The Government Surveyors’ Association (GSA) yesterday resorted to a countrywide indefinite work stoppage claiming that there was a move to hand over several operations of the Sri Lanka Surveys Department (SLSD), the second oldest department of the country, to a US-based company.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, GSA President Duminda Udugoda referred to an attempt to transfer the duties of the SLSD including Land Information System (LIS) and Aerial Survey Operations to ‘Trimble Navigation Ltd’, a US-based land administration solutions group, under the guise of providing title deeds to landowners.
Mr Udugoda said the Cabinet approval had been sought to the proposal to handing over the operation under a foreign loan obtain for USD 154 million (Rs.25, 000 million) although the department was capable of completing the task for Rs.10, 000 million. A total rip off and it is a disgrace..
It was learned that the approval had been sought without a proper tender procedure in an arbitrary decision of several top officials to be retired soon.
Mr Udugoda revealed the attempt could also threaten the national security as according to the measure Trimble Navigation Ltd is permitted to scan the landowner's eye and get their Biometric authentication and there was a threat to people’s privacy as well.
“In the proposed mechanism the company can’t provide a clear title deed as it can’t provide a clear blue print of the land,” Mr Udugoda said.
This shameful deal has been highlighted so many time in LNW but the government had ignored it because it is alleged massive commissions were paid to Paskeralingem, a former Secretary of Lands and to the current Minister of Land. Union members say when it can be done on a grant why do you have to take loans. It is all to with the bribes paid. They alleged paskaralingem pushed it through cabinet despite the opposition. A complaint is already filed against Paskerlingem at the Bribery Commission