In The Press

Roll up sleeves and work on B&R— Story of Sanjeewa: employee of CCCC Colombo Port City project


Editor's Note- This is a story shared at the thematic session on "People-to-People Connectivity", one of the 6 parallel sessions of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing on May 14-15.
With average height, dark skin, intelligence behind a pair of spectacles, speaking slowly and gently, Sanjeewa is a local employee of CCCC (China Communications Construction Group Ltd.) Colombo Port City Project in Sri Lanka. He graduated from Tsinghua University in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. He had worked overseas in several engineering companies in Dubai and Qatar for more than twenty years
In 2013, Sanjeewa returned to Sri Lanka and worked for a local engineering consultancy company for nearly 3 years. In 2016, he joined CCCC Colombo Port City Project as deputy manager in charge of the design, planning and implementation of water supply, electricity and other wet water system of the project.
Sri Lankans are friendly people. Sanjeewa is no exception, who works at his own pace.
Colombo Port City project is by far the largest single FDI (foreign direct investment), in Sri Lanka. With reclamation of 269 hectares of land right beside the existing CBD, Colombo Port City is bound to transform into the new business center of Colombo and would boost domestic economic growth, which will uplift Colombo’s international impact and Sri Lanka’s image.
One of Sanjeewa’s main duties is to get in touch with government departments to ensure quality and on-time delivery of municipal facilities into the Port City.
Once, when Sanjeewa was having a meeting with the local water supply authority for the Port City project, a senior engineer from water authority told him, “We can only provide one water supply for the moment, and it is too difficult to provide two.”
Sanjeewa said, “To guarantee successful development and operations of the Port City, a secured and reliable water supply is a must.”
“You can’t think of the problem from the perspective of a Chinese company, please also think from our prospective, you’re an experienced engineer, you should know how difficult it is for us to provide 2 water lines connecting all the way throughout the downtown area!”, the engineer said to Sanjeewa.
Sanjeewa said, “Making sure a secured water supply is the joint responsibility of the Sri Lankan government and the Port City company. There will be 250,000 people working and living in this area once the project is completed, only one water supply is surely not reliable. But If there really is difficulty in water supply, we should work together to find a solution, please offer us two water lines!”
Finally, the water supply authority agreed to provide two water supplies for the Port City.
Sanjeewa is a low-profile person when he is at work. While in daily life, he is pleased to share his experiences in China with colleagues. He would like to show them photos taken during his study at Tsinghua University.
He recalled that more than 2 decades ago, he completed a Bachelor’s degree on Electrical Engineering in Tsinghua University in China.
His first impressions on Beijing was the cold weather and large area, since Colombo is hot and small. He said, his study and life in Beijing remains vivid in his mind, but he had never returned to Beijing since his graduation in 1992
“China is the second largest economy in the world, China is a great country, I hope to have a chance to visit Beijing again and see the changes of China. Sri Lanka had ever suffered seriously from the long-lasting civil war, which dragged down economic development. The country now is in urgent need for a project like Colombo Port City to drive its economy. This is also one of the reasons why I chose to work in the Port City company.” Sanjeewa said.
He added “I am confident that Chinese enterprises can help us to create a better future. I wish, just like me, more and more Sri Lankans will come back to build on our own land. I believe that Colombo will become a prosperous city as Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen in China, with complete and modernized municipal facilities, beautiful buildings, a good environment for commercial and business activities, and people working and living happily. I’ve heard of a sentence recently from my Chinese colleagues which I like very much, that is, let's roll up our sleeves and work on it! I hope we could work together to make the great vision a reality.”
(The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or

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