Port City project steams ahead despite protests by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe & JVP
Posted on February 15th, 2015

Yahapalanaya news

Despite protests from political parties and environmental organisations, construction work of the Colombo Port City project continues.

Legal experts said that though the government wanted to scrap the project as political parties in the ruling alliance had pledged during the election campaign, scrapping an agreement of this type involving governments cannot be done unilaterally.

Since the main parties involved in this project are the Sri Lankan and Chinese governments and a construction company from China, in addition to commercial arbitration, there are diplomatic concerns.

Following the regime change on January 9, the special envoy of the Chinese President and a high level Chinese delegation visited Sri Lanka and we can understand the pressure from China to protect its massive investments in the country, most of them highly controversial.

When a country invites foreign investors  not only for an infrastructure project but also for a mega project like port city project the host  country should offer financial guarantees to help investors protect against political and non-commercial risks in developing countries.

Normally there should be an arbitration clause in huge projects such as this so that disputes could be settled through international arbitration.

Should a project be terminated due to the project company’s default, the treasury should normally cover 85% of the principal loan amount. In the event of termination of the agreement due to  reasons other than the project company’s default, then the debt assumption undertaking will cover 100% of the principal loan amount, along with all financing costs.

In the oil hedging dispute, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation had to go for international arbitration because the agreement had an arbitration clause. If there is no arbitration clause the dispute could be settled in normal courts – High Courts or Commercial Courts under the law of the country, he said.

However Prime Minister Ranil wicremasinghe and also the Propaganda secretary of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Vijitha Herath said that government must revise this shady deal which will cause huge economic and environment issues unilaterally without knowing financial implication of such action.

Herath said that the Chinese delegation met JVP leaders and discussed the matter and the party clearly stated its stance on the project. If the project creates serious environmental and economic issues and threatens the sovereignty of the country it should be scraped or revised.

This agreement has been signed by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa without even informing the Cabinet. Therefore, the validity of this agreement can be legally challenged,” both critiques said.

The main legal point is that Sri Lanka doesn’t have regulations or an Act of Parliament for projects related to reclamation of the sea. In countries such as India they have laws to safeguard the environment and other concerns in the reclamation of the sea. There are huge environmental concerns and we have information that the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report too has not been done properly. According to estimates, the project needs 120 million cubic metres of rock and massive amounts of sea sand,” Herath said.

Environment issues related to obtaining material and transporting them, coastal and land erosion and impact on marine biodiversity are not known because the EIA report is not available for the public to peruse. According to the agreement, one third of the 575 acres of land area reclaimed will be owned by China. This is a threat to the sovereignty of the country, he said.

Herath said that the government should seriously think whether this massive project estimated to cost $ 15 billion would produce worthwhile benefits.

Is this the first priority in the economic development of the country? he queried.

The project was not transparent from the beginning and a full investigation is needed, Herath said.

But JVP and the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe  should educate themselves on how these mega projects contracts are formulated and  articulated to provide  financial guarantees to protect investors from political and non-commercial risks in developing countries.

In the meantime The media of the 13th Friday had two very different statements on the fate of the ‘Port City’ project. Acting Cabinet Spokesman and Minister Lakshman Kiriella is reported to have said: “The Port City Project has been automatically stopped as there were so many shortcomings in the EIA report. We must go through it and rectify those shortcomings before re-start the project,”

But an interview to the Hindustan Times 13th Friday, given by a Chinese official by name of Mr. Zhang seems to differ. He states, “There were some criticisms and doubts (about the project). This project is aligned with development goals of Sri Lanka. We have very good relations with President Maithripala Sirisena,” On concerns about damaging the environment, he said: “We focus a lot on environmental protection. For marine projects, we have very strict standards about purity of water body. We have 24 sentinel stations. If there is any influence on water quality, we will change implementation plans”.

12 Responses to “Port City project steams ahead despite protests by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe & JVP”

  1. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    BALLO BURATHI, AND THE CARAVAN GOES ON. ***GOOD SHOW***

  2. AnuD Says:

    Both JVP and Ranil anti-chinese and pro-western.

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    Yamapalana Sudiya!

    Biwwa Neda Yahapalanaya?
    Biwwa Neda Yahapalanaya?
    Aney Magey Sirisena Paney,
    Kiyannako Attha Aney,
    Apita Pewwa Neda Yamapalanaya?
    Apita Pewwa Neda Yamapalanayaaa ….?

  4. Ananda-USA Says:

    In Addition, there is now a Tamil Chief Justice presiding over the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, READY, ABLE & WILLING to RUBBER STAMP ANY & ALL Proto-Eelam Devolution Proposals placed before him by Ranil’s UNP GOSL.

    Aiyoooo Sirisenaaa …. We will HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE for the DISINTEGRATION of OUR MOTHERLAND!

    ………………………
    The FIVE STEPS to EELAM by Dayan Jayatilleka!

    Step One: As a definitive election analysis by experts proves, Mahinda Rajapaksa gets 58% of the vote of the Sinhalese who comprise 74% of the country’s populace, and only 13% of the vote of the minorities, and loses. Maithripala Sirisena gets 41% of the vote of the Sinhalese and 85% of the vote of the minorities and wins. (‘Deconstructing the Sri Lanka Presidential Election 2015 through Data Analysis’, Dr. Ranjiva Munasinghe and Ruwanthi de Silva, Daily FT, Friday Feb 13, 2015.

    Step Two: The President appoints as Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of the UNP, who promptly appoints a Cabinet which is almost totally UNP. Thus a person and a party which have neither won a national election nor demonstrated that they enjoy the confidence of the majority of the House, forms the government. This is unprecedented in a democracy.

    Step Three: A signature appointment by the new Government is that of the Governor of the Central Bank. The post is given to someone who is not a citizen of Sri Lanka (not a dual citizen) and has been for thirty years, right up until his appointment, a top executive of foreign private banks.

    Step Four: The unelected government and an ex-president push a draft of Constitutional reform which will overturn the executive Presidency and replace it with a parliamentary/Prime Ministerial Government, in which the President has to act ALWAYS on the advice of the Prime Minister and can be removed by a two thirds majority of the parliament—which is easily obtainable courtesy funding from the next Raj Rajaratnam who comes down the pike.

    Step Five: When the North makes its inevitable push, in line with its strategy of incremental separatism, the Presidency would have been deliberately, consciously enfeebled while a parliamentary government and cabinet resting on Northern political support, will be unable to successfully resist that effort, besides which an economy whose commanding heights are dominated by non-national elements (including the pro-secessionist Diaspora) and whose direction is dependent upon the Western institutions (we’ve already gone to the IMF), will be unable to withstand its impact.

  5. Ananda-USA Says:

    This POWER TRANSMISSION PROJECT should NOT GO AHEAD!

    It will

    1. UNDERMINE the DRIVE to DEVELOP Sri Lanka’s own national power generation projects and assist India to FURTHER INCREASE its NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS in Tamil Nadu for sale of that power to Sri Lanka!
    2. It will DISCOURAGE EMERGING INVESTMENTS in INDIGENOUS Renewable Power Generation within Sri Lanka, gutting the rapidly increasing demand for solar and wind energy, and the LOCAL HIGH PAYING JOBS they create,
    3. It will EXACERBATE Sri Lanka’s BALANCE OF PAYMENTS. Why IMPORT energy when we can generate it from RENEWABLE sources like Solar and Wind in PERPETUITY?
    4. It will GIVE India ANOTHER HOLD on Sri Lanka’s ECONOMY and the ABILITY TO HOLD ELECTRICAL POWER AVAILABILITY to RANSOM should Sri Lanka oppose India’s other policies such as support for DEVOLUTION of Power to Eelamists!

    Bad IDEA, advanced NO DOUBT by Eelamists seeking to INCREASE India’s FOOTPRINT in Sri Lanka for FUTURE LEVERAGE!

    Aiyoooo Sirisenaaaa …. What an ABSOLUTE MUTT you are, not SEEING the FUTURE beyond the tip of your NOSE!

    …………………..
    Power, Transmission projects to get a push during Modi-Sirisena meet

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Feb 15 (BS) NTPC’s 500 MW coal based power project at Sampur, Trincomalee and PowerGrid Corporation’s over and under-sea transmission line project connecting India and Sri Lanka are expected to get a much needed push during meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.

    The power project, which NTPC had proposed in June 2005, entails an investment of Rs 2,000 crore has yet to get various clearances from the Sri Lankan government agencies.
    Similarly, the transmission project proposed in 2007-08 to transfer 1,000 MW of power from India to Sri Lanka needs an investment of Rs 3,000 crore. However, both the governments and PowerGrid Corporation and Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) have yet to settle various technical and non technical issues before reaching at a formal agreement in this regard.

    NTPC spokes person told Business Standard, ”The coal based project is a joint venture between the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and NTPC. Currently, the company has initiated process to get environment clearance from the Sri Lankan government. The public hearing will be held in a months time.” Already NTPC’s team is stationed in Sri Lanka and pursuing the project development.

    According to the spokes person, governments of Sri Lanka and India entered into an Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in October 2013 to develop a coal power plant in Trincomalee as a joint venture between CEB and NTPC. The initial plant capacity will be 500 MW which can be extended up to 1000 MW. Further, power from the Sampur plant could be exported to India, as part of an interconnected grid.

    As far as PowerGrid Corporation’s transmission project is concerned, 300 km of overhead transmission line has been proposed between Anuradhapur in Sri Lanka and Madurai 300 km. This apart, there will be marine link of 1,700 km.

    PowerGrid Corporation official said, ”Technical and financial issues are being discussed between PowerGrid Corporation and CEB. Besides, there are religious place at the connecting centres and the local community needs to be taken on board. Two high voltage, direct current (HVDC) terminal stations are to be set up at the two ends of the link, connected to Sri Lanka’s national power grid. ”

    Meanwhile, Neelam Deo, former diplomat and director, Gateway House, a foreign policy think tank said traditionally, India and Sri Lanka have shared close relations.President Sirisena’s visit from 15-18 February will contribute positively to the bilateral and expand opportunities for economic engagement.

    ”India has investments worth over $1 billion in Sri Lanka, and trade between the two countries stands at $5 billion. India will need to strike a difficult and delicate balance between its economic interests and the need to emphasize the concerns of the Sri Lankan Tamils. India must advance pending projects with Sri Lanka, particularly the $270 million project to build housing units in the North and a 500-megawatt coal power plant in the Eastern province,” she noted.

  6. Ratanapala Says:

    In the first place this will be the end of Sri Lanka’s independence. India will get a strangle hold on Sri Lanka and will hold Sri Lanka to ransom over every little thing. Raw Agents will come to run the plant. There will be energy blackmail and hell to pay.

    Secondly this is how India is trying to get foot hold on the best possible location overseeing Trinco harbour.

    Aney apey ratata wena they? Siri Lakata Jesu saha Allah deviyange Pihitai!

  7. Christie Says:

    Namaste: Hi folks go for w walk in Fort and Pettah and see owns and run businesses in the island nation. You will understand why some politicians are against the Port project. Jai Hind.

  8. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    OH NO, NO !!!!

    THIS UNDER SEA POWER TRANSMISSION LINE IS THE BELLY CORD CONNECTING THE BABY SRILANKA WITH MOTHER INDIA. THE FATHER OF THIS BABY IS NOW IDENTIFIED AS MAHA THREE PAALA SIRAA SENA. THIS APPEARS TO BE A CONSENSUAL CLANDESTINE, MODI SIRAA AFFAIR. LAJJA NEHE. VINDABU AMMA CHANDRIKAA, AND RANIL UNCLE IS WAITING FOR ITS BIRTH. TNA WIGGIE GRAND PA IS VERY PROUD AWAITING, THE BIRTH OF THE YAKKO CHILD, WHO BY BIRTH WILL INHERIT THE OCEAN FOR COMMON FISHING GROUNDS. JVP AND JHU ARE ABORTIONISTS. THEY ARE ALREADY ACTIVE TO ENSURE THAT THE FETUS IS STILL BORN. YES, REST ASSURED. MESSAGE DOWN THE GRAPE WINE, “”THE FETUS IS BEING ABORTED”” Good show jvphuuuuujhuuuuu.

  9. Christie Says:

    Namaste: Emperor is going to give as nuke plant. What will it do? Will it produced feed for peace bombs? Jai Hind.

  10. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Now the “Port city” symbolizes something new. the birth of a new city out of the ocean could also mean the birth of Tamil Hindu Elam in the north and the east.

    the solution is long gone and that was a Buddhist Theocracy that would have imposed the Sinhalese Buddhist culture backed up by Rajapakse and the military. As for international condemnation that card has already been played. The Sinhalese Buddhists had nothing to lose in doing this. they did not.

    Instead the Democracy card was played to undo what was done. Now Elam is a closer reality than ever before and the Sinhalese Buddhists will have to face yet another more permanent defeat. Thank your local bleeding heart liberal Sinhalese who sang Democracy while siding with the Elam supporters.

  11. Ananda-USA Says:

    Well Said … Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha!

    Instead the Democracy card was played to undo what was done. Now Elam is a closer reality than ever before and the Sinhalese Buddhists will have to face yet another more permanent defeat. Thank your local bleeding heart liberal Sinhalese who sang Democracy while siding with the Elam supporters.

  12. Ananda-USA Says:

    Yamapalana Sudiya!

    Lankawata Harima Deyak Siduwuna,
    Seemawak Nathuwa Pathuruna.
    Raja Wennata Sithapu Landa,
    Sudiya Nisa Moda Wuna,
    Biwwa Neda Yahapalanaya?

    Biwwa Neda Yahapalanaya?
    Gilla Neda Yahapalanaya?
    Aney Magey Sirisena Paney,
    Kiyannako Attha Aney,
    Apita Pewwa Neda Yamapalanaya?
    Apita Pewwa Neda Yamapalanayaaa ….?

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