Freedom Debate

From left: Dr. Fernando Im, Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, The World Bank, Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. W A Wijewardana, Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Prof. Indralal de Silva, Former (Chair) of Demography, University of Colombo, Prof. Amala de Silva, Department of Economics, University of Colombo at the panel discussion on "Demographic Change in Sri Lanka" moderated by Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies.

Nov 14, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court came under fire in parliament on a debate on an expropriation bill, after the highest court reportedly said it was consistent with the constitution. The bill went to the Supreme Court after the cabinet of ministers gave their assent.

“How can the Supreme Court, like this legislature, how can the Supreme Court rule on whether a particular enterprise is underperforming or not without examining the accounts of the enterprise, without examining other material,” Sumanthiran told parliament.

A one-line announcement was made by Speaker Chamal Rajapakse who declared that the Supreme Court had said it was not-inconsistent with the constitution, but details of the court’s determination were not made public.

“In one hearing, at which only the Attorney General appears, and is said to have assisted the court, the court has come to a ruling that 37 enterprises have in fact underutilized assets and one of them is an underperforming enterprise,” Sumanthiran said.

“It is a sad indictment on the highest court of the land. I am saddened by the fact that I am also an officer of that court and (for) being prevented from assisting the court in the de