Journals

Staying abreast of the latest developments in commercial and corporate law and its practical implications has always been a priority for the Firm. The Partners and Associates regularly comment on landmark judgements, and publish in leading legal publications in Sri Lanka as well as in international peer reviewed journals on matters pertaining to developments in Sri Lanka’s commercial law, government policies and the impact of international legislation on local commerce.

Guest Article on Employment Related Issues Arising from the Corona Pandemic

Ms. Shyamali Ranaraja

This article contains practical guidance on a number of topical employment-related issues that have arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic - including, the payment of wages and discretionary payments, workplace liability, work-from-home arrangements, failures to report to work and termination.

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Civic Responsibility and Criminal Liability During the Corona Pandemic

Mr. Eric Dathika Wikramanayake

The outbreak and spread of the novel corona virus in and across Sri Lanka has, in many ways, been a test for the Island’s community at large.  Over the past few weeks, Sri Lankans have had to demonstrate their capacity and commitment to abide by laws that are, more than ever, essential to our collective safety and well-being.  Unfortunately, not everyone has stepped up to meet this challenge.  Since the imposition of a curfew earlier this month, there have been numerous arrests and violations of the regulations adopted by this administration to combat the ongoing public health crisis.  There is, however, also much to be said about the broader failings of our State and system to educate citizens on their respective duties and liabilities under the law.  The purpose of this article, therefore, is to briefly set out and consider the primary laws and regulations that each of us, as citizens, should be aware of and adhere to in our communal effort to overcome this pandemic.

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Electronic Transactions and Social Distancing

Dr. Arittha R. Wikramanayake

The ongoing crisis caused by the “COVID – 19” virus has compelled us all to fundamentally change the way in which we conduct our affairs.  “Work-from-home” policies and “social distancing” will probably remain the norm for some time since medical and scientific data strongly suggests that such precautions will be required for several months.  However, even though the crisis has severely disrupted commerce and business operations, it does not necessarily have to bring them to a standstill.  Alternate methods and procedures must be adopted to overcome the challenges that have arisen.  Ironically, the crisis has forced us to re-examine provisions already catered for by law but ignored due to our own complacency with the traditional methods to which we are accustomed.

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The Effects of the Corona Pandemic on Construction Contracts

Ms. Savini Tissera

The recent outbreak of COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on the 11th of March 2020. With over 190 countries having reported cases at the time of writing, the disease, at present, has infected approximately 465,684 people and resulted in over 20,834 deaths, globally. Consequently, it has had a significant impact and a ‘series of shocks’ to the global economy in an unprecedented scale and speed.  
 
What could this mean for ongoing and/or planned projects in the construction industry? The pandemic has impacted the industry in several ways. 

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Force Majeure and Supervening Impossibility in Contracts

Mr. Eric Dathika Wikramanayake

Sri Lanka has received little to no reprieve over the past eighteen months.  Since October of 2018, the country and its citizens have had to deal with back-to-back incidents of political instability, terrorism and religious violence.  Sri Lankan businesses now face the daunting task of overcoming the consequences of a global pandemic in the form of the novel corona virus known as “Covid19”.  With a negative impact on everything from labour to supply chain management, these kinds of unforeseeable events are fast becoming too common and too disruptive to ignore or address in boilerplate clauses included as an afterthought.  The purpose of this article, therefore, is to briefly reconsider the laws surrounding such force majeure events, particularly in the context of a public health crisis, in an effort to assist Sri Lankan businesses moving forward.        

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Meeting Employer obligations during the Corona Pandemic

Ms. Nirusha Ranjitkumar Ratnatunga

The recent outbreak of COVID-19, and the resulting partial lock down of the country, have adversely affected businesses that were already struggling to survive post the Easter bombings.  Employers are now faced with the situation of having to keep their staff back at home but also, at the same time, being legally obliged to make payment of salaries.  How then do employers meet these payment obligations at a time when the businesses are generating limited, if not no, income? 

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International Comparative Legal Guide to Corporate Tax (2020) – Sri Lanka

Mr. Naomal Goonewardena and Ms. Savini Tissera

This chapter of the ICLG to Corporate Tax (2020) covers common issues in corporate tax law and regulation in Sri Lanka – including, in respect of capital gains, overseas profits, real estate, anti-avoidance, BEPS and the digital economy. 

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Financial Transactions Reporting Act

Mr. Aruna Samarajewa

This Article examines the myriad of duties and obligations imposed by the Government of Sri Lanka on Finance Businesses and Designated Non-Finance Businesses through the enactment of the Financial Transactions Reporting Act No. 6 of 2006 in order to facilitate the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of offences of money laundering and the financing of terrorism in Sri Lanka.

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Sri Lanka Gets Tough on Money Laundering

Mr. Aruna Samarajewa

Anti-money laundering measures are considered to be an extremely important aspect of the global war against narcotics, human trafficking, terrorism and other transnational crime. This Article provides a high-level overview of the application of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in Sri Lanka as a means of prohibiting money laundering and providing the necessary measures to effectively combat the same.

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Business Income, Investment Income and Investment Gains under the Inland Revenue Act of 2017

Mr. Naomal Goonewardena

The questions: "what is business income?", "what is investment income?" and "what is an investment gain (capital gain)?" are of great significance in many areas of tax law and have formed the root of numerous income tax assessment considerations. It is not surprising that they have generated a substantial amount of discourse. This Article attempts to discuss these questions, in so far as they are relevant to determine the tax liability of persons resident in Sri Lanka, under and in terms of the Inland Revenue Act of 2017.

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Towards a Desirable Legal Framework for Attracting FDI in Sri Lanka

Mr.Naomal Goonewardena and Ms. Ranali Fernando

This Article examines the various protections and guarantees which are accorded to foreign investors in terms of Bilateral Investment Treaties. It further analyzes the administrative actions and legislative enactments in Sri Lanka's recent experience which could be tantamount to unlawful expropriation and/or a violation of the Fair and Equitable Treatment Standard which is of fundamental significance to creating a conducive environment for foreign direct investments in Sri Lanka.

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