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Rajapakse License to Grab Sri Lanka Lands : China gets Foothold

[MISC, Tuesday, 6 September 2011 11:06 No Comment]

(truthdive) During the cold war season the Trincomalee port in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka was a bone of contention. The Indian policy makers were threatening Indian public that Americans were aiming Trincomnalee for their naval base which was a potential security threat to India. Making use of the situation the Sinhala rulers of Sri Lanka bargained with India just like their current China card strategy to get benefits from India.

But the cold war has become a hot war of Globalization which has resulted in rapid changes in Land policies of the Governments. The Governments in developing countries including that of India have come up with a policy of chasing away the original inhabitants of the lands depriving them of their rights to live in their traditional ancestral lands. This has helped the foreign Governments to send their corporate agents to these lands to grab them easily by getting 99 years lease. No need to say that the political leaders shall take away illegal money for leasing Government land to save dollars and gold in a far way country.

In tune with such trends the ruling Rajapakse Government of Sri Lanka has more plans on the traditional Tamil lands under aggression by Sri Lankan Army in the eastern and Northern part of the island.

Sri Lanka government has now decided to lease 1,000 hectares of land at Trincomalee port for private investors. Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Chairman, Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama has said that a cabinet approval has been sought for it. It is only a procedural work since it seems a decision has been taken already for floating tenders.

Such a venture is said to be intended for vehicle parts manufacturing and electronic goods. This announcement now has exposed the real intention of the Sri Lanka Government.This is only a ploy to shut those voices in western countries and India who vociferously take up the issue of war crime investigation. The Sri Lanka rulers have perfected the art of cheating the world community. They try to show investors in India and Western countries that this venture could be profitable. But when it involves money it is unlikely that the foreign investors will come and pour money without analyzing the prospects.

Unlike India, Sri Lanka is not having many resources for manufacturing auto parts in large scale and electronic goods. There is poor availability of skilled labor in Sri Lanka in these sectors. Compare the port of Singapore, Chennai and Trincomalee. Singapore has no resource or Manpower of its own. But the city state is at the center of ASEAN Countries with enough resources and manpower. Chennai possess both resources and skilled Manpower especially in Automobile sector. Therefore Trincomalee cannot thrive as a Manufacturing Hub in Automobiles. At the best there can be assembly units which have become outdated ventures now in this region.

However if considered as a geographical enclosure within Indian Subcontinent Sri Lanka may have to depend only on India. Unless Tamil nadu the only land mass nearest to Sri Lanka is actively involved in the economic activities of this island there is no scope for development and prosperity. But the state of Tamil nadu is asking for imposing economic sanctions on Sri Lanka for the crimes committed on Tamil population and continued suppression of Tamils. In the North and East, the traditional agriculture and fishing economy has been destroyed beyond recovery. Lakhs of people have been killed and displaced. Then who will come to this place to invest? Who will work there? Nothing is possible without the involvement of Indians or Chinese.

Any Western or Chinese interest in investing in Automobile Manufacturing in Sri Lanka will aim a market in India. Indian Automobile players, already having enough of their plants in India, will be interested to capture the tiny market in Sri Lanka. Viable ventures depend on mutual benefits between India and Sri Lanka. But Sinhalese Nationalists favour China against India.

If not India only Chinese will make use of this facility at Trincomalee as a transit port towards Africa and the west. They will be planning to manipulate the resources they get from their own and African countries and import the cheap Chinese labor for their profit.

Therefore the announcement of lease of lands in Trincomalee shall be watched to see who is going to get what.

if the present trend of opening Sri Lankan land continue, apart from the the Tamil Lands, the valuable lands of Sinhalese will also be grabbed by international corporate companies. Approval given by Rajapakse Cabinet for leasing 99 years lease of Land Galle Face Green to China National Aero Technology and Export Corporation (CATIC) in lieu of outright sale is another eye wash to convey a message to the people of Sri Lanka that the Lands are not handed over to the foreigners. A 99 years lease has no much difference with the outright purchase. No Sri Lankan citizen can reclaim these lands forever irrespective of the method of land transfer to foreigners.

Ten acres of land already sold out to Shangri-La Hotels (Private) Limited for tourism purpose indicates who is getting a foothold in Sri Lanka.

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