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Korean investments in SL have contributed towards promotion of bilateral relations – Ambassador



Korean Ambassador Santhush Woonjin JEONG met with the Secretary General & Chief Executive Officer of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Manjula de Silva at the Embassy and discussed ways to promote investment and trade between Korea and Sri Lanka.

The meeting was held on the request of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in order to promote the upcoming Sri Lanka Investment Forum (SLIF) themed “Sri Lanka- Asia’s Next Growth Haven” which is jointly organised by the Board of Investment (BOI), The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Colombo Stock Exchange.

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce is actively promoting this forum for all potential foreign investors and is planning to visit many of the foreign missions. The Korean Embassy was their first visit to bolster Sri Lanka’s investment opportunities and uplift foreign investment flows. They had a fruitful exchange regarding the promotion of investment opportunities in Sri Lanka to Korean investors, expansion of trade relations, and export development.

The Sri Lanka Investment Forum will commence on June 7, 2021 on a virtual platform and it will be an opportunity to showcase the potential of Sri Lanka as a hub for investment.

De Silva highlighted that Sri Lanka is very keen to attract Korean investments and international joint ventures, along with Korean know-how and technology. As the Republic of Korea plays a leading role in the field of industrialization and technology, it would be favourable for Sri Lanka to attract Korean investments.

Sri Lanka Investment Forum will be the ideal platform to showcase to the world including Korea, that Sri Lanka is the next economic growth haven for strategic investment initiatives and a blend of mega projects given its economic, commercial and investment milieu.

He further elaborated that the forum will attract direct and portfolio investors, including sovereign wealth funds, private equity funds, development finance institutions, multi-national corporations, high networth individuals and all other investor classes from across the globe.

Ambassador Santhush expressed his pleasure regarding such a wonderful initiative which will educate and empower investors and businesses with a comprehensive set of information with respect to Sri Lanka’s FDI and portfolio investment environment.

He added that “it is a very good opportunity for investors worldwide including Korean investors to take a look at the Sri Lankan investment environment”.

He said that he would raise awareness among the Korean investors of this program which will be a bridge in improving trade and investment relations between our two countries. “Korean investments in Sri Lanka have contributed immeasurably to the promotion of bilateral relationship and the elevation of the economies of both countries, he noted.

In early 1990s Korea was the biggest foreign investment partner of Sri Lanka. Today, Korean investors in the ceramic industry, apparel industry etc. play a significant role in developing two-way trade and investment in ways which benefit our countries, the envoy said.

“I encourage Korean investors to explore more opportunities in Sri Lanka especially in sectors such as agriculture, renewable energy, LNG, infrastructure and digital economy. Given the huge opportunities offered by the developing Sri Lankan economy, and the talent of the Korean and Sri Lankan people, the scope for beneficial collaboration is infinite. Sri Lanka is endowed with smart, high quality human resources and affluent natural resources which are complimentary with the state of the art technology and capital available in Korea. This combination creates the perfect synergies for our two countries to further the potential for businesses”, he added.

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Parliament prorogued



by Saman Indrajith

Parliament has been prorogued with effect from midnight yesterday (27) by President Ranil Wickremeisnghe under Article 70 of the Constitution. The Department of Government Printing issued the Gazette notification annoucing the presidential order yesterday evening.The new Parliament session is scheduled to commence on Feb. 08.

A prorogation, which is a temporary recess of Parliament, should not extend to a period of more than two months, However, such date for summoning Parliament may be advanced by another Presidential Proclamation, provided it is summoned for a date not less than three days from the date of such fresh proclamation.

When Parliament is prorogued, the Proclamation should notify the date for the commencement of the new Session of Parliament, under Paragraph (3) of Article 70 of the Constitution.

During the prorogation the Speaker continues to function and the Members retain their membership, even though they do not attend meetings of Parliament.The effect of a prorogation is to suspend all current Business before the House, and all proceedings, pending at the time, are quashed, except impeachments.

A Bill, motion or question of the same substance cannot be introduced for a second time during the same Session. However, it could be carried forward at a subsequent Session, after a prorogation.

“All matters which having been duly brought before Parliament, and have not been disposed of at the time of the prorogation of Parliament, may be proceeded with during the next Session,” states the Paragraph (4) of Article 70 of the Constitution.

In the light of this constitutional provision, a prorogation does not put an end to pending Business. Thus, a pending matter may be proceeded with from that stage onwards after the commencement of the new Session. At the beginning of a new Session, all items of Business which were in the Order Paper of Parliament, need to be re-listed, if it is desired to continue with them.

At the end of a prorogation, a new Session begins and is ceremonially declared open by the President. He is empowered, under the Constitution, to make a Statement of Government Policy in Parliament, at the commencement of each Session of Parliament, and to preside at ceremonial sittings of Parliament, in terms of the provisions stipulated in Paragraph (2) of Article 33 of the Constitution.

The President is empowered to make a statement of Government Policy at the commencement of each new Session. In the past, it was known as the Throne Speech which was delivered by the Governor-General.

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LG elections may turn violent – CPA




Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and co-convener of the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu has warned that the March 9 LG polls (if held) may turn violent as political parties are fighting for their survival as the results of the election may be considered as a referendum. He said it was doubtful whether the election would be held.

Dr. Saravanamuttu sounded this warning at the conference on Campaign Finance Regulations, convened by the CMEV, and Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), which was held last Thursday (26). He recalled that once when he asked former President Mahinda Rajapaksa about campaign and party finances, the latter’s reply had been as follows: “I am not going to tell you the whole story, I cannot tell you the whole story and I will not tell you the whole story”

The Campaign Finance Regulation Act became law last Tuesday (24) and Dr. Saravanamuttu pointed out that the former President’s quip highlighted the challenges of collecting information on exactly how much is actually being used. “It is important that the public should know, whether it be cash or kind, from where the money comes from. And the information be made available to the public.”

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President: Cabinet has agreed to implement 13A fully



President Ranil Wickremesinghe, on Thursday, informed the All Party Leaders Conference on Reconciliation that the Cabinet was agreeable to fully implementing the 13th Amendment.Issuing a statement on Friday, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said the President is bound to implement the laws of the land and the 13th Amendment is a part of the Constitution.

“The 13th Amendment has been in existence for over 30 years. I must implement it. If anyone is opposed, they can bring in a constitutional amendment to change it, or abolish it,” he said.

The President said that the country has to decide whether to fully implement the 13th Amendment or abolish it. “We can’t decide to do neither. Any MP can bring a private members motion to abolish the 13A. What happens when most people don’t support the motion? We will have to fully implement it,” he said.

The President said that he is working, according to a Supreme Court decision, on 13A. “We have to look, especially at the decision given by Chief Justice Palinda Ranasinghe. We are still in the bounds of a unitary state. I am against a Federal state but I support the devolution of power to provinces. The provincial councils don’t even have the powers enjoyed by the City of London. So we can’t call this a federal state,” he said.

Wickremesinghe added that former President J.R. Jayawardane and his lawyers took great pains to prevent the 13A from leading to a federal state. He added that at the end of the war, against the LTTE, a large number of lands in the North and the East, that belonged to private owners, were under the control of the Army. However, most of it had been returned to the people, under presidents Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena.

“Only about 3000 acres are under the security forces. The forces must be given the opportunity to release these lands, without hindering national security. The Land Commission, too, must be immediately established. The draft on that can be presented by March. The Commission will have nine members, from each province ,and 12 will be appointed by the President. The we can come up with a national land policy and the Commission can implement the land policy,” he said.

The President said that 30 percent of the land will be allocated for forests. Large swaths of forests, in the upcountry, and in the catchment areas, for rivers, have been destroyed.

“We must increase the forest cover and the Land Commission must be entrusted with this,” he said.

The President added that he will provide further information, on February 08, on how the amendment will be implemented. He urged political parties to submit their proposals by February 04, the Independence Day of the country.

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