Sri Lanka expropriation law will violate economic freedom: opposition

Nov 02, 2011 (LBO) – A planned expropriation law violates economic freedoms of citizens and will scare away foreign investors, lawmakers representing Sri Lanka’s main opposition United National Party said. The law to expropriate ‘underperforming enterprises’ and ‘underutilized assets’ is being rushed to parliament on November 09 after being secretly written outside the state drafting procedure and given for pre-approval to the Supreme Court as an ‘urgent bill.’

At least one businessman connected to the opposition has been targeted, opposition lawmakers said.

Rush Job

Citizens were not even given a chance to object to the bill in court as it was done in an ‘ex parte’ fashion, they said.

“The United National Party is completely against this bill,” UNP lawmaker and economist Harsha de Silva told reporters in Colombo.

“The process by which it is being brought to parliament is not the way legislation should be enacted in this country.

“Just because the government has the two thirds majority it shouldn’t try to shove down the people’s throats laws that are bad. And this is such a law.”

Sri Lanka’s current administration has a two thirds majority in parliament and has