Mounting Opposition

Nov 07, 2011 (LBO) – Senior Sri Lankan Buddhist monks asked the state to withdraw a planned law to expropriate businesses, saying it violated citizens rights and that loss-making state enterprises should be turned around first. “We hope the government will not go ahead with this new bill and give people an opportunity to voice their opinion about it, which is their right.

“It makes no sense to bring a new law like this and take over even profitable businesses when state-owned enterprises that were nationalised earlier are themselves making heavy losses.”

Sobitha thero cited heavy losses at the state power utility and petroleum refiner as well as in a new venture, Mihin Lanka, a state-run budget carrier.

Two state-owned sugar plantations at Hingurana and Kantalai are defunct after making losses, he noted.

However, he said two other sugar plantations slated for expropriation under the new law were now profitable after private sector investors bought them and turned them around.

“Sevanagala Sugar is now being run profitably by its owner Daya Gamage who bought it when it was privatised,” Sobitha thero said.

“Sevanagal Sugar and (listed) Pelwatte Sugar are businesses that have been revived by pr