An Analysis of Events in Sri Lanka in the Context of Global and Regional Dynamics -(Part 1) Ramifications of Bim Saviya (the US ‘Colonisation’ Law )
Posted on May 25th, 2017

By Gandara John

It was in 1998 when the US executed a major coup in Sri Lanka and succeeded in passing a US propelled Australian Land Law (Torrens Law) through Sri Lanka’s Parliament; this was ‘The Registration of Title Act 21 of 1998’, commonly referred to as ‘Bim Saviya’.

Bim Saviya stripped the Judiciary of its powers to sit in judgment on matters relating to ownership of land; those ‘Judicial’ powers were wilily transferred to the Executive – the Minister of Lands – causing disequilibrium in the delicate ‘check- and- balance’ structures of governance between the Executive, the Judiciary and the Legislature.

The ‘Bim Saviya’ Law emasculated the Judiciary and gave unbridled power to the Minister of Lands, making a mockery of the concept of ‘Separation of Powers’.

Under ‘Bim Saviya’ Law, the Minister of Lands cannot be held accountable to anyone for the ‘judicial’ discretion exercised by him in granting ownership of land to anyone he pleases.

With the Minister of Lands thus empowered to give ownership of land to persons of his choice, with the Minister of Lands granted immunity from prosecution for his indiscretions, with ownership of land executed and registered even in fraudulent circumstances made irreversible, with disputed ownership of land unchallengeable in a court of law, the US has through the ‘Bim Saviya’ law, neatly sewn up Sri Lanka for the control of her assets which include her intangible strategic location; in short, the US has established the basic foundation  to make Sri Lanka one of its colonies.

The US has set up the same ‘Bim Saviya’ structure, in 51 other Sovereign States.

The ‘Rule of Law’ has been brazenly violated and the US and its Allies could give a damn about it.

Democracy has received a more than hemorrhagic blow and the Sovereignty of the country is in dire peril. Ne’er a whisper of protest has been heard from the usually vociferous ‘bleeding-heart’ NGOs.

The US successfully executed the Coup, with the full blown assistance of Kumaranatunge whose ill-concealed lust for the cash loaded Nobel Prize would drive her to do anything and who at that time was cozying upto ‘Zippergate’ Clinton, then under threat of impeachment.

As much as ‘Central Banks’ around the world are instruments of the Neoliberals, so is the ‘Bim Saviya’ Law, an essential tool for the establishment, control and consolidation of the US Empire.

The US is pushing hard to complete the ‘Bim Saviya’ programme in the entire country; at present 27 of the 43 land registries have been converted to ‘Bim Saviya. With this end in view the US is exerting all pressure on the government to sell the ‘Survey Department’ to the CIA partner Company, ‘Trimble Incorporated’.

Additionally, the US has been pumping annually, since 1998, a thumping Two Million Dollars to the Ministry of Lands through the World Bank and other Agencies to complete the ‘Bim Saviya’ programme. http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2017/04/16/the-world-bank-strips-sri-lankas-judiciary-of-its-powers-enshrined-in-the-constitution-and-further-fingers-the-countrys-constitution//

The ‘Bim Saviya’ law has facilitated the sale of land to the Neo-Liberals in US and Europe.

With Bim Saviya, the Neoliberals in the West, sitting in their living rooms, can access Sri Lanka’s land registry website at any time; these persons have a keyhole view of all Sri Lankan land, with GPS coordinates and all; they can purchase any part of Sri Lanka, upto any extent, if it pleases the Minister of Lands.

Sri Lanka has been told that her listing in the ‘Doing Business’ index has improved –whatever that means –by the mere fact that she has made her land available to be bought, sold and owned by foreigners at will, like a piece of commodity.

The bygone European Empires were compelled to conquer countries militarily if they wished to own the ‘land’ and its assets. That was the concept of Colonialism in that era.

The US concept of Colonialism is somewhat different. They do not necessarily have to militarily conquer and subdue a country to own that country’s Land. Their concept is to purchase ownership of a country’s Land and its assets from a subservient Government that fawningly offers to sell it to them. Over 80 percent of Sri Lanka’s land is Government land.

The ownership of land is secure and is now guaranteed by Bim Saviya.

In short ‘Bim Saviya’ Law bolsters and perpetuates US Colonialism.

Once sold, as explained before, ownership cannot be changed by that subservient country because ‘Bim Saviya’ Law does not permit it to do so.

This is US Colonialism or what is often described as Neo Colonialism.

The sirisena – Wickramasinghe Government in the meantime has made bold pronouncements that it would permit foreigners and foreign owned companies to buy and own land, overriding provisions of Act 38 of 2014 (Restrictions on the alienation of lands in Sri Lanka to foreigners).

Bim Saviya is a US cancer injected into Sri Lanka’s, judicial, social and political fabric; it needs to be urgently eradicated if the Sovereign State of Sri Lanka is to survive.

With the newly formed ‘Malabar military alliance – US, India and Japan – now lording the region, with US military hoofing around the Delft, with Modi’s Mafia style Diplomacy catching the eye and with Sushma Swaraj’s crudely veiled threat to invade Sri Lanka, Bim Saviya takes a more ominous turn.

US foreign policy under Trump is getting less blurred by the day. The US is giving more power to their regional allies to do the ‘dirty’ work of the US in their respective regions.

Under the ‘America First’ Policy it would be the ‘Allies’ who would put their boots on the ground first, it would be the ‘Allies’ who would lay down their lives first, it would be the ‘Allies’ who would fill the body bags first, all under the eyes of the US.

The US will be selling their Arms to their Allies for the battles ahead. There would be consensus between Trump and the all powerful ‘Federal Reserve’.

The US senior partner in this region is India. Events hint towards India doing the ‘colonial’ dirty work for the US and taking advantage of Bim Saviya.

Is there a solution for the US cancer of Bim Saviya? Yes, there is. Amend the relevant provisions in Bim Saviya that will restore the authority of Sri Lanka’s Judiciary and that will revoke the power of the Minister of Lands.

If there is reluctance on the part of the Legislature to do so, bring in a type of ‘Class Action’ in Courts that would give the opportunity for the Judiciary to make a judicial determination and order that would negate the pernicious provisions in the Bim Saviya Law. Case Law would then prevail.

Gandara John is a freelance writer. E mail: [email protected]

3 Responses to “An Analysis of Events in Sri Lanka in the Context of Global and Regional Dynamics -(Part 1) Ramifications of Bim Saviya (the US ‘Colonisation’ Law )”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Thank you for bringing up this CONTROVERCIAL TOPIC.

    Though the law (Registration of Title Act No. 21 of 1998) was passed in 1998 it was NOT implemented until 2007. Lets call a club a club and a spade a spade.

    This is how army camps are TAKEN OVER by LTTE DIASPORA.

    “Bim Saviya is a program launched under “Mahinda Chintana” by the Ministry of Land and Land Development in order to strengthen the ownership of land and to make land strength to the nation.
    (Source : Media release – Department of Land Administration, NPC)

    “Bim Saviya” is implement under the provisions of Registration of Title Act No. 21 of 1998 as a national program in year 2007. Under this programme, the lands are surveyed demarcated, ensured ownership and issued a Title Certificate, free of charge. Out goal is to complete this task in a time frame of certain years.

    “Bim Saviya” programme is introducing land titling to Sri Lanka. Your land is surveyed, ownership investigated and once the ownership is confirmed Title Certificate is issued. The whole island is expected to be covered in fifteen years.

    The main objectives are given as follows:

    Introduce title registration in place of deed registration practiced at present.
    Settle or make arrangements to settle the ownership of the lands which are presently unsettled.
    Establish a Digital Land Information System.

    In the first phase, “Bimsaviya Programme” has been implemented in Divisional Secretary’s Divisions namely, Karachchi, Maritemepattu, Musali, Nallur and Vavuniya North in the Northern Province.

    Title Certificate is a proof of both land and ownership of a land with government guarantee to ownership.

    “http://www.np.gov.lk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1272:bim-saviya-national-land-title-registration-programme-02-september-2011”

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    In 2014 we supported Buddhist PRELATES to protest against this but we were called anti-govt.

    Prelates were ridiculed and disregarded. We all know this.

    Now BBS is fighting a LOSING PEACEFUL CAMPAIGN against the repercussions of this EVIL LAW.

    Where are the POLITICAL PATRIOTS who supposedly LOVE SL?? Can you chop limbs of MOTHER LANKA and sell to TEs if you love SL??

    “2014-04-16 Maha Nayaka of the Asgiriya Chapter, most Venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thera, said today he and the Maha Sangha were ready to take to the streets, unless the Government amends the Bim Saviya Land Registration Act immediately.

    The Thera expressed these views when Minister of Justice, Rauff Hakeem and representatives of the Muslim Congress called on him at the Asgiriya Temple today. The Thera said that the Vihara, Devala and Buddhist religious places would lose the lands owned by them if this Bim Saviya Act was passed. The Thera insisted that the lands owned by these places of Buddhist religious worship should be removed from the Bim Saviya Act .

    “I informed the Government about this matter. But the Government did not take a proper step in this regard. I even informed the President about this when he called on me. The Maha Sangha accused me of this issue as well, the Thera said.”

    “http://www.dailymirror.lk/45930/prelate-to-take-to-the-streets-against-bim-saviya-act#sthash.RWIfw4iO.dpuf”

  3. Senerath Says:

    Lorenzo,
    No one but the prelates making this threat. They must save BBS. JV has distanced from BBS to win back Muslim votes. If they likely to win, Muslim ministers will cross over and join them. Betrayal will continue.

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