Sri Lanka expropriation law will harm investment: ex-chamber chief

Oct 31, 2011 (LBO) – A former head of Sri Lanka’s largest business chamber, Chandra Jayaratne, has warned that a proposed expropriation law will harm the island’s image as a safe investment destination. The proposed bill, which was reportedly written by a private law firm, seeks to vest in the state ‘underperforming enterprises and underutilized assets’ in what was called the ‘national interest’. The assets listed are mainly land. The list includes two listed companies.

Jayaratne warned that the proposed law raised “amber lights in the eyes of investors, entrepreneurs and business decision makers locally and overseas” and will degrade Sri Lanka “as an attractive destination for investment, do business and operate in.”

He said it raised the spectre of an earlier business acquisition law.

The old law violated property rights of the people, nationalized businesses, killed entrepreneurship and set the country back decades.

The new bill comes at a time when Sri Lanka is seeking foreign investment after the end of a three decades war.The law comes at a time when Sri Lanka is seeking foreign investment after the end of a three decades war. Ironically the first details about the bill were re