Sri Lanka expropriated land may be used for private hospital: report

Feb 26, 2012 (LBO) – Land expropriated from a private firm through a controversial law that violated property rights of citizens, may be given to another private group to develop a hospital, a media report said. Land owned by Lanka Tractors Ltd in the Narahenpita a suburb south of Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo, will be used for an 850 million rupee hospital, The Sunday Times newspaper said quoting an un-named government official.

The report said Lanka Orix Leasing Company and Browns, has expressed interest to build a hospital at the 5-acre site.

Lanka Tractors, a privatized entity has protested the expropriation saying the land belonged to a public company from 1991.

Since independence from British rule, Sri Lanka’s rulers have repeatedly violated the property rights of citizens and non-citizens, eventually resulting in a constitutional clause being enacted in 1978 to protect and attract foreign investment.

However last year, an ad hominem legislation was passed in parliament despite the existence of the constitutional guarantee to protect investments to expropriate a series of businesses and land.

Economists say the establishment of property rights of ordinary citizens in W