Offshore Riches

April 15, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Central Bank has called for the
setting up of a high-powered decision-making body, possibly headed by
the president, to handle oil exploration. A well-structured institutional arrangement should exist for policy
formulation, management, regulation, and supervision of oil
exploration, development and production, it said in its newly released
2007 annual report.

“In this respect, a high-capacity decision-making body would be
required for policy making at macro-level and guiding oil exploration
to become a dynamic and well-positioned industry in the long run.

“Given the high national importance of oil exploration, such
institutions are headed by none other than the head of the state in
some countries of successful oil exploration.”

However, the proposal comes at a time of growing opposition to the highly
centralised nature of power in the island, where the executive
president wields near-dictatorial powers and is also immune from

There have been growing calls to introduce checks and balances to
prune executive power.

But mechanisms that are already law like the constitutional council
that decides on

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