Sri Lanka releases Economist magazine

Sept 16, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has allowed its citizens to read the latest issue of The Economist magazine, which carries a story on a controversial change in the country’s constitution after being held back by customs authorities for nearly a week. Sri Lanka is recovering from a 30-year ethnic war with Tamil separatists, but the Sinhalese majority has also taken up arms against the state twice within the same period.

“Any material that comes to Sri Lanka should fall into the standards that we have set out,” information minister Keheliya Rambukwelle told reporters at a weekly briefing.

“One is that it must not make any kind of allegations within the country – could be civil – in terms of articles. So that has to be scrutinized. But that won’t take time, unless it is really detrimental to the sovereignty.”

The Economist had not been released by Sri Lanka’s customs authorities for nearly a week after it arrived in the country last Friday.

The controversy blew up as Sri Lanka is on a road show to sell a billion dollar sovereign bond to foreign investors.

Sri Lanka’s deputy finance minister Sarath Amunugama is also participating in a conference organized by the “prestigious” Economist magazine, the finance