The Minister also accused the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) of attempting to divide the country by refusing to take part in the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) appointed to propose the changes to the 13th Amendment. (Colombo Gazette) Government spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella says the government will go ahead with making changes to the 13th Amendment to the constitution as planned.Speaking at an event in Kandy today the Minister said that the 13th Amendment is something forced on Sri Lanka by India through the Indo-Lanka accord. He said that while the 13th Amendment cannot be completely abolished as the provincial councils system, which is part of that amendment, is now part of Sri Lankan society, some changes need to be made to make it more meaningful. He recalled that there was once an attempt to divide the country and that threat still remains as long as the 13th Amendment is not changed.“I don’t think the 13th Amendment can be abolished. This is the government position. There are so many views in the Alliance and we respect those views. But we need to have a common approach. So since we cannot abolish the 13th Amendment we need to make changes to it. If not there is no guarantee some may try to use it to divide the country,” he said. The Minister said that the 13th Amendment and provincial councils system was introduced to solve the conflict in the north and yet that never happened.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Canadian Natural on lookout for Montney deal, open to sale or joint-venture by Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 7, 2013 7:17 am MDT CALGARY – Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. is on the lookout for a deal that will unlock value from its vast shale holdings in northeastern B.C.It’s a departure for the company, which has resisted the sorts of joint-venture deals that have been all the rage amongst its oilpatch peers in recent years.Canadian Natural (TSX:CNQ) is the largest player in the Montney formation, which stretches through parts of northeastern B.C. and northwestern Alberta.On Thursday, it said it is looking to “monetize” about a quarter of the more than 400,000 hectares it controls in the Montney. The land being offered is in the Graham Kobes area of B.C., an area rich in valuable natural gas liquids and outside of what Canadian Natural considers to be its core position.Canadian Natural has drastically slowed its natural gas production, with prices of the commodity in the doldrums for several years now.It is considering either an outright sale or a joint-venture deal with a partner with liquefied natural gas, or LNG, expertise. So far, Canadian Natural has also chosen not to join the throng of companies looking to export LNG from the West Coast.On a conference call with analysts, Canadian Natural president Steve Laut acknowledged that the company has “not been keen” on joint ventures historically.“We believe having a high degree of control of our capital allocation allows us to maximize value. We also believe the efforts of our strong team should be directed to creating value for our shareholders, not working interest partners. That is still the case,” he said.“However, in this situation, when we look at the size of our Montney land base and balancing our capital allocation going forward, combined with the strong demand that we see for this type of high quality asset, plus the fact that Graham Kobes is somewhat removed from our core Montney asset base, it is prudent to monetize a portion of our Montney asset base at this time.”Earlier Thursday, Canadian Natural reported a drop in fourth-quarter results and hiked its dividend for the 13th year in a row.The company earned $352 million, or 32 cents per diluted share, down from $832 million, or 76 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2011. Revenue fell to $3.7 billion from $4.2 billion.On an adjusted basis, the company earned 33 cents per share — down from 88 cents a year earlier and six cents below the consensus estimate of 39 cents per share.Despite these setbacks, Canadian Natural said its quarterly dividend will rise by two cents per share or 19 per cent to 12.5 cents per share.On an annualized basis, the dividend will be 50 cents per share and at the latest closing price for Canadian Natural common stock the dividend’s yield is about 1.6 per cent.Canadian Natural shares rose 86 cents, or nearly three per cent, to $32.02 in mid-day trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange Thursday.The company also announced some management changes on Thursday.After 37 years at the company, John Langille will retire as vice-chairman after Canadian Natural’s annual general meeting in May.Chief operating officer Tim McKay will have executive vice-president added to his title.Corey Bieber will become chief financial officer and senior vice-president of finance. Douglas Proll, who had previously held those titles, will become executive vice-president.