Sri Lanka should cut corruption, opaque rules to draw investors: Blake

Sri Lanka's state minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene (L) takes part in a press conference in Colombo on April 24, 2019. - A Sri Lankan security dragnet hunting those responsible for horrifying bombings that claimed more than 350 lives has scooped up a further 18 suspects, police said April 24, as pressure mounted on politicians to explain why no one acted on intelligence warnings. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Sept 14, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka should cut corruption and create transparent processes for investors and also avoid unpredictable actions such as expropriating property, a senior US State Department official said. “In general we want to see the government do as much as they can to reduce some of the impediments – bureaucratic impediments – to investments here,” US Assistant Secretary for South Asia Robert Blake told reporters in Colombo.

“To reduce corruption, to do everything they can to provide a transparent open environment in which American and other investments are encouraged.”

US is Sri Lanka’s top buyer of exports, and has also invested in several sectors, mostly before the end of a 30-year war involving Tamil Tiger separatists.

Blake was in Colombo to push for faster implementation of recommendations from a committee appointed by the Sri Lankan state to go into the island’s most recent civil war and recommend measures to reconcile ethnic differences and improve rule of law and justice.

Sri Lankan citizens have taken up arms against the state three times since independence from British rule, the Sinhalese majority twice and the Tamil minority once.

The US is also pushing for impro