The sale of state properties came to the fore again with the Hambantota port agreement. Former president, Kurunegala district MP Mahinda Rajapaksa commented, “In our time, we did not sell state properties in this manner. We developed state properties.” Leave alone our opinion with regard to the sale of state properties. It is one thing to sell something in a manner that benefits someone.
But, it is a completely different thing to destroy and then sell state and Sri Lankan nation owned properties. This exposure is about the national crime of the sale by the so-called owners of patriotism of the Kankesanthurai cement factory for scrap iron.
The KKS cement factory was established in 1950. It was made a state corporation in 1956 and in 1990, it was declared a loss-incurring entity and renamed Lanka Cement company. The facility that gave employment to thousands was closed around 1991 due to the war.
LTTE seized the factory
The KKS cement factory had more than 700 acres under it. The buildings were in a 187 acre area. In the early 1990s, the LTTE seized the factory. Within years, it was taken back by the military and thereafter, it continued under its control.
Machinery with 100 year warranty
After the war, in 2011, a discussion took place on reopening the KKS cement factory. A team from the company visited the factory. According to reports, the German manufacturer had given a 100 year warranty for the machinery installed there in 1990 that enabled them to have been used until 2090, and, assured that there was no need at least to replace its nails. The importance of the facility as a national asset should not be told over and over again.
Not even Prabhakaran didn’t do it
The team that went to inspect the factory in 2011 saw the machinery in prime condition even after two decades of non-use. To tell it more clearly, the LTTE that had fought for an Eelam did not destroy it for monetary gains, but protected it for the future of its people. Had they needed it, they could easily have sold it for scrap iron. Thereafter, the military too, kept it in good condition for the country’s future.
How ‘war heroes’ did it
However, the corrupt Rajapaksa family that claimed the sole right to have saved the country from Prabhakaran and wanted everything the country had in return and unleashed terror, never spoke about reviving the KKS cement factory. In 2014, the then northern commander Maj. Gen. Mahinda Haturusinghe issued a tender notice, calling for tenders to sell 4,500 metric tons of scrap iron of the Army. When the expectant buyers went to inspect, what they saw was how the Army was taking down the factory’s machinery into pieces and loading them into containers. At least 20,000 mt of iron should have been there. That is how the ‘war heroes’ and the ‘family with the father who saved the nation’ took the country to ruin. But, Mahinda says ‘Apey Hamuduruwane, we did not sell state properties.”
After the corrupt Rajapaksas sold the factory’s machinery as scrap iron, Rs. 75 million of the money was credited to the Army’s welfare fund in order to cover up the fraud. An asset belonging to the entire nation and that could have given thousands of jobs and brought in billions of income to the country was swindled by Gotabhya and others in the Rajapaksa family. When Rs. 75 m was given to the Army welfare fund, the Rajapaksas could have credited at least Rs. 750 m to their personal accounts.
Beware of pimps
Think about a person who boasts about the country and patriotism after selling a national asset as scrap iron merely for the benefit of his conceited family. Think about a war hero who sold an asset worth billions and not even Prabhakaran thought of selling, as scrap iron. Think about an ex-president, now an MP, who has done all that and now is trying to regain power by selling the war heroes and patriotism. Can such a person, who had sold a cement factory described as the biggest in Asia and with a lime deposit nearby that is enough for 100 years, be compared to a pimp who had sold his own wife to find money for his heroin packet? Beware of the pimps who cover their nudity with the veil of patriotism. Do not allow your child’s future be sold again as scrap iron.