Sri Lanka’s main opposition touts new policies

Mar 23, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s right wing United National Party (UNP) promises socialist style intervention to fix economic problems by clamping down on errant banks, increasing state-sector pensions and wages and threatening to cancel foreign commercial loans. Troubled assets of the Sri Lanka’s banking system will be absorbed into the state by a future UNP government to lower non-performing loans ratios of banks, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has said.

Opposition in Peril

“In a crisis the government has to take the lead,” Wickremesinghe, who was once prime minister in a previous government, told reporters. “In most countries governments are nationalizing their banks and absorbing their troubled assets.

“You take over the troubled assets, you fix it and sell it later. Most of the troubled assets in Sri Lanka are secured by land and property loans, which will anyway come up in value in two years’ time.”

“The banks got hammered out of shape and Obama is running because he didn’t hit Wall Street hard enough, Gordon Brown is surviving because he hammered the banks. Banks at the moment rate lower than the oldest profession in the world,” Wickremesinghe said.

Wickremesinghe is promoting more state intervention at a time the rest of