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Galle Face land sale corrupt – UNP

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Minister Rajapaksa told the parliament that the land was sold to foreign firms for the full price
The main opposition in Sri Lanka has accused the government of corruption and not following proper procedure in selling a prime land in Galle Face, Colombo.
The United National Party said while the deputy minister says the land was leased out for 99 years to Chinese firm and Hong Kong based hotel chain Shangri La, the minister has told parliament that the land was sold to foreign firms.

“Minister Basil Rajapaksa on 09 March told the parliament that the land was sold, for the first time in Sri Lanka, for the full price,” UNP parliamentarian Dr Harsha de Silva, an economist, told journalists.

‘Mystery’

Although the parliament has the final say over financial affairs in the country, there is some “mysterious” air in the said sale, he said, as it did not go through the proper tender procedure.

 What happened to this money? What was the amount it was sold for? When we ask a question in parliament, there is no answer

“What happened to this money? What was the amount it was sold for? When we ask a question in parliament, there is no answer,” he said.

Quoting figures revealed by deputy economic affairs minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene, Dr Silva said the whole land were leased for $12.5m per acre.

That amounts to mere Rs 4.25m per perch, he said, a lower price than the going rate for Colombo lands, let alone a prime land in Galle Face.

The UNP parliamentarian also said that there is no record on the government’s official accounts regarding the sale or the lease.

BBC Sinhala service, Sandeshasya could not contact government officials despite repeated attempts.

BBC Sinhalahttp://www.bbc.co.uk/sinhala/news/story/2011/06/110610_galle_face_land.shtml

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