The Straits Times
Published on Feb 21, 2013

Sri Lanka bans sale of land to foreigners


COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka on Thursday banned the sale of land to foreigners, charging that prime properties bought by outsiders had been neglected and that the country was not reaping the full benefits of their tourism potential.

Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the cabinet had approved the move in the wake of intense local demand for land for tourism development and industry in a country emerging from nearly four decades of ethnic war.

"Foreigners have bought prime lands, particularly beach properties, and in most cases they have neglected them," Mr Rambukwella told reporters.

"The country is not getting the full economic benefit from these properties owned by foreigners," he said.