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Sri Lankan Minister declares foreign players are not issued gemstone mining licenses in the country
The decision is towards protecting the country’s gemstone mining industry from possible threats
By: Diamond World News Service
Nov 17 2014 12:50PM
Reference: 10835  

The Minister of Environment & Renewable Energy – Government of Sri Lanka Hon. Susil Premajayantha has declared that licenses for Gemstone Mining Activity are not issued to individuals or institutions of international origin, despite the provision to engage in gemstone trading activity granted in Sri Lanka. The directive further prohibits Joint ventures, Partnerships, Amalgamations, and Alliances inclusive of all other manifestations of business agreements established for this purpose.

This decision was re-emphasized to safeguard the Sri Lanka’s gemstone mining industry from possible threats or risks resultant of the fabricated claims fictitious rumor mongering conducted by certain non-national organizations with ulterior motives.

The Minister, additionally instructed The National Gem & Jewellery Authority to further strengthen the existing procedures and regulations governing the Gemstone mining activity in Sri Lanka to thwart the remotest possibility gemstone mining by non-nationals in Sri Lanka.

These assertions were insistently stated during a recent discussion held at the Ministry of Environment & Renewable Energy with the Honorable Minister with a broad segment of Associations and Stakeholders engaged in the Gem & Jewellery Industry in the Ehaliyagoda & Ratnapura & districts. The Hon. Minster further expressed his immediate intention is to establish Ratnapura as the International Gemstone Mining, Faceting Trading Hub of Asia. In his address the Minister highlighted that the completion of the Hambantota Highway would effectively enable potential traders to reach the Ratnapura Gemstone Hub within 30 minutes of their arrival at Mattegoda Airport. Such unprecedented activity would resultantly justify the declaration of the Ratnapura district as the Gemstone Zone of Sri Lanka.

The Minister further appointed a committee constituent of Mr. Amitha Gamage Chairman CEO of NGJA, Mr. N.K.G.K. Nemmawatte Additional Secretary Ministry of Environment & Renewable Energy / Director General NGJA, Mrs. Priyanthi Legal Officer NGJA inclusive of two representatives from the industry, to review and resolve persistent disputes and grievances of the local gem and jewellery industry. The attendees of the large gathering representative of industry stake holders and associations expressed their appreciation towards the decision to notify the issuance of gemstone mining licenses via press publications prior to their release. They also appreciated the measures and improvements adopted to rectify the anomalies concerning the issuance of gemstone mining licenses as a response to the public demonstrations and protests carried out in the recent past.

Mr. Amitha Gamage “Chairman Chief Executive Officer National Gem & Jewellery Authority, Mr. N.K.G.K. Nemmawatte Director General National Gem & Jewellery Authority / Additional Secretary Ministry of Environment Renewable Energy, Director General National Geological Survey Mining Bureau, Legal Officers of the Ministry of Environment & Renewable Energy including the National Gem & Jewellery Authority together with several high ranking officials from the relevant authorities attended the meeting.

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