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Sri Lanka lawmaker challenges minister to debate over land deal
25 Jul, 2011 06:20:17
July 25, 2011 (LBO) - A Sri Lankan lawmaker has challenged a government minister to a television debate over the sale of state land to a Chinese firm.
Harsha de Silva, a lawmaker representing Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party, referred to a statement attributed to deputy economic development minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene by a state news agency.

The statement had quoted the minister as saying that the sale of a land to a Chinese state firm was "carried out with transparency and according to the laws of the country and not violated any rules or regulations of the country," and that cabinet and parliamentary approval has been obtained.

De Silva had earlier pointed out that the deals were not made with open tender and several procedures specified in Sri Lanka's strategic investment law has also not been carried out.

There were two land sales to CATIC, a Chinese firm and Shangri-La, a Hong Kong -based leisure group.

De Silva said in a statement that the deal has not been presented to parliament for ratification and only information that had been given had been in response to questions from himself and fellow UNP lawmaker Ravi Karunanayake.

Sri Lanka's Supreme Court has earlier reversed the sale of at least two state land sales.

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4. Siri Sangabo Aug 17
Now Ranil has let the cat out of the bag.
Question is if Harsha is also one of Maharaja's boys?
3. Siri Sangabo Aug 10
Harsha at one time used to bark on Maharaja TV for a few rupees, he now barks for a few dollars from NGO's who hate to see Sri Lanka progressing.

If they cannot get rid of Ranil the loser how can they develop Sri Lanka?

There is an old saying "Balla Piduru Kanneth nehe, kana gonata Denneth nehe"

2. Harsha de Silva Jul 25
Lakshman Yapa says they got "Parliamentary approval for the project"; 'project' meaning the CATIC/AVIC project to build a hotel on the purchased land.

Refer to the Strategic Development Projects Act No 14 of 2008. You will see all the procedures that have to be followed for such 'projects'; the last of which is to obtain "approval by Resolution of Parliament".

The land sale itself is invalid as the agreement was "automatically terminated" as CATIC/AVIC failed to meet the payment deadlines.

1. Vichara Jul 25
It would be helpful if Dr.Silva could state under what law or standing order of the Parliament that land sales have to be ratified by Parliament.