Nov 09, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka passed a law to expropriate assets of dozens of enterprises despite protests from trade chambers, religious and opposition groups who warned that it will scare off investors. A 30-year war ended in 2009, but expected foreign direct investment had not materialized.
“[W]e believe that the proposed Bill may impact investor sentiment negatively and will thus be counter-productive…,” the key chambers said in a joint statement.
“Further, the expeditious manner in which the legislation is being enacted is likely to heighten such negative sentiments.”
The bill was rushed to parliament as an ‘urgent bill’ with a Supreme Court nod being received within 48 hours with no chance for citizens or the affected to protest or have their views heard.
Shibly Aziz, the President of Sri Lanka’s Bar Association, which represents the island’s lawyers called for the bill to withdrawn saying there was no need for an ‘urgent bill’ to take-over firms, some of which had been in the same state for years.
He also said there was no opportunity for people to make representations to Court.
In Sri Lanka a law that is passed in parliament cannot be referred to the Supreme Cour