Supreme Order

Oct 11, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has called for new laws to cut political interference in investment projects and the handing out of concessions, following the reversal of an illegal sale of state lands in which a former president was involved. The investment value which was first listed as 250,000 US dollars which qualified for a 15 percent rate for 15 years had been raised through stages to a cost of 1.96 billion rupees.

Court faulted BOI for not examining the financial capacity of the original shareholders to invest in such a project, or even checking whether a foreign investor that was listed as J Yangihara, a ‘Japanese’ individual, who was said to be the principal investor, actually existed.

“In fact it does not appear that any inquiry was made as to whether Mr Yangihara even existed,” court said and that at the time of issuing its approval the BOI “had never even learned of Mr Yangihara’s first name.”

Court said the BOI “without a shadow of doubt failed to discharge its duties” and had violated public trust.

The golf course was ultimately sold at a huge profit to Sri Lanka’s Access Group, who developed the site.

Court also slammed UDA for betraying public trust by giving for commercial development land which was a