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Otters AC owe Govt. Rs.354mn in rent

13 March 2012 04:00 am - 8     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Thimbirigasyaya Divisional Secretary (DS) has decided to take legal action against the Otters Aquatic Club (OAC), located on a Rs.1.2 billion block of state land in Colombo 7 to collect Rs.354 million in defaulted rent, the Daily Mirror learns.

The rent has accumulated from 1956, a senior Secretariat official said yesterday.

Divisional Secretary Priyanai Sandanayaka the valuable prime land had been leased out to the OAC at an annual rental of Rs.222.00 on a 33-year agreement in 1956.

Though the lease agreement had to be renewed in 1989 and the value reassessed it had not happened and the OAC continued to be liable for the 1956 rental, which had also not been paid up to date.

“When I studied the files of crown lands leased out to private parties after I assumed office in 2010, I found that the OAC has not paid any rent. Then, with the assistance of the Provincial Land Commissioner I re-assessed the land value based on a 2002 valuation and found that the OAC owed the government Rs.354 million,” Ms Sandanayaka said.

She said the DS office sent several reminders to the OAC calling for the rent. Meanwhile the club filed action against the DS in the Court of Appeal and a settlement between the two parties in 2011 with the OAC agreeing to pay two per cent of the land value in addition to overdue amount of Rs.354 million.
Ms. Sandanayaka said the club had only paid Rs.970,000 up to now though the last date given to settle the dues was yesterday.

“We have no option but to file action against the OAC to collect our outstanding rent and I will consult the Attorney General on this matter soon,” she added.
Meanwhile, OAC General Manager Suresh De Silva said the club has been serving a cross section of Colombo’s residents since 1936 and is run as a service and not as a commercial venture.

“We have produced dozens of national and international level swimmers and have been in the forefront of promoting swimming and life saving for several decades. A large number of private and public schools seek our service for the development of swimming as well,” Mr. De Silva stressed. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)

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  Comments - 8

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  • James Tuesday, 13 March 2012 10:59 AM

    The big man of this club could pay this without much fuss from the big money he earned by getting down the Hindi singer to SL.

    man on the street Tuesday, 13 March 2012 12:23 PM

    Nationalize the OAC assets such as the swimming pool, etc and write off bad debt. OAC will not pay this amount. Instead the OAC bigwigs will influence the politicos and officers to continuously parasitize state properties so that their luxurious lifestyles (sponsored by the common man) are undisturbed. As the land already belongs to the government the best thing to do is to nationalize what is built on it to recover the dues. Thereafter a governing body should be appointed to ensure that schools which do not have swimming pools and children from low income households attend can enjoy swimming facilities at an affordable rate.

    nnami Tuesday, 13 March 2012 01:02 PM

    OAC is reserved for the rich in Colombo.

    Close it down & sell the land & give OAC some land in Killonochchi or Hambaantota (in fact they might as well use the new harbour their for swiming)

    Daya Tuesday, 13 March 2012 04:29 AM

    If there is a lease agreement honour that. Then we will talk about the rest.

    raj Tuesday, 13 March 2012 04:35 AM

    ha ha is OAC falling under " Non-performing " organization?

    sltk2004 Tuesday, 13 March 2012 05:50 AM

    I wonder how fast the case would have progress if this happened to an innocent individual.

    willows Tuesday, 13 March 2012 07:59 AM

    it is a profit making commercial venture???

    Hoodwinked Tuesday, 13 March 2012 08:11 AM

    For Citizen Perera the treatment meted out would have been different. If his Electricity bill is in arrears Say Rs100/= immediately his supply of power would have been disconnected but here they allow the arrears to accrue into millions and then they try close the stables. Power and mighty always get away unscathed in Srt lanka


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