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Sunday, 1 February 2015

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Shady transaction exposed

Exorbitant cost, violation of tender procedures and corruption in the sale of properties and contracts for major mega infrastructure projects launched by Mahinda Rajapaksa regime are now being exposed. Deputy Economic Development Minister Harsha de Silva last week lodged a complaint at the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption on shady transactions in the international project in the heart of the Colombo city.

De Silva told reporters that there was information that the half constructed building was sold to a company called Sino-Lanka for a low price.He said that the property has sold at very low value and the actual value should be much higher. We were critical about this project in Parliament even in the past. We do not have any issue in constructing this building and actually it is good for the country.

But at the same time, we need transparency in this kind of mega transactions, he said. He said that the property has been sold to a company with assets worth only Rs. 50. There were offers to buy the property at a higher price but it was given to the present owners at a low price.

This building, which belonged to the Ceylinco Group was expropriated under a controversial law by the former government. The Chairman of Ceylinco Group in a TV interview charged that the property valued over Rs.10 billion that time was acquired without paying a cent.

The project was to develop a 43-story five-star luxury hotel complex, under the Regency brand. Dr. de Silva said that money from the Employees Provident Fund and Employees Trust Fund and Pension Fund were used to re-launch the construction work.

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