Waiting Game

Apr. 26 (Dow Jones)–A suicide attack in the Sri Lankan capital and airstrikes in the east of the country aren’t worrying foreign investors, and the government is on track to attract a record $1 billion worth of foreign direct investments this year, the chairman of the government’s investment arm said Wednesday. “Negotiations on some big investments are continuing. Some of the planned visits and meeting by these investors have been confirmed, despite the developments in the country,” Lakshman Watawala of the Board of Investment in Sri Lanka told Dow Jones Newswires.

The government’s commitment to the peace process will calm investors although progress will be slow, he said.

Last year, the country attracted foreign investments worth $285 million.

Rebels have in the past targeted the country’s financial establishemnts and infrastructure. In 1996, rebels rammed a truck full of explosives into the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the country’s only international airport was attacked by a group of suicide bombers in 2001.

A suspected Tamil Tiger rebel suicide attack in the capital Tuesday killed eight people and wounded more than 20 others, including a top military officer. The air force launched airstrikes late Tuesday, targeting rebel bases in the east while the government vowed to re