Nov 11, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lankan lawmakers expressed deep concern over a hastily passed expropriation law, which they said arrogated judicial and executive roles to elected members, undermining a constitutional separation of powers and violated property rights. “This bill has been drafted with no regard to the basic process of legislating,” opposition lawmaker and lawyer Wijedasa Rajapaksa said at the debate of the law in parliament Tuesday.
“Unfortunately executive and judicial power has both been included in this bill. The parliament has no right to decide which property or from which person to acquire property. Always the parliament decided on the policy.”
Sri Lanka this week passed a law to expropriate some 37 enterprises in some of which foreign investors were involved, which had received tax breaks or land from the state.
The ruling coalition of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has a two thirds majority in parliament.
In earlier expropriations, including land reform, which violated property rights of citizens, the law had laid general rules which were applied equally.
Anyone who fit the criteria would be captured.
The executive branch of the government by setting up a committee under the finance ministry for example, could us