‘Silver Park’ boosting Hambantota not linked to China: Norwegian agency

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 02 April 2019, 23:41 GMT]
"Hambantota got a new boost that was nothing to do with China or the BRI," reported a global shipping news service on Monday. The reporting agency, TradeWinds, is headquartered in Oslo, Norway. The China Merchants Port Holdings (CMPH) which controls the Hambantota port has conveyed to Indian and US diplomats who visited the port that its security was led by retired Sri Lankan admiral Jayantha de Silva and not by China's People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), the report further observed. In the meantime, UPFA MP Asanka S Semasinghe was alleging that Tamil Nadu DMK Politician S. Jagathrakshakan's family-owned business could be a money laundering project. SL Minister of ‘Development’ Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrema (UNP) was rejected his allegations on Tuesday.

The UPFA parliamentarian from Anuradhapura was referring to a recent warning coming from the Transparency International Sri Lanka.

A few days ago, Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) Executive Director Asoka Obeyesekere warned that the investment could harm SL efforts to remove itself from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) ‘Grey List’ of countries vulnerable to money laundering.

“In light of the efforts being made by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to get off the FATF Grey List, it is essential that the Board of Investment conducts enhanced due diligence on the Silver Park International investment, given that its directors fall squarely within the FATF definition of politically exposed persons,” Obeyesekere said in a statement issued by the TISL on 27 March.

“The main investor in the project, the Singapore based ‘investment vehicle’ Silver Park International PTE Ltd, is a company controlled by the family of Tamil Nadu politician and former Indian Union Minister Dr. S. Jagathrakshakan, whose business interests have previously been implicated by Indian authorities and the media in several alleged corruption scandals,” the TISL statement further noted.

Obeyesekere concluded, “the importance of such information being in the public domain cannot be understated, especially in the case of major foreign direct investment which will have a direct impact on the local economy. Ensuring transparency and accountability in these processes will also enhance the country’s efforts to attract bona fide foreign investment”.


External Links:
Transparency International Sri Lanka: Hambantota Refinery Project a Potential Money Laundering Risk: TISL
Daily FT: Perseverance, SL’s strategic location bring biggest FDI project to fruition
TradeWinds: Chinese outpost in Sri Lanka gets India cargo boost


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