Sri Lanka citizens need freedom for economic growth: lawmaker

Nov 17, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s citizens need freedom for economic progress, a lawmaker said during a debate on an expropriation law which violated property rights that pre-dated the island’s Western-style constitution. “I know that (economic development) minister Basil Rajapaksa and everyone here actually believe in the market economy,” lawmaker and economist Harsha de Silva, told parliament, during a debate on an expropriation law last week.

“I want to talk about a subject that is very valuable.”

De Silva said ‘democracy’ denoted by absolute majority rule was dangerous and could destroy the liberties of citizens in the absense of safeguards to ensure justice, freedom and property rights. Economic liberty, he said, was a pre-condition for growth.

De Silva, a lawmaker representing the island’s main opposition, took the example of the United States, where its founding fathers wrote a constitution to limit the powers of the state and rulers and expand the freedoms of citizens.

Evils of Democracy

“‘Contrary to what propaganda has led the public to believe, America’s founding fathers were skeptical and anxious about democracy’,”‘ de Silva said, quoting from a speech made by US economist Steve