Sri Lanka Marxists oppose expropriation law in historic move

Nov 04, 2011 (LBO) – In a bizarre development, Sri Lanka’s Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, a Marxist opposition party has opposed a state plan to expropriate assets of private citizens, contrary to the original teachings of a German theoretician. The state has been accused by the main opposition of using the laws to wrest land belonging to businessmen supporting them through the expropriation law, on the pretext that they are ‘underperforming’ while state enterprises themselves are making billions of losses.

Sri Lanka is planning a Venezuela style law to expropriation of ‘underperforming’ enterprises and assets. Ironically one company listed for expropriation, Pelwatte Sugar, reported an 87 percent profit growth in the September quarter from a year earlier.

Sri Lanka has a European-style voting system and parliament, though many devices that protected freedoms and liberties of citizens’ have been gradually removed over several decades.

Violated Liberty

“There is no proper definition of what is under-performing and what is under-utilised,” JVP spokesman Vijitha Herath was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

“Besides, this allows the state to act arbitrarily and take over businesses which do not support them.