Sri Lanka to review casino projects: new minister

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka’s new government will not allow casino projects which are against the island’s cultural and religious values, investmentments minister Kabir Hashim said.

Sri Lanka had till now sold its tourism potential based on historical places and cultural attractions, he told reporter soon after assuming duties.

"People came here to look at our rich culture," highways and investments minsiter Kabir Hashi said Friday after assuming duties.

But in the last couple of years investors were trying to use the country as an entertainment destination, he said.

"We don’t believe that Sri Lanka should be marketed in that way. These investments would be looked at very carefully.

"If there are investments that are not in line with Sri Lanka’s religious beliefs and culture then we will not – even if it means they are huge in terms of money – we will not be able to consider them."

Asked if that included the casino projects, Hashim replied: "Yes."

He was referring to casino projects proposed by Australia’s James Packer, Sri Lanka’s Vallibel and John Keells Holdings business groups.

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