Where the fuck is Katana? Here, above. It’s inland from Negombo. What’s going on there? “Sri Lanka’s state investment promotion agency said it had inked a deal with a Singapore led consortium to build a 3 billion US dollar tourism city in Katana, north of the capital Colombo” (LBO).
OK. So who is this consortium? Asian Resorts And Casinos Pte. Ltd. Who are they? Well, I checked their site and they seem to have only concept projects, nothing built yet. They designed their logo in an online contest about 9 months ago, for $120. Checked their business records in Singapore and they were formerly known as EIGHTH WONDER SINGAPORE PTE. LTD. As such they bid on (see video) a similar project on Singapore’s Sentosa island (and lost). Since then they’ve had a name change and so that’s the ‘Singapore led consortium’.
As far as I can tell it’s a new company with no particular assets or projects under its belt, but I guess anyone with contacts can leverage up $3 billion these days. For reference, that’s about 1/3rd the cost of the Large Hadron Collider. Also, as a note, I have real difficulty not spelling that Hardon Collider.
However, for 3 billion couldn’t we, say, build high speed rail from the airport to actually cool parts of Sri Lanka, instead of build artificial entertainment in Katana? The main sell, of course, seems to be casinos, which would have a market, but still. Sri Lanka is not lacking in natural awesome. We don’t really need to tie up with artificial companies to turn Katana into some provincial Macau.