Friday, July 11, 2014

Is there no end to this excess? Why do Sri Lankans tolerate such brazen looting?

The 28 KM of the proposed single track railway extension from Matara to Beliatta is expected to cost US$278M, which works out at US$10M a KM!!! I guess the readers say so what it wrong?

Simply put, you ask an experienced Railway hand who knows what it takes to build a railway line, and knowing the terrain there, and land costs which are much lower in these sparsely populated areas, he will tell you at most it would cost US$1M a KM.  That is actually more than the Rs100M a KM he estimated, but I let him have some more leeway for usurious interest rates from Chinese lenders to get to the easily remembered US$1M per km rate.

When you can do the job at one tenth of the proposed costs, what is going on? Daylight Robbery and no one seems to care. Are we populated by such undeveloped people, who permit their rulers to steal from their mouths before the food enters the mouth from their hand?

This is simply unacceptable, and those who comment on my posts even have the gall to commend this government for their sins. Yes the Chinese will give any amount in loans because the Govt. guarantees them. They are not going to look at the realistic value of the project or if it is grossly inflated, as it does not matter to them, and what matters is that we repay our borrowing!!!!

The English speaking people look at Colombo and its developments and feign any knowledge of indescribable looting of the Exchequer and future income of the Country into the hands of a few, because their minds have also been bought out by greed as they have also been offered some crumbs to keep their mouths shut.

Only when we can stop this culture of impunity, where NO one is accountable and every one pretends they don’t know, can we even begin to get a handle on this scandalous practice. How can we point out to our people that they have been taken for a ride of astronomic proportions? Why are we so frightened of exposing this unbridled looting of our wealth by a few we have placed in positions of authority.

To say that we are a democracy where we have elected these rogues to go on thieving is a direct indictment on all of us who have placed our cross in the ballot, as we have nailed our children forever to the cross, and they will be made to pay for our sins of commission as well as omission, so forgive me GOD.


Anonymous said...

speaking of sri lankan construction profiteering, there is a 5 star branded hotel being built in the south by a man made rich by skimming millions from the construction work of the Mahaweli public works under gamini dissanayaka (UNP), with his approval and consent, who now has supposedly obtained loan funding for his own local hotel company from the United States Government and is implementing the construction of the hotel project using his own construction company. If he makes money on the hotel or not, he'll have skimmed millions from the U.S. Government loan, and the taxpayers of the United States will have made him millions!! huge conflict of interest overlooked by american bureaucrats unaware of the wiles of our people.

Jack Point said...

I can guess the man that anon refers to. Did not know he was building another hotel.

The issue with corruption is that it can get out of control very easily. People assume, in the back of their minds that corruption is "only 10%" and therefore not a big problem.

The example you have cited shows that it has grown to 1000%!!!

I have heard similar tales elsewhere. When money was made on the Mahaweli it was on a far smaller scale - this does not JUSTIFY that either but explains why the project as a whole is still viable.

With corruption at 1000% or even 20-30% the project can never pay back - even if the road or railway is flooded with traffic it can never pay.

Therefor WE pay, in higher taxes.

There is a massive, debt funded bubble that is being built. Thanks to low interest rates internationally the regime can still borrow. When interets rates rise or once the debt level soars it can burst and we will end up like Greece.

Anonymous said...

during the mahaweli works, 10% skimmed from a project was a tremendous amount of money and opened the doors to larger amounts being skimmed in the future as the original thieves associated with the UNP government became fabulously wealthy and lived lavishly with no accountability for their crimes, setting an example for future aspirants of such a lifestyle. who wouldnt want properties around the world, a different young wife every few years, mistresses, and a jet setting lifestyle that these crooks enjoyed? if those original crooks had been brought to book, and the millions they stashed outside of the country recovered and reinvested, today's culture of commissions would be scandalous. to this day their skimming continues, as they've multiplied their original corrupt millions over the decades, and alas, today it is just business as usual.

Anonymous said...

Please read the box in the link about the Railway cost which is even more expensive than noted here at nearly US15M a km making it the most costly in the world by far!

Anonymous said...

The UNP led the way in democracy and corruption only to be surpassed by their astute opposition in both cases! The culture of the country's public service has gone to the dogs to the point that the people now have no illusions that the public service is for private benefit. There's no air of scandal in any of this unfortunately just everyone trying to maneuver to get some!

Anonymous said...

Here's what ANON1 is referring to: "Overseas Private Investment Corporation and Marriott Partner to Develop Sustainable Hotels in Emerging Markets"

According to the article, OPIC finances local partners up to USD $200 million to develop Marriott branded hotels managed by Marriott but owned by locals.

In this case, the local is constructing the hotel with his own construction company, after accepting a loan for his separate local hotel company.

That guy is laughing all the way to the bank while the U.S. taxpayers finance his latest money skimming scheme, and the U.S. Government bureaucrats are probably looking forward to some nice 5 star beach holidays down South!