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Cablegate: Sri Lanka: Report On Investment Disputes And

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS COLOMBO 000951

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR L/CID/JNICOL, EB/IFD/OIA/ATBRYAN,COMMERCE FOR
ITA:ABENAISSA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EINV EFIN PGOV KIDE CASC CE OPIC ECONOMICS
SUBJECT: SRI LANKA: REPORT ON INVESTMENT DISPUTES AND
EXPROPRIATION CLAIMS

REF: STATE 78697

Format follows instructions in reftel:

(A) Claimant A

(B) 1999

(C) Claimant A has an 18% stake in a private Sri Lankan
telecommunications company. Most problems experienced by the
company have been resolved: Court cases brought by and
against the GSL have been dropped. Equipment held in Customs
has been cleared for release (though it is now so obsolete,
the company will not pay the storage charges to free it).
Payments made to block connections have stopped. Post was
not contacted for advocacy help during the previous year, and
therefore had to request an update for this report.

The problem that remains is the refusal of (49.5%
government-owned) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) to provide
international connections, though directed to by the Telecom
Regulator. Claimant A,s firm has a license to provide
services with these connections, and cannot without them.
The firm is therefore losing projected revenues. SLT is
treating the other Sri Lankan telecom firms in the same
manner. The firm's management says it hopes to work more
closely with the newly elected government on projects, and
expects to receive the required connections.

Claimant A: International Internet Services, U.S. investors
in Sri Lankan firm, Lanka Internet
LUNSTEAD

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