Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has been toying with
the idea of setting up a large-scale Yacht Marina in the Galle Harbour north of
Colombo Port according to Sri Lankan media reports. A small Marina was built in
the Galle port spending over Rs. 150 million and a few Yachts sometimes use it.
been adverse comments about the one-and-only yacht marina in Sri Lanka. Many
small yacht owners who love Sri Lanka have been placing adverse comments about
the behavior of the Customs and SLPA security who wait like vultures to grab
‘something’ from anyone there. They complain that authorities have chosen to
keep a blind eye to the comments made by the Yacht owners.
In spite of all these adverse comments, the SLPA
called offers worldwide for marina operators to expand the marina and build a
world-class Marina to augment the tourism- drive to convert whole of Galle as a
Several years have gone by and finally the tender
for establishment of marina was closed on 21st August. Many foreign parties
collected tender documents.
Before the opening of the tender, emails have
been sent around by a yacht company, accusing SLPA of laying down tender
constricting conditions for the Marina. It is alleged that the tender has been
tailor-made for one particular company. The copies of complaint have been sent
to Prime Minister and also all tender board members.
All renderers have refrained from submitting
proposals, claiming foul play. The accusing company has not collected tender
Further investigations have revealed that the
signatures on the complaint have been forged and the company concerned intends
to write to SLPA denying responsibility for the letter.
This is how some scrupulous elements in Sri Lanka
manipulate tender procedures. Officers might even have been compelled to cancel
the tender as there was only one bidder.
The National Expert Strategy (NES), launched
recently at Temple Trees with much publicity says nautical tourism need to be
developed as part of a plan to generate 22 billion USD by 2022.
If SLPA decides to cancel the tender,
establishment of a long awaited yacht marina will delay further and NES will
become just another dream.