end in front of the Old Parliament building, and will be protected by a massive breakwater following the curve of the newly-built land. To be crude, we’re not giving land to the Chinese: the Chinese are making land.
  • The Port City Project is done by CHEC Port City Colombo, a company integrated under Sri Lankan law. It is a local front fully owned and operated by China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCC).
  • CCCC is owned by the Chinese government; 10,324.9 million shares, 63.84% of the total capital, is held by the China Communications Construction Group, controlled by State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASC). They’re listed on the stock exchanges of both Singapore and China ( SEHK: 1800, SSE: 601800 ). They’re also on Forbes Global 2000 (# 306), with assets worth $85.6 billion. Here are the reports from Reuters and Bloomberg.
  • As far as I can make out, they’re the third largest port construction company in the world. They built the Macau International Airport (the entire island, not just the airport), the Hong Kong International Airport (which also involved building the land it’s on) and the Gawadar Deepwater Port in Pakistan. In 2009 the World Bank debarred it for fraud in a Philippines road construction project, preventing it from working on any World Bank sanctioned road or bridge projects until January 12, 2017. You can Google these guys; skip past the wave of press releases and find newspaper articles from different countries for the best reading experience.
  • Why is CCCC important? Because CCCC is not an investor of the Port City, but the investor: the entirety of spending for this project is from their coffers (they told us the fund for the Colombo Port City roughly 30% from equity and 70% from loans they’ve obtained, but I have no way of verifying this.) CHECH Port City Colombo simply seems to be the legal intermediary. GoSL spends nothing.
  • Once the Port City is built, the Government of Sri Lanka, according to the contract, gets 125 hectares (308.882 acres) on a freehold basis (meaning you own it forever, and have the right to do what you want with it). CCCC gets 108 hectares (266.874 acres). Of these, 88 hectares are on a 99-year lease: at the end of 99 years, ownership is to be transferred to the GoSl. 20 hectares will be owned by CCCC on a freehold basis.I have not seen this contract, so make of this what you will. When I asked to see a copy of the document, or whether it will be released to the public at any point, I was told that the contract is private and confidential.

My God, It’s Full Of Sand

We trudged out to an outpost of sand and rock, but it was only at the Pagoda that I managed to get a clear view of the proceedings:

Port city

This is the Port City. Those blue-roofed buildings are where the tour started. That stretch of rubble past the lighthouse (left) were where we were taken to. In its current state, it looks like someone just stumbled across a beach; it would be cute if it weren’t for the scale of the city: this is just 10% of the full thing. The rest of the land reclamation will take another 2 1/2 years.

(Land reclamation, for those not in the know, is the process of excavating sand from the sea and by dumping massive amounts of it directly onto the seabed. Here it’s done by a process called rainbow dredging: a ship called the dredger collects slurry – sand mixed with water – which then stored on the ship and transported to the site. A dredger can eject the slurry in massive arcs to where it needs to go, like a torrential vomit of several tons of sand and water).

Port City

*This, apparently, is a dredger. Feel free to verify with someone who knows their ships (I don’t).

Where we stood, it was about 8 metres to the seabed. Out towards the Port City’s planned edges, nearer to the lighthouse, it was around 22 metres. A breakwater, 5.5 km in length, will run around all of the city. I was told it would take between 60 and 70 million cubic meters of sand for Phase I and about 4 million cubic meters of rubble, with the rubble being supplied by 10 local suppliers. The engineers told me that if the suspension was lifted tomorrow, they could have it done in about 30 months. None of this, they insisted, was on schedule any more. Everything that was shown to the public – those high-rise buildings, images of parks and so on – is still far away. Here’s a rough timeline of how all this came to be:

  • 1998: First proposal by a Singaporean Company called CESMA (now Suburna)
  • 2004: Western Megapolis plan submitted by the UNP, with Pettah to be a leisure center with a harbour front. The project went nowhere.
  • 2011: Beginning of discussions between CCCC and the GoSL Bid submitted to SLFPA (they were very adamant that it was submitted to the part and not the government as a whole). Standing cabinet reviews the bid.
  • 2012: Detailed proposal submitted to SLFPA
  • 2013: EIA done by Moratuwa University.
  • 2014: Cabinet approves key terms (January); Approval given to sign the contract (September)

Phase II, where investors buy land, move in, and turn the whole thing into the new Colombo, is supposed to be 15 years in the future. We were later shown a map, which we were asked not to photograph because it was not yet finalized. It had residential units marked along the piers and towards the middle, making up about half of the total area.

Towards Colombo were banks of commercial buildings; near the pagoda were areas allocated for a hospital. There were areas for educational institutes, for a convention center, for watersport parks, 3.5 km of beaches, and a marina in front of the Old Parliament where yachts are supposed to be parked. There’s a body of water down the middle. Buildings will be built (by anyone) under both structural and aesthetic guidelines from a massive development control regulations document. One of my notes from that meeting reads “It looks like it could be pretty, also pretty self-sufficient.”

I did not see any submarines or docking stations. If they are coming, they certainly aren’t here yet. The master plan for the City, I was told, was done by Sweco (of Sweden) and audited by Atkins of UK. AECOM (of the US of A) mapped out infrastructure while CBRE mapped out project feasibility. All of these are massive, international companies, so if anyone can cross-check and verify, that would be excellent.

Who Owns Us Now?

Sri Lanka, as a whole, never saw this contract, and were never told the terms. That, eventually led to the most pressing question for all of us: what law will be applied here? Whose land is this? Is this Sri Lankan or is it Chinese?

I asked this question from the Sri Lankan engineers, from David, and later, from Lian Thow Ming, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of CHEC Port City Colombo. They were adamant that it was Sri Lankan law. Any business setting up shop here would have to comply with the laws and edicts of the government of Sri Lanka. And, just as importantly, jurisdiction of the sea area belongs beyond and around the harbour to Sri Lanka. I assume this means that Sri Lankan police will patrol the streets, preventing crime and creating traffic.

Ming was polite, but irritated. At every stage there was an undercurrent of frustration with the government. I’ll type here what he said:

“Under the laws of this country, anyone who buys a plot of land owns it. We are not only spending 13 billion dollars for land, but also giving more than half of it to your government to keep for free. But we are not even buying land. We own part of this land. We will sell it to investors to come build here, and we will make a profit. Do you think if we were not doing this under the laws of your country, we would suspend this project? No, we would not. If we were doing this illegally we would not stop building. But your government asks us to stop, so we stop and wait for their word. We are not doing this because we are charitable people, or because we want to occupy part of the country. No company is going to spend 13 billion dollars for nothing. We come for business and profit.

Some people were arguing that there were tax breaks. Of course. To make this project commercially viable there must be some incentive. If you don’t do the project, nobody generates profit, nobody makes anything. If you do the project, people set up businesses here, businesses make profit and that means more tax money.”

That actually makes sense if you look at CCCC as a purely commercial entity rather than an extension of China’s government (a very big if, mind you). Because honestly, there’s enough and more people bitching about how Sri Lanka should hurry up and turn into Singapore already, but pride and culture doesn’t buy development: money and trade does.

port city

*Image courtesy of the CHEC

The next part, though, doesn’t make sense: with regard to the actual plots (of the city) CCCC / CHEC apparently has “no idea” what parts they’ll be owning. They are getting 108 acres, but which pieces? There is a process with the government, they say. The government hasn’t yet told them what parts it wants. I have no experience in building port cities, nor do I deal with billions of dollars, but I have a great deal of trouble believing that anyone would invest such a huge amount of money and effort and then say “oh, we have no idea what exactly we’re getting.”

Will They Make A Racetrack?

Throughout the whole thing, I asked people what they would do if the project was shut down by the government. What the contingency plans were. Almost everybody said they believed that would not happen, but yes, it turns out the contract apparently has means of reclaiming their investment. What these, and how they could be enforced, they were reluctant to discuss: Lien’s legal aide broke in with mention of a Sri Lanka – China bilateral agreement signed somewhere in the 1970’s that protect them in some form. China’s had a pretty long history with Sri Lanka: quite a lot of military gear and telecom infrastructure are from Chinese companies. I have no idea what this agreement is, though: if it exists, it doesn’t seem to show up on the web. If anyone knows what it is, do link below.

The environment is the next most frequent question. I was told that according to the terms of the contract, the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) report was the responsibility of the government of Sri Lanka. It was done by the Moratuwa University and was commissioned by the Ports Authority. And that was apparently as far as they were willing to go.

There is a whole lot of controversy surrounding this report, some of politically generated (see here) some of it from actual environment activists and lawyers (see here). There’s also the question of waste: something this large means, quite literally, a lot of shit. And heat. And all manner of other substances. On that, Ming had no answer: they said they were still figuring it out. “We’re still not going to dump it in the sea – that’s what you do now,” he said.

That makes no sense. If anything, it casts more doubt onto that EIA. How do you assess environmental impact if you have no idea where metric tons of waste will go?

One of the last questions put to me before I went off was what effect all of this would have on the price of commodities – namely, sand and rubble. This question eventually evolved into a discussion on the suppliers. Right now, the Colombo Port City project employs 10 suppliers bringing them rubble. They didn’t disclose the names of the suppliers, but the Lankan engineers were quick to say that they employ ten out of hundreds in the country, so there’s no risk of the market running out, and that they needed that number mostly because logistics of running 500 trucks a day deemed it necessary. The sand they deemed irrelevant to the market: building construction needed river sand, they pointed out, not sea sand. They were fantastically proud of the Port City, they said, and of their part in it.

As for the land value increasing of Colombo increasing? That’s actually inevitable, but it works out well for CCCC: higher land values in Colombo also mean more people will be inclined to buy land on the Port City. Cue higher profits.

And the racetrack? “We have no plans as of yet to build an F1 racetrack,” said Ming cautiously. “I come from Singapore, where we turn the Marina Bay roads into a street circuit for night races (note to self: aha, now we know where that idea comes from). The quality of tar required is different. Our roads will be good, but maybe we will not have an F1 here just yet.”

What Bugs Me About The Whole Thing

Port city

  • The politicians and the String of Pearls – The Colombo Port City is as much a symbol of political and cultural power as anything else. Politicians use it as ammunition for their causes; conservationists roar about casinos and brothels and the slow death of Lankan culture; Ceylon Today is using it to generate lots of web traffic; India seems to fear it; the US is wriggling. The former two are idiots, but look up the String of Pearls hypothesis and you’ll see why the superpowers are getting their underwear in a twist.
  • The mystique  – “Is this piece of land Sri Lankan or Chinese?” is not a question any citizen should have to ask inside Sri Lanka. The government should have made these things clear. Instead of actual data, one sees the “sovereignty” tossed around by every Tom, Dick and Kotalawala. Why the draconian security? If this was such a simple, commercial deal, why all the mystique? When I asked, Ming stated that they were aware that they should have “tried to reach out more to the public, and done it better, which is why you are here.”Even so, why a random collection of twitter personages? As fascinating as the Sri Lankan twitter community is, a bunch of people taking selfies left, right and center and a blogger (me) is hardly a replacement for having actual journalists from the mainstream Sri Lankan media attending.
  • The plans “not being finalised” – I don’t believe that.
  • Environmental impact was definitely not sorted out – If it’s the government’s responsibility to look into it, it should be looked into immediately. Right now it’s the equivalent of buying a commode without knowing where the bathroom is.
  • The contract – At every turn, this contract is referenced, but as far as I know the government has not made a single statement about it. At the very least, a list of the key points should be published. We are, as a nation, engaged in a giant political tug of war between China, India and the US. One of which has helped us massively in the past (China), one of which has funded terrorists and poached our fish (India) and one of which has a history of colossal arrogance and international war at the drop of a drop of oil.

I personally have no doubt that economically, this is going to be a huge thing. People will live here. There’ll be 3.5 kilometers of public beaches. Actual malls will set up shop, and not just micromalls like Majestic City and Crescat. International companies will set up offices here – retail spaces are enough; it’s the offices that will really drive change. Sri Lanka has a skilled IT / BPO industry; that will probably blossom. Sri Lanka badly needs this kind of investment if it’s to become anything like the massively important hub of the world every full-blooded Sri Lankan seems to think it is. We don’t have the money ourselves, and nobody is willing to give it to us.

I was honestly reassured by how utterly profit-oriented the CHEC people seemed to be: between businessmen and politicians, it’s the latter that have problems with honesty. However, make no mistake: China is building this port. They’re say they’re not here to settle, but they have the right to; there’s plenty of space in there for everyone. And I don’t know what’s in that contract, but I don’t think Sri Lanka pulling out will be a painless process. I also don’t think that everyone is playing with a straight bat.

For better or the worse, Chinese influence is coming. Whether we end up turning into Singapore or into Hong Kong remains to be seen.

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23 Responses to This Is The Colombo Port City?

  1. 5
    5
    “We come for business and profit” This is why china has given mega loans and also did – by Chinese firms, that is – the actual construction of the many projects. Big money means big profit and along the way, palms have to be greased. This is why MR government accepted the mega loans for mega projects. A big man with a big palm vanished two days after the election. Now we the poor Sri Lankans have to pay back with massive interest over decades. Many of the mega projects are now dormant & useless. The very absence of contracts which this government can peruse, is proof of mega shady deals – not only on this “port city” but also all other (Chinese) “projects”.

    justice
    March 30, 2015 at 3:04 am
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    • 1
      5
      Jusice – sorry to say – you are a “binkunda” – unfortunately this country is full of Binkundas like you

      Rabok
      March 30, 2015 at 12:13 pm
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      • 2
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        Yudhanjaya Wijeratne, When Chinese own 108 hectares of the land they own the ocean of that part. Chinese could build their own naval base and start the MSR (Maritime Sea Route). They can do whatever they want because it is not part of Sri Lanka but part of China. I don’t understand why you didn’t see that threat in your much analysed report. -:) Read this lessons learned from Chinese oil rig issue with Vietnam that happened last year. http://thediplomat.com/2014/08/learning-from-chinas-oil-rig-standoff-with-vietnam/

        Sumith
        March 31, 2015 at 6:54 pm
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        • 0
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          It is not only Chinese companies who own land in this country. No one who owns beach front lands has any claim to the beach or the sea. They come under the coast conservator. These are silly arguments to justify stupid actions.

          NAK
          March 31, 2015 at 8:31 pm
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          • 0
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            NAK, [On May 2 2014, China unilaterally placed an oil-drilling rig in waters 120 miles from Vietnam’s coast – near islands claimed by both countries and well within Hanoi’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone set by international law. ] this Island was used by China during Vietnam war and China claimed right for the Island and installed Oil rig. [The Law of the Sea Treaty, establishes specific jurisdictional limits on the ocean area that countries may claim, including a 12-mile territorial sea limit and a 200-mile exclusive economic zone limit.] Once China own 108 hectares then they own the land and the upto 200-mile ocean area.

            sumith
            April 1, 2015 at 5:19 am
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  2. 5
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    Yudhanjaya Wijeratne – “For better or the worse, Chinese influence is coming. Whether we end up turning into Singapore or into Hong Kong remains to be seen.” It seems Sri Lanka left it too late to become another Singapore! But who wants to live in another Singapore? The Singapore Airport is the only reason Singapore is World Class. The people have no History, no Culture, nothing to look forward to but FOOD!

    Hamlet
    March 30, 2015 at 6:53 am
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    • 3
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      This is quite wrong., Its true the Changi Airpot is world class. But. Singapore have develop its manpower into skilled workforce with 35% of the workforce as uni graduates and with high tech industries and a regional player for US and EU companies to have their Asian headquarter in Singapore.

      Medamulana Muththa
      March 30, 2015 at 2:38 pm
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      • 1
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        Medamulana Muththa:- Since when have you become so materialistic? Do you want “US and EU companies to have their Asian headquarter in Sri Lanka”? Or do you prefer India and China?

        Hamlet
        March 30, 2015 at 7:37 pm
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  3. 2
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    ” Whether we end up turning into Singapore or into Hong Kong remains to be seen.” if these clowns keep running the country it will end up like Myanmar .

    Abhaya
    March 30, 2015 at 7:02 am
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  4. 5
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    Yudhanjaya, you say, “To be crude, we’re not giving land to the Chinese: the Chinese are making land.” That’s pretty “crude” to be sure! Where does all the material (rocks, sand, earth, etc) come from? From “our land”, which has to bear the obvious environmental effects from this ‘rape’, (not to mention the host of other effects that will be caused from the need for power, energy, water, waste disposal, pollution, etc, etc). The so-called EIA produced by the University of Morotuwa was never published for critical comments from scientists, environmentalists and others knowledgeable about ecology and the effects of the innumerable factors that go into this project, but was obviously inveigled by that ‘pristine’ government that operated under the Rajapakses. So let’s first have an objective analysis by a competent panel of scientists, ecologists and those with expertise on the environment and the effects that this project will have in the longterm, so that our coming generations will not be adversely impacted by this proposed project.

    Jango
    March 30, 2015 at 7:24 am
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  5. 3
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    Thank you for a good, sensible report.

    kautilya
    March 30, 2015 at 8:53 am
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  6. 6
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    DO NOT Expect any Friendship from Chinese’s or Indians, They are Not friends, But opportunists Nations. In 1940s also they ask for Rubber for Rice. That is not a Help, but a Bartering agreement for only to get develop their country. All those Previous regimes got only Loans with high interests and Fat commissions to Politikkas and their Arse licking cronies. and those are Not Donations. As you think they will not generate Jobs or profits for us, Chinese will not going to spend an Yuan here, Neither the Indians any rupee here. In that case They are very cunning. Even they will bring, and earlier also have brought their Noodles and Chapatthi, they do not want to buy any thing from here.. Those Chinese already destroyed many African countries, Like Indians and now Entering to South Asia with Underhand Deals. Haven’t you seen that there are many Chinese Prostitutes roaming in Many Sri Lankan Cities. We know about them, They will not give even a drop of water without any Profit to them. That is coming from Chinese Genes. They will employ All Chinese’s here and ask more Facilities from us. But We hope the Japanese will enter for this and help us to develop.

    JULAMPITIYE AMARAYA
    March 30, 2015 at 12:02 pm
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  7. 7
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    I agree with justice 100% but would like to add as follows: MR achieving “development” this way is no big deal (sorry for the pun, but on the other hand it was a mega deal for MM Conglomerate). Any Podi Singho or Sooty Banda could have done the same better and with less commission. After all, Sooty Banda does not need a Lamborghini. Somebody comes and offers to loan you someone else’s money to build the tallest structure in Asia (20% for him and 20% for you). The contractor will do everything from planning to commissioning. Your contribution? Only to sign up and tell where to send the 20% ‘bakshi’. Is there any other local contribution in the form of technical input, labour, management etc. The answer is NO. Most of all, the environmental impact is the worst. To build the Port City, the historical Koratota Kanda, a huge rock, containing the highest point in Colombo district, is being blasted apart piece by piece together with the health and wellbeing of the villagers.

    EDWIN RODRIGO
    March 30, 2015 at 12:25 pm
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    • 3
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      “Your contribution? Only to sign up and tell where to send the 20% ‘bakshi’” that is correct. Jarapassa Made the plans to get MEGA MEGA DEvelpoment Projects With 10% commissions and Chinese were ready to give “Bakshish” and the send it anywhere on secret bank account. Then Start the Dancing with TOM TOM beaters. Mahendran jarapassa PUt his name on the Project, AS it has built on his own dowry money. Punchi Singho and family toiling day and night to pay the money borrowed from Chinese money lenders. Some time from their lives Also.

      JULAMPITIYE AMARAYA
      March 30, 2015 at 3:07 pm
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  8. 1
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    At the Photo, that is a trailing Suction Hopper Dredger used to Dredge and Stock the excavated materials and putting into the Hopper in the middle of the Ship and Discharge from the Bottom of the Ship,where you want it. Some time they use this ship for Rain bowing of Sludge and sand for filling the land. As I used to work in one of the Ship of a biggest Dredging and Coast conservations company from Netherlands when Working in The Middle East It is a happy to see them again. And there, When we Were Discharging the excavated materials 100 miles Far from the Coast , The Fishermen from That country Protested to The Government as Fishing grounds were covering from mud and destroying the Stock and Habitat. Then we got Instructions to Go to more than 200 miles and remove the Sludge and mud. That is how they are Safeguarding their Country from pollution and do conservation. They listen to the people’s voices and Save the Environment. Further More DO NOT Expect any Friendship from Chinese’s or Indians, They are Not friends, But opportunists Nations. In 1940s also they ask for Rubber for Rice. That is not a Help, but a Bartering agreement for only to get develop their country. All those Previous regimes got only Loans with high interests and Fat commissions to Politikkas and their Arse licking cronies. and those are Not Donations. As you think they will not generate Jobs or profits for us, Chinese will not going to spend an Yuan here, Neither the Indians any rupee here. In that case They are very cunning. Even they will bring, and earlier also have brought their Noodles and Chapatthi, they do not want to buy any thing from here.. Those Chinese already destroyed many African countries, Like Indians and now Entering to South Asia with Underhand Deals. Haven’t you seen that there are many Chinese Prostitutes roaming in Many Sri Lankan Cities. We know about them, They will not give even a drop of water without any Profit to them. That is coming from Chinese Genes. They will employ All Chinese’s here and ask more Facilities from us. But We hope the Japanese will enter for this and help us to develop.

    JULAMPITIYE AMARAYA
    March 30, 2015 at 2:32 pm
    Reply

  9. 1
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    Your report may exact or flawed honestly it’s beautiful preparation with accompany of set experts who expertise report making. Tell me a reply sincerely what for a Violation of nature by foreigner who makes the land and take profits and leaves….if any natural disasters caused slowly or tremendously who are the real victims Not Then president not present president not former present finance ministers it’s you and me or your generations my generations…..forget about taxes and unwillingness of Sri Lankan investments in there due large scale bids just tell me a word? Certain day when Sri Lanka become economically strengthened why can’t we challenge on our money and harvest profits. It’s bad example next LRT MRT trams we be like Malaysian Malay Chinese who operates Malaysia own men are 80% lower in hierarchy except politics. We seems like impotent males Chinese fathers for our initials….do you agree with that despite all other predictions of growth. Every where when boss likes servants wife servant enjoys and luxury shameless lifestyle. Do you think Sri Lankan need that destiny? Not only for Mahinda’s malicious activities’ toppled him, common candidate +UNP was promises halts of colombo port city project one strong propaganda and people believed unanimously. We have interior lands to lay high quality racing tracks wonderful green environments for resorts hotels. Wonderful beaches all four directions…..your report not yours it’s utterly crooked SL bribed highly educated white collars who accompanied by World worst Chinese crooks. You just find can we trust a Chinese company and pay advance for perfect shipment…. Without a broker who assure a delivery no business can be performed with peacefully. First assume Your nativity…then shake hands with other nationalities

    Sarvanandan
    March 30, 2015 at 2:56 pm
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  10. 1
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    So, what’s really wrong even if the whole Sri Lanka has to turn into a second (2nd) Hong Kong as long as the very concept of it (this massive port city) will fill the pockets of the corrupt politicians??? This country doesn’t seem to have amongst her lot of political leaders, even in another century or two, statesmen like George Washington, Mohandas Mahatma Gandhi and/or Lee Kwan Yew or the like minded patriotic guys. The dirty blood running in the veins of the majority lot of the Sri Lankan population in general and the current set of politician in particular is that of “Yaksha Goathrikaya” or Demons Tribe; and, robbing the masses in toto and opting to well organized corruption to plunder the wealth of the state and its people is well established in their lifestyle…..

    FAMOUS449
    March 30, 2015 at 4:16 pm
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  11. 2
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    I just went through the bathymetry drawing of the project area – the off shore Break water will be constructed on an strip of which depth varies from -19m MSL to -20m MSL (ava) – the height of BW above MSL is 4m – which means the average height of BW is 24m from the bottom of the sea – the bottom width of the BW would be 90m -100m (assuming the proposed BW is rubble base )- I think the BW will be constructed with two or three rubble combination and the largest would would be around 20 ton per rock – of course the logistics of handling these size rock and placing them on the bottom would be a Chinese problem – however – Do we have quarries which could supply enough rocks of this size without drastically affecting the Env.of source areas – If available how could they be transported in huge quantities – Do we know the structure of bed rocks – I do not know whether the bed rock consist of Granite or compacted sand stones – when walking on the shore I have seen that the secondary reef running parallel to the shore line of west coast consist of compacted sand stone – however the rock out crop around GF looks like granite It would be better to find out the bed rock structure when deciding the area that is taken by Chinese and by SL – for sure I know Chinese conducted some borehole testing of the bed rock – so they should have these details – we may blindly take over an area where the bed rock is lousy and not suitable for construction of high rises.

    Rabok
    March 30, 2015 at 5:02 pm
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    Where will the new city’s affluence (sewerage) be unloaded?That is a question that is raised. Surely, there should be a plan for that. The Chinese are not going to carry that into their land to fertilise their crops though they did use raw untreated night soil collected in pits of their houses in the past? But doesn’t this project block one of the two present sewage emitting points in the present city which is in the sea off Galle Buck.That is what a Japanaese friend of mine who went diving there discovered and told me years back. Bandu

    Bandu de Silva
    March 30, 2015 at 6:52 pm
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    Whether we like it or not project is going ahead. It is too late to stop it now. So far about USD 300 mn spent. The cost to reverse the project could be USD 1 bn.

    Jagath Fernando
    March 30, 2015 at 8:52 pm
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      Jagath Fernando, It is not too late to stop. We don’t need to throw Good Money after Bad! The reclaimed land could remain as another Galle Face Green, with no further Development as planned. Colombo just does not have the Infrastructure to sustain an Environmentally destructive project such as this. Do you want to see queues of trucks in Colombo carrying away the Sewage and creating more Pollution, as happens in places like Dubai, with no planned infrastructure in place?

      Rationalist
      March 31, 2015 at 6:10 pm
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    Also read Passive investor to partner in crime: How China lost the plot in Sri Lanka Chinese investments got sucked into the vortex of Sri Lanka’s local politics and were left high and dry when a friendly regime was swept away http://www.scmp.com/business/china-business/article/1750377/passive-investor-partner-crime-how-china-lost-plot-sri-lanka

    Chedi
    March 31, 2015 at 1:44 pm
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    Do we require the Port City. We mjust project to what thye situation would be in the Future. The World is a global City. Countries hore us and India to provide Information. More and more work is being done through IT. People are working from Home. This is what we should aim for. The requiremnt for space is bound to decrease. However the area areound Colombo is valued for its centre of the Indian Ocean. This ios the reason that it is prized. The main cost the break water has being absorbed by us. Any change has its remification. Structural adjustment cost will be enopurmous. We still haqve a lot of rom to go higher if it is needed. W@e Have to decentralize. Trincomalle City can be made anew with subways, aqnd large scale communication systems. Here it looks like enviorenmental differences will be minimum. We could share such area with India and China in a large scale FTZ and obtain much needed FDI. Large area is avaqilable inland. China based its development around Ports. In Colombo the area is minimal. We must continue having Foriegn Direct Investments. A scheme to give Chinese Companies an alteranatives. Colombo City can be completed in a scaled down basis. We must be sure that enviorenmental damage is minimised. How has the Mahaveli changed our weather patterns. The checks to monitor this was and is in place. Transperency is required.

    Ranil Wijeyesekera
    March 31, 2015 at 5:32 pm
    Reply

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