Sri Lanka ruling coalition partner balks at expropriation bill: report

Nov 08, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Jathika Hela Urumaya, a Buddhist monks’ party which is a partner of the ruling coalition is unhappy with an expropriation bill, that is being rushed to parliament and may not support it, a media report said. The bill which violated property rights of people and has drawn fire from opposition parties, monks and lawyers, and small business chambers.

Sri Lanka’s large business chambers which were its sole backers changed tack yesterday and asked the state to delay it.

The bill lists 37 ventures to be expropriated by the state for being ‘underperforming’ or ‘underutilized’, including two listed firms and at least one operating foreign owned venture.

Udaya Gammanpila, a JHU minister in Sri Lanka’s western province was quoted as saying by the The Island newspaper that the listing of ventures was arbitrary.

The state has sought to justify its decision to take over those enterprises and assets and those who owned them were raising objections, and there was no process to find the truth, Gammanpila had said.

JHU lawmaker Athuraliye Rathana thero was quoted as saying that the bill was being rushed into parliament hastily.

The law is being brought as an ‘urgent bill’ with Sri Lanka