Saturday, Aug 30, 2014Saturday, Aug 30, 2014
Asia
 

Sri Lanka opposition protest to block Aussie tycoon James Packer's casino plans

Published on Apr 24, 2014 8:47 PM
 
Sri Lanka supporters of the country's main opposition chant slogans and hold banners as they protest outside a casino in Colombo on April 24, 2014. Hundreds of Sri Lankan opposition party members marched in protest in Colombo on Thursday, April 24, 2014, to pressure the government to stop Australian gambling tycoon James Packer from opening casinos in hotel projects planned by his Crown Resorts Ltd. -- PHOTO: AFP 

COLOMBO (REUTERS) - Hundreds of Sri Lankan opposition party members marched in protest in Colombo on Thursday to pressure the government to stop Australian gambling tycoon James Packer from opening casinos in hotel projects planned by his Crown Resorts Ltd.

The protest was held as parliament began debating whether to approve Crown's US$400 million (S$503 million) mixed-development project and two similar projects, altogether worth more than US$1.3 billion.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa's coalition government holds a two-thirds majority in parliament, but its stance on casinos has drawn flak from Buddhist and other religious leaders, opposition parties and even from within its own ranks.

Stung by criticism, the government amended late last year gazette notifications on Crown's three projects and deleted the word "gaming".

 
If you are not a subscriber, you can get instant, unlimited access here

Videos