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Tuesday June 18th, 2024

Sri Lanka needs reforms to become international arbitration hub – experts

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lankan legal fraternity’s mind-set, slow process, lack of emergency arbitrators, and decades-old legislation have prevented the island nation becoming a real international arbitration hub in the region, experts say.

Sri Lanka’s Cabinet had granted approval to establish a Sri Lanka International Arbitration Centre as a regional hub in the year 2012, for resolving disputes arising out of International Commercial Agreements and other International affairs.

Though it was established in 2020, the local arbitration center is yet to prove as an international arbitration center, on par with Singapore, analysts say.

Some countries engage in generating a colossal sum of income by way of involving in international arbitration through the establishment of an International Arbitration Centre.

“One of the biggest challenges was the mind-set,” Supreme Court Justice Janak De Silva told Colombo Arbitration Week conference in Colombo on Sunday (06).

“Arbitration was thought of as an after hours work where you finish your court work and then come and continue with arbitration in the evening. That meant about two to three hours of work,” he said.

“And the so-called positives of arbitration; speedy, litigation, cost-effective, is questioned. At the end of the day you lose sight of the objectives of arbitration. This is not after hours work. It is something bigger,” he said.

“There is a problem with the mind-set of the arbitrators as well who question whether this is an extension of the adversarial system. In order to recognize and give effect to arbitration the courts should only interfere with what is mandated under law.”

The Arbitration Act was enacted in 1995 in Sri Lanka, giving recognition to party autonomy with the appointment of arbitrators as well as provisions for the recognition and enforcement of arbitration laws.

“Many institutional rules now enable the appointment of an emergency arbitrator. The Sri Lankan act contains no reference to emergency arbitrators,” Romesh Weeramanthri, a special Consultant in the International Arbitration and Dispute Resolutions at Clifford Chance, said.

Countries like Dubai and Switzerland have made efforts in becoming global arbitration hubs.

In 2021, Dubai abolished several arbitration institutions and merged them with the Dubai International Arbitration Centre.

In Switzerland, the Chambers of Commerce and Industry in several Swiss towns had their own arbitration centres agreed to one set of unified rules called the Swiss Arbitration Rules.

“To get Sri Lanka on the map, this type of consolidation and centralization might be necessary,” Anselmo Reyes, a former judge of the High Court of Hong Kong, said.

“This can be used to draw the market in South Africa to Sri Lanka; a market that might go elsewhere if one does not develop the special advantages.” (Colombo/August 08/2023)

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  1. Edie says:

    Very much needed to be implemented in Sri Lanka.
    There has been many fraud Land deeds and cases currently running into almost between 15 to 25 years. This has become an huge psychological
    stress and fear among the current generation.

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Edie says:

    Very much needed to be implemented in Sri Lanka.
    There has been many fraud Land deeds and cases currently running into almost between 15 to 25 years. This has become an huge psychological
    stress and fear among the current generation.

Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Chamber links up with Gujarat Chamber

ECONOMYNEXT – The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has signed an agreement with the Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI) to increase trade cooperation between India and Sri Lanka.

The MOU was signed by CCC CEO Buwanekabahu Perera, SGCCI President Ramesh Vaghasia, in the presence of Dr Valsan Vethody, Consul General for Sri Lanka in Mumbai, India.

“With the signing of the MoU, … the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and SGCCI aim to facilitate trade between the two countries via initiatives such as trade fairs and delegations, business networking events, training programmes,” the Ceylon Chamber said in a statement.

“This partnership will open doors for Sri Lankan businesses to explore opportunities in Surat’s dynamic market and enable the sharing of expertise and resources between the two regions.”

Established in 1940, SGCCI engages with over 12,000 members and indirect ties with more than 2,00,000 members via 150 associations. It promotes trade, commerce, and industry in South Gujarat.

The region’s commercial and economic centre Surat has risen to prominence as the global epicenter for diamond cutting and as India’s textile hub, and is ranked the world’s 4th fastest growing city with a GDP growth rate of 11.5%

Surat’s economic landscape is vibrant and diverse. As India’s 8th largest and Gujarat’s 2nd largest city, it boasts the highest average annual household income in the country.

The nearby Hazira Industrial Area hosts major corporations like Reliance, ESSAR, SHELL, and L&T. (Colombo/Jun18/2024)

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Sri Lanka telecommunications bill some clauses ruled unconstitutional by SC: Speaker

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has found a number of clauses in a proposed amendment to the Telecom Telecommunications Amendment bill unconstitutional, speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana said.

“Clause No 8, proposed section 9A 2 of the bill is inconsistent with Article 12 1 of the constitution, however this inconsistency shall cease if word ‘may’ will be replaced with word ‘shall’ as set out in the determination of the supreme court.”

“Clause No 9 is inconsistent with Article 12 1 of the constitution and only can be passed with special majority required under paragraph 2 of the Article 84. However, the inconsistency shall cease if clause is amended as set out in the determination of the supreme court.

Clause No 12, proposed section 17 10 of the bill is inconsistent with Article 12 1 of the constitution and can only be passed with special parliament majority required under Article 84 paragraph 2. However, the inconsistency shall cease if clause is amended as set out in the determination of the supreme court.”

Sections of clauses 13, 18, 20, 33 and 35 were also in violation of the constitution, and could only be passed by a special majority of parliament. (Colombo/Jun18/2024)

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Sri Lanka to exempt one house from imputed rent wealth tax: President

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will exempt one house from a proposed wealth tax outlined in an International Monetary Fund program, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

About 90 percent of the people’s houses are likely to be exempt from the proposed tax, he said.

“[O]ne house will be exempt from this,” President Wickremesinghe told parliament Monday.

“It is going to have a very high threshold and I do not think the vast majority of the people in this country should even be worried about their house

“Don’t worry your house will be safe.”

The IMF program document however did not mention an exempt on one house, but did mention a threshold.

Taxing houses and thrift in general could have detrimental effects on people’s well-being housing stock and their willingness to remain in the country without migrating, critics say.

Related Sri Lanka to tax imaginary rents on houses under IMF deal

The mechanism of imputed rents was used because rates on houses was assigned to provincial councils and courts could strike it down.

Opposition legislator Harsha de Silva said the Samagi Jana Balwegaya welcomed President Wickremesinghe’s statement. (Colombo/June18/2024)

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