Enacting new laws to witness happiness!

The Beijing Swift – By Prof. Samitha Hettige © China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) published a sustainable development report for Sri Lanka recently. The report is titled “Witness Happiness” and was launched online simultaneously from Colombo and Beijing. The report mainly highlights CSCEC’s practices in Sri Lanka and mainly contains official data of the Corporate Social Responsibility work in Sri Lanka. According to the report, United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the base line for the activities which includes providing advanced technology and services with the quality projects they implement. CSCEC affirmed that they act towards win-win cooperation in all the countries they work being one of the largest investment and construction entities with a wide spread global presence. Most Sri Lankans hear the name China State Construction Engineering Corporation due to their involvements in engineering activities in Sri Lanka at present. It is also known since the United States government is focused on few of China’s top entities with a global presence but little we know that CSCEC was here to build the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) which was constructed during the early 1970s (Ref. CSCEC sources). The BMICH provided the much needed infrastructure to host world leaders at the Non Aligned summit in 1976. It was organized by the Sirima Bandaranaike government which came to power in 1970 and introduced the 1972 constitution. Back in 1972 before the constitution was passed, all members of parliament had to meet at another location outside the chamber. The BMICH was still under construction. The brand new “Nawa Rangahala” at Royal Junior School (RJS), Colombo 07 was the venue selected to for the purpose. “Nawa Rangahala, a concept of the late H.D. Sugathapala (Former Principal of RJS from early 1960s till 1970) still stand tall among other theaters having witnessed many happy events including the drafting of the 1972 constitution. Few months after the 1976 summit, in July 1977 the UNP got an unprecedented majority at the general election and passed the 1978 constitution. The new government also maintained good relations with the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) and the famous Colombo landmark Supreme Court complex was constructed with Chinese financial and engineering support. The PRC has worked closely with every government elected in Sri Lanka despite the political affiliations including the government which suspended the port city project for few years (first ever largest foreign investment so far). The Lions at the entrance to the Supreme Court complex has Chinese architectural roots and reminds us the Lions at the Independence monument constructed in 1948. Those Lions reminds us the Lions at Yapahuwa archaeological site which is one of the few examples of an ancient citadel where we may have witnessed happiness. This proves that engineering connection with China are much older than the engineering companies formed in the 20th century. We as a civilization should remember that. We have used the Yapahuwa Lions in currency notes, title deeds and many more state documents (Ref Archaeological sources). There is much discussion happening about a new constitution. That is not an easy task. We the people have to act wise and not get distracted when it comes to developing the country and ensuring national security to witness happiness.   (The writer is an Academic and a Broadcaster. Views expressed are personal and may not necessarily be the views of his affiliations.)

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