Getting Close

Nov 08, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has said a draft law to expropriate assets of some three dozen private enterprises is consistent with the island’s constitution in a determination read out by the deputy speaker in the island’s parliament. The controversial bill was referred to the Supreme Court by Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week for a determination in 48 hours about its conformity with the constitution as an urgent bill.

Critics have warned that expropriation violates property rights of citizens and it will hurt investment in the future due to fear of expropriation.

Sri Lanka’s opposition parties, including Marxists have called for its withdrawal. Senior Buddhist monks have asked the bill to be stopped.

The law was secretly written and presented to court with only the state prosecutor present. Section 157 of Sri Lanka’s constitution gives a specific guarantee against expropriation especially of foreign assets.