Reclaiming Controversy

Mar 09, 2014 (LBO) – State-run Sri Lanka Port Authority has responded to criticism over the award of an unsolicited sea reclamation project to a Chinese firm saying deals on similar lines had happened earlier. China Communication Construction Co. Ltd (CCCC), a key player in the ‘Port City’ project involving 233 hectares near Colombo Port has been blacklisted by the World Bank as the successor to China Road, Sri Lanka’s main opposition has charged.

Unlike some African countries, Sri Lanka has no policy of refusing to deal with firms blacklisted by international organizations like the World Bank or Asian Development Bank during the punishment period.

Sri Lanka’s United National Party, a key faction of the island’s elected ruling class which is now the main opposition party has also raised concerns over the widespread lack of open tenders in awarding deals.

The SLPA said land in Colombo had been given to various parties for projects under different administrations, and highlighted several land deals made by an earlier administration run by the UNP in the early 1980s.

“This project has also followed the same framework,” SLPA said.

The old projects named included land given to Overseas Rea