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Judiciary bar to foreign investments – Harry J

Leading businessman Harry Jayawardene yesterday said overseas investors would not be keen to invest in Sri Lanka due to the impact the judiciary could have on what he called business related matters.

Jayawardene, the Honorary Counsel of Denmark, made this observation at a meeting called by Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama to discuss ways and means 31 Honorary Counsels could promote Sri Lanka.

An official told The Island Jayawardene’s comment had been made quite early at yesterday’s meeting. Jayawardena emphasised the need to ensure that the judiciary could not interfere or reverse business transactions worth millions of US dollars.

Minister Bogollagama, while acknowledging the business tycoon’s concerns had said that the independence of the judiciary had to be preserved, sources said.

Based on the findings of Parliamentary watchdog committee, Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), the Supreme Court reversed the privatisation of Lanka Marine Services Limited (LMSL) and Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation. The Supreme Court also cancelled the Waters Edge deal. Jayawardena and Blue Chip John Keells Holdings are among key players directly affected by Supreme Court decisions.

Sources pointed out that former Secretary to the Treasury Dr. P. B. Jayasundera, too, had moved the Court in a bid to regain the lost post on the basis that President Mahinda Rajapaksa wanted him back at the Treasury. (SF)

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