Sri Lanka sugar mill blockaded, director assaulted ahead of expropriation

Nov 05, 2011 (LBO) – A sugar mill in Sri Lanka slated for expropriation has been blockaded by ruling party activists and there was no police protection its owner said, raising fresh questions about liberty, rule of law and justice for the island’s citizens. Gamage’s words echoed a statement from Agroislna, a Venezuelan agriculture supply firm that was listed for expropriation by President Hugo Chavez, last year.

“[T]he only explanation that occurs to us right now is that the president … hasn’t been sufficiently well informed,” Agroislena said in October 2010.

At the time Chavez said he planned to seize more farmland deemed ‘under-used’ for distribution.

Harsha de Silva, a lawmaker representing Sri Lanka’s opposition has labelled the expropriations as being Zimbabwe style, where large commercial farms owned by white skinned settlers were distributed to black skinned citizens.

But Gamage said his factory only had 469 hectares, and most of its supplies already came from thousands of small contract growers who had been given land by the state.

State-backed settlements in the East of Sri Lanka involving mostly majority Sinhalese had been factor in Sri Lanka