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
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.