Mr Pradeep Moraes in his capacity as the Chairman of the condominium developers association of Sri Lanka has issued a statement refuting the damaging Sunday Times article under Right of Reply. The letter in full is produced below.
21st February 2019
Mr. Feizal Samath
Editor- Sunday BusinessTimes
#8, Hunupitiya Road
We are compelled to request for the traditional right of reply to an article published in your newspaper last week which is malignant, misinformed and overwhelmingly incorrect and kindly request you to afford our reply equal prominence and positioning. We would also kindly request you to publish this rebuttal in its’ entirety.
This article quotes or misquotes (as the case may be) a gentlemen named as Mr. Ravi Abeysuriya said to be the Group Director of a Group called Candor.
We were shocked, angered and dismayed on reading through this article which was titled “Uncertainty in Sri Lankan Property Market” at the gross untruths, irrelevancies, insinuations and innuendoes which comprised almost the entire body of quotes attributed to him and rendered the article false, misleading and malicious in almost its entirety.
The tone of the article seems to seek to cause damage and wreak destruction on the Real Estate Industry.
The motives behind this unsubstantiated and untrue tirade we are unable to understand nor is it our business to try.
It may be an individual’s or company’s misguided belief, real or imagined grouse or vendetta. It could also be the belief that damaging one industry is the best means of propping up another or a case of complete ignorance combined with the presumption of knowledge.
It could also that Mr. Abeysuriya has been roundly misquoted in which case he joins all Real Estate stakeholders as being common victims of this article, and shares our empathy in the damage to reputation.
Let us do an elementary Fact Check.
Also the statement implies that other trades / industries are free from any payback difficulties.
Conversely if the 100% referred to is over a shorter period and the rate is “gradually decreasing” then the sector is still doing wonderfully well and where is the problem?
This type of colossal inexactitude would be hilarious if not relating to such a serious subject.
Anyone disbelieving our outright rejection of this colossal untruth can cite right to information and check the statistics at the Land Registry.
We respectfully submit to the Government and it advisors that a re-imposition of output VAT on apartment sales will not serve its intended purpose i.e increased tax revenue. It will shrink the sector to a size that yields far far less taxes than if allowed to grow to its natural, organic potential.
The industry has suffered over the last one and a half years or thereabouts as a result of ill-advised and perhaps irresponsible, and certainly baseless conjecture, surmise and speculation about its viability expressed by certain Govt., Public Service and Bank officials – again either quoted or misquoted within or without context.
This unfortunately fueled the typical Sri Lankan negativity and rumour mongering that sadly affected the momentum of the Real Estate Industry which was vibrant at the time.
The litmus test that the industry has passed though, the gauntlet that it has successfully run, is that despite the recriminations, and despite the prophets of doom, real estate in Sri Lanka has not succumbed to fear mongering.
The fundamentals of Sri Lanka condominia are extremely robust, and it has the demonstrated and proven capacity to (in very modest terms) generate at least $ 750 M / year in FDIs if even mildly supported to so do.
Overall we believe that it is way overdue for us to get together, within industries, and across industries, and promote Sri Lanka as a holistically appealing and viable commercial entity, because our equitable share of an expanded cake will be far bigger and far more wholesome than a slice we fight for at the cost of another.
Condominium Developers Association of Sri Lanka