Chinese projects, investments and contracts in Sri Lanka means that Chinese of all levels of income and wealth have now descended on Sri Lanka, many living for 5 to 10 years, who will no doubt never want to leave. Not just prisoners working out their sentences here. Just ask the Commissioner of Immigration how easy it is to let the Chinese live here, as they are attached to all sorts of companies, and standard letters mean that their stay is almost rubber stamped, when it is much more detailed for Westerners to live here on resident visas. Over 15,000 Chinese have work visas!
Ironically it is Sri Lanka that is paying for the Chinese to live here, and it costs us dearly to pay them as it is on high cost investments that they are here. For Westerners they are NOT permitted to work here and have to show how much they bring from overseas!! What my real point is that Sri Lanka is far more of a livable place than China, and with the Beijing pollution resulting in an exodus of foreigners and then any Chinaman who can get out, there will be pressure from Chinese to live here in large numbers. It is easier for them to come here and live than in any other Country, due to our lax policies on Chinese, and the easy methods to “persuade” our politicians to give a letter to the Commissioner of Immigration to grant them a resident visa due to their valuable contribution to that politician’s “welfare and survival”.
Yes they are now renting apartments and houses in Colombo and soon there will be more, once the northern highway project gets under way. It will help the apartment owners rent their properties and help the rich get richer. So let us think how it can help Sri Lanka and not just a few wealthy individuals.
It is simply called supply and demand, and as they don’t pay taxes in Sri Lanka either for living and working here, nor do they have to pay duty for the 4 or 5 luxury cars that they import to SL on their project accounts, it is only fair to find an alternative way to raise some revenue for the ‘privilege’ of their staying here.
I know of Chinese who want to marry local women, so that they can legalize their stay here, as they on balance realize that it is a paradise, they cannot find at home, where they are mere surfs in a huge country. Nobodies, trying to be somebodies here, due merely to the position they hold, the company they work for and the leverage they have over a local to give him a subcontract in a Chinese project.
Let us not forget that Sri Lanka is really paradise on earth for many who are NOT Sri Lankans, and we must ask them to pay a price to live in Paradise.