Foreign investment and attitude of High Commission in London ..
Posted on September 2nd, 2016

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

After living many years in London I returned to Sri Lanka with an investment to commence a shipyard operation and also to move into Marina Development. British Investor who plans to come in December wanted me to talk to a local bank in order to open a SIA ( share investment account in pounds) ) ,and I brought the application forms when I return last week .

Local bank wanted me to get the investor’s signature verified and witnessed by the High Commission of Sri Lanka in London  and get them to  apply stamp after his signature .Bank confirmed that it is a rule and we have to abide by the rule .

I called the Trade Secretary in the Sri Lankan High Commission and requested for an appointment to meet one of the officers to witness him signing the form .The Trade Commissioner in London responded as follows

Sarath <>
3:59 PM (9 hours ago)
to trade

My colleague who wants to open SIA account in Sampath bank has to get his signature on the bank account form

Please cheek and let me know

07900215326 –

Please see the reply below



Trade Division – The High Commission of Sri Lanka – United Kingdom <>
4:37 PM (8 hours ago)
to me

Dear Dr. Obeysekera,

According to the Consular Section, the applicant first has to get his signature certified by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and then come to the High Commission for its attestation.

Since Mr. Pathirathne is out of office at present, you may speak to Mr. Amila at the Consular Section for more details.

Thank you.

Nimal Karunatilake

Minister (Commercial)

Sri Lanka High Commission

13 Hyde Park Gardens

London W2 2LU

Why should  an investor who wants to send money to Sri Lanka  go to  Commonwealth Office and get the signature verified and then come back to High Commission to attest ??

As the investor is unable to come personally to the bank in Sri Lanka ,Bank wanted him ONLY to confirm that it is his signature ! They just have to ask him to sign on the form and the any officer in the High Commission should witness him signing and confirm !

Government recently wanted foreign national to deposit money ( 300,000 $ ) to grnat 10 year visa .

Who will bother to run around London to get his signature verified?

Minister of foreign affairs who talks much about brnging investment to Sri Lanka should investigate and take action and issue instructions to the Embassies all over the world to promote foreign nationals to invest in Sri Lanka rather than sending them from pillar to post.

What a farce ?

Dr Sarath Obeysekera


3 Responses to “Foreign investment and attitude of High Commission in London ..”

  1. NAK Says: it’s not a farce Dr. It’s all about the cut!! Investments should come through a well oiled machinery.
    No oil! No produce!!

  2. Nimal Says:

    I have just spoken to FCO and they say it’s not their business to verify or witness people’s signature but to go to lawyer.As usual it’s our stupid national culture to give you a run around and frustrate ones efforts.This is part of the corruption in the system.
    Why do the banks need someone in the High Commission to attest or verify ones signature? At present I and others in similar situation are up against these walls to get things done in our Amage Daramadeepaya. They will do anything to frustrate you.
    Coming back to London,in late 70s I went to the Tea where the BOC also was housed to remit a large sum of money to buy part of Sir John’s Estate.while my Sec was doing the paperwork I walked across to the next room to the tea centre to have a bite and a cuppa where the top man of the tea propaganda board came bursting through to the cafe and uttered loudly that someone was stupid enough to remit money to SL.
    A couple of years ago I was asked by my lawyers in SL to get my documents signed in front of a lawyer as a witness,being patriotic and faithful to the party at home went to the lawyer who was our party member I knew, but they too gave me the run around and they didn’t accept the passport but the evidence of how I got my British Nationality etc.Which I thought was absurd,busy me made several visits and they were not helpful at all,where on my final appearance the lawyer had gone out to fetch the kids from school breaking my appointment and there were other lawyers who could have dealt.I was so fed up I took the File and walked another 100 yards to English company of Lawyers named Powell.They obliged me straight away and the young lawyer who came out straight away did what was required in 5 mins and the charge was 5 Pounds and when he came to know that I came from Ceylon,he said that his uncles were working in Ceylon and India during Colonial times and found our people friendly and CHARGED ME NOTHING.
    We seem to have crap in our embassies,perhaps political appointees who have no heart for the country and in fact the top lawyer of that company is suppose to work in an embassy in Italy now as a political appointee.Heaven help our country. In another occation Lonon HC made us stand against the wall while their kids took the seats and my wife and I was with a MP and we all walked out before the event, we will never to go there again.
    I see stupidity all around me here in SL and if not for my dear people I was born and grew up with would take the next plane to UK.Many small business people and even ambitious citizens are suffering in silence.Our leaders and officials are all responsible to the sorry situation. People seems to have accepted it and begin to live with the new culture.No wonder the first world don’t want our people in their shores.
    I get a sneaky when things deteriorate further our economies will get weaker and another round of colonization will be on the card.Who will stop them when we are foolish enough condemn the only life, line the UN ?

  3. SA Kumar Says:

    No oil! No produce-Love it
    Dr please contact any Eelam Tamil who living in London , will sort out for you . give him same dos(change)

    Commonwealth Office- so still we are under Queen rule !!!

    Velu where are you???

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