Later Later

Sept 14, 2007 (LBO) – The hearing of the case on the sale Sri Lanka Telecom shares by its Japanese shareholder has been put off till November 22, lawyers said. Lawmaker Sripathi Sooriyarachchi who was sacked earlier in the year as a minister by President Mahinda Rajapakse, went to court alleging that the sale caused losses to the government and the country.

The deal became a hot political issue amidst allegations of corruption.

Sri Lanka Telecom shares which gained ground in recent days with punters expecting a quick court decision, closed 50 cents lower at 35.25 rupees Thursday. The Supreme Court halted the sale of shares of the country’s largest fixed access operator to a Malaysian firm in June, after a lawmaker filed suit against the deal.

Originally a government committee with treasury officials that is drawing up a new management agreement for Sri Lanka Telecom was expected to make written submissions through the attorney general, at a court hearing this month.

Japan’s NTT which holds a 35.2 percent stake in Sri Lanka Telecom was negotiating to sell a 25.3 percent stake of the telco to the Usaha Tegas group of Malaysia controlled by bill