DBSJeyaraj.com on Facebook

Govt brings urgent law to acquire ‘underperforming and underutilized assets’

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Print this page

courtesy: lakbimaNews.lk

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Sri Lankan Govt in a sudden move plans to acquire businesses & property saying they are”underperforming enterprises & underutilized assets”.

A draft Bill called “an Act to provide for the vesting in the State identified Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilized Assets” is ready.

The bill was drafted by a private legal firm secretly instead of being prepared by the Legal Draftmans dept as is the usual procedure.

President Rajapaksa has submitted the draft bill to the Supreme court for a ruling as an urgent bill in the national interest.

President Rajapaksa has submitted the draft bill to the Supreme court for a ruling as an urgent bill in the national interest.

The President can refer a draft bill to the Supreme Court for urgent ruling on its constitutionality before it is presented to parliament.

The draft bill has been taken up by 3 judge Bench comprising Chief Justice Shirani A Bandaranayake & Justices P.A. Ratnayake & Chandra Ekanayake

Property appropriated by this law will be vested in the state under a govt appointed competent authority to supervise & administer the process.

Draft bill is likely to be presented to Parliament soon as Supreme court is expected to issue a ruling favourable to the Rajapaksa government.

No problem is anticipated in Parliament too as the Govt has a two-thirds majority & is capable of steam -rollering the legislation through.

The secretive manner in which the bill was drafted & the unseemly haste in pushing it through raises suspicion of ulterior motives of govt.

(This a bundle of tweets posted on twitter by DBS Jeyaraj)

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Print this page


  1. Vinacha Kaale Vipareedha Budhi.

    This law will enable to victimize or take over business from the political rivals and also from the Tamils.

    What all the Tamils still have have the chance of being taken away by this law.

    Up to this time Rajapaksa brothers had a chance of telling the world that they were only fighting the LTTE terrorists and they didn’t have any motive to kill the Tamils.

    Now that veil is gone.

    They had the intention to kill tamils will become transparent through this bill.

    To cover up that the tamils are only targetted some sinhalese businesses will also be acquired by the state.

    This law is retrogressive and it is even worse than communism.


    May be the state will target the flourishing tamil businesses in the media thereby crippling the Tamil voice.

  2. This is a ruse to bring all”underperforming” enterprises &”under utilized” assets under the Rajapaksa brothers.They will then sell them off & make more money

  3. second Gaddafi is in making.

    Is anything new in Srilanka ? I am afraid I don’t see any new developments as I expected this ?

    Question is…..

    Is Liam Fox’s involvement make this happen fast ( He has expressed that he wanted a beach front house in Srilanka to a Srilanka Doctor )

  4. Like bringing all city councils under defence ministry they will bring all these acquired property under defence ministry. “kudu” Gota will be competent authority

  5. So government takes over “under performing” assets and they think they can be run more efficiently as government owned corporations? Isn’t this the totally discredited nationalization schemes from the 70s which left the country practically destitute?

    And who decides that an asset is under-performing?

    This sounds ominous.

  6. If the allegation a Govt Bill was prepared surreptitiously by a private legal firm – bypassing the Legal Draftsman – and the Justice Ministry, this is a serious development. Tamils fear many of their valuable developed agricultural and other land will be mis-appropriated under some lame legal excuse. Some of these have already passed hands in favour of near and dear ones of occupying forces and friends of the regime.

    Instead of bringing the two major communities closer and together the Rajapakse regime is doing just the opposite.


  7. This is a trick to enable Gotabhaya to bring the armed forces in to make “under performing” enterprises perform and maximise utilities of “under utilised” assets

    We are going to see ex- army men loyal to Gota running these concerns.Generals will be chairmen.Privates will be peons

  8. This shall ensure that no out side funds will come into the country. Its time to upgrade. Sorry. No more petrol station attendants should be in the driving seats. Enough is enough. What a bunch of idiots and what nerve!

  9. Aratai – “the country is moving in the right direction” We agree. Towards Angoda – the mental asylum.


  10. This is not an anti minority Bill, it is against any one who are against the Government and the party in power.
    Since the majority people are Sinhalese, they would be concerned more. Minority people need not cry over, as they have nothing much to lose.

    Rajapakse and Co are wielding unlimited powers and I think NO POWER on earth can stop this Autocracy for next 10 years in Srilanka.

  11. I wonder what are their ulterior motives. None of the Govt’s actions seem within any norm. I wonder where do the country finally end up? The totalitarianism and disrespect to the rule of law and democratic principles has to be preserved at all costs. The Country has to wake up from the jubilation of the defeat of the LTTE and come back to normalcy before it is too late.

  12. Don’t bring communalism to this ISS, you know pretty well that the last “land reform” and the nationalization schemes of Mrs B and Colvin in the 70s hit directly the Sinhalese and not the Tamils. In fact Tamil own industries like Maharaja’s were untouched by the SLFP government. Why do you guys always try to find a Tamil angle to everything?

    If this goes through, this will be the beginning of the end of this government.

  13. Don’t talk about stuff that you know nothing about. Last similar scheme, a land reform and nationalization of industries was done by Mrs B’s government in 1970 with the support of the Socialists and Communist parties. In that most affected were the Sinhalese landowners and foreign Industries such as Esso and Shell. In fact large Tamil owned industries such as Maharaja’s and St. Anthony’s were untouched and they were the ones that flourished. So much for crippling Tamil voice. In fact, at the moment Maharaja’s is the largest privately held media organization in the country and it is totally Tamil owned.

  14. Hi, Ranjan

    This is not about ethnicity any more. Somewhere in some corner there is bound to be a clause that will enable the family to acquire the property, business or any valuable by the family. This is merely a means to an end – part of the process of KING MAKING! This is not even presented for public perusal or discussion or comments and that is democracy in action. Passing it through is a matter of going through the motions. Tactically, most of the issues flare up when the Maharaja in the making is abroad! Yestereday (25/10)Rukman Senanayake materialized out of the blue and that too in the Tamil Maharajah’s magic box “BREAKING NEWS” to announce that there is an immediate need to remove the UNP leadership! He appears to think, ably supported by copycat Maharajah’s Anjanam box that bearing the name of Senanayake itself might have some bearing on the UNP. A pathetic attempt at best! But it goes to show how desperate the Rajahs and Maharajahs would be feeling….like the last minutes of VP or Gadafi?

  15. Kobbekaduwa’s/Mrs B’s Land Reforms in the 70s was focussed around the Tea, Rubber and Coconut Estates. I cannot understand the reference to Maharajah’s INDUSTRIES here. It will take an ignoramus to believe only Sinhalese land was affected. Several Coconut Estates in the Kurunegala, Puttalam areas and many Tea Estates in the hills owned by Tamils were not spared. The Thondamans lost hundreds of acres – to the delight of Hector Kobbekaduwa. The current Land Commissioner’s Circular No.2011/04 is aimed at legalising many of the stolen Tamil lands in recent times in the guise of absentee properties. Ranjan of Toronto may not grasp the depth of this sinister conspiracy. He appears to be the voice of Sinhala supremacism in Canada – from what we read of him. Senior Lawyer and MP Sumanthiran is moving the Supreme Court – and the SC cannot call this communalism. Be satisfied, friend, I oppose Tamil communalism as much as Sinhalese, if and when the occasion so demands.

    Where is your voice in the Govt deviating from laid down procedure in by-passing the Legal Draftsman and working with collusionists in the private legal sector. There are hundreds waiting for grabs giving tuppence to legal propriety. Do you realise we are more than 50% knee-deep in taking this country to the laughing levels of Idi Amin’s Uganda?


  16. This is what we have been advocating in this forum to people like Kalu & Leela to wake up now before it is too late.
    GR does not need such law to appropriate private properties. He is already doing it through intimidation and military strength.

    This law will initially target those under-privileged populations in Colombo who hold land titles from Premadasa’s Government, to appropriate their lands ‘legally’ making the UNP controlled CMC a lame duck.

    Later it will be extended to other towns where the minority communities have a hold in major businesses.

    Finally, it will enable MR Government to appropriate large extent of lands in the North & East under Government control.

    GR is very much cleverer than we all think.

    At the end of the day MR who is more of a people’s man will lose out to his brother who is more autocratic.

    Let us wait and see what UNP and other oppositions do when the bill is presented in parliament. Will they be able to mobilize mass agitation similar to the one against private pension bill? I doubt it because the bill does not greatly affect the majority community.

  17. Did I say that I agree with this stupid bill or law or what ever they are trying to bring in? I said that don’t try to find a Tamil angle to this nonsense. This is SLFP Socialism Version 2.0 after Mr. B’s Version 1 which was an abject failure in the 70s.

    Mrs. B’s land reform was not aimed specifically at any ethnic group. She was led down the garden path by the Socialist trio of Colvin, NM, and Peter Kenemun. Of course Tamil land owners were not speared but no one can claim that it was done to discriminate against Tamils.

    I hope saner council will prevail in the end.

  18. Land Reform bill of 70s has nothing to do with the local industries. But KG’s Film industry was destroyed completely. Kg’s Wijaya studio went into flames in 1983. Even the Sinhalese have no way of watching the OLD Sinhala movies once Gunaratnam made!

    Are you a fool to compare Industries and the land reform? But one thing is clear: Tamils cannot run big industries!

  19. we have to wait and see!
    I see there are many lands without cultivation, and many people without lands to cultivate. Land without proper use made sri lanka to import most of basic agricultural products.

  20. acumen says:
    Let us wait and see what UNP and other oppositions do when the bill is presented in parliament. Will they be able to mobilize mass agitation similar to the one against private pension bill?

    Mass agitation by the opposition UNP???? Hah/// not during this life !

    At least first fight it out in the parliment with good facts and figures, then get the media support. Agitations will put the peoples lives at risk.

    From the reports I read about the pvt pension bill and the FTZ workers agitation was not due to the influence of the UNP / JVP but by their won trade union activists.

    first thing is first, study all clauses of the new law, then only can protest with a good ground to reject it.

    I do not understand the haste of the GoSL to implement policies and try to push it in to the throat of the people. They are acting as if the world is going to end in a yr or 2!

  21. ISS,

    Ranjan is right. So far there is no hint of race in this, its a pure land/asset grab. The target is apparently Ceylinco Celestial, the uncompleted tower on Galle Rd Colombo 3.

    However, rather than use the courts they have tried to smuggle a bill through parliament, which means there are other assets that they have identified. Semi privatised institutions like SLT may be up for grabs. If the definition extends to all government funds other listed companies may be affected.

  22. I don’t think Australia is siding with SL but to deal with an issue that involves so called democratically elected.

  23. Have you forgotten How Gadafy acquired all the business and shops soon after his revolution and managed himself using his Family and cronies.

  24. According to the Article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
    (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

    Hope this aspect will be looked into by the Supreme Court and prevent the proposed Act being misused to victimize the opponents.

  25. How can the Govt run enterprise be much efficient than a private enterprise. There may be exceptions, but the govt should mostly restrict itself to the infrastructure and encourage the private participation to go into any field they want to. The govt can and should provide a strict regulatory mechanism but it should not take up any businesses unless it is really really important.


    Again Ranjan, when a law is passed it will be passed professing all the good intentions. Nobody can pass a law stating that they will be acquiring the properties of the Tamils only.

    But how this will play one has to wait and see.

    Some Sinhalese companies and their properties will also be acquired only to show off that the govt is even handed.

    But the Govt will systematically target the properties and businesses of the rival political parties, be it the tamils or the sinhalese and also will target the tamil businesses and properties the more.

    You talked about the land reforms. But I do not want to talk about the Mahaweli project.

    The Sinhalese govts will put on any mask to the outside world but their real intention has always been to marginalize the tamils.

  26. I think this is a diversionery tactic by the government see our big brother across the palk straights when the whole of India started recognise the truth at the end of the war Delhi gave a date to hang the three accused now most of India have forgotten about the war

    Same here people will forget the local AK COREL gunfight and start talking about the new Bill

  27. Does anyone see the way in which this is being done……isnt it on the same lines as what Hugo Chavez is doing in Venezuela? Sri Lanka is heading for a financial disaster. When you have a loaf of bread selling at Re 100, Gota is raising Defence Budget by 5%! For what? The LTTE was finished militarily in 2009, then who is Sri Lanka really scared of?
    These crook brothers in Colombo will mess it so bad that very soon the Sri Lanka currency will have to be devalued by 30-40%. Then you will see the real results!

  28. Ranjan

    You say “but no one can claim that it was done to discriminate against Tamils.”

    But that won’t stop them from trying to claim it was ! 🙂

  29. Ranjan Please come out of your Mahamvamsa Supremacist mind set then you will see the Truth for your self.

    Delink War Crimes accountability from political process, NorthEast civil leaders urge Clinton

    In a memorandum sent to U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and copied to the Tamil National Alliance, a group of NorthEast Civil society leaders said that “the question of accountability [for war-crimes] should not be bartered for the sake of arriving at political solution [yet to be defined],” and added that the civil leaders believe that “justice cannot and should not be bartered for anything else,” informed sources who obtained a leaked version of the confidential letter said Tuesday. The civil society group is comprised of politically active and highly respected professional members of the NorthEast Tamils.

  30. While Ranil supporting Mahinda indirectly; oppositions cannot win in any case , UNP elephant will more weeken
    without right backbone or perhaps broken like JVP.

  31. There are thousands of derelict houses all over the Penninsula.

    There are hundreds of thousands of cattle roaming all over the land destroying every bit of vegetation in these arid areas.

    Wonder whether these come under ” Underutilized and Under performing Assets?.

  32. Kalu Albert’s eyes can only see “only certain things”!!! This is a new “eye condition” or is it “brain condition” somebody has to do a through research on!!!

    He sees only the “derelict houses all over the Peninsula” but cannot see the people in tattered cloths, half bellies, children no means of going to school, living under trees, studying under trees without books, sky as the roof, torn sarees as the walls!!! While the security forces roam the area looking for victims to prey on!!!

    He sees “thousands of cattle roaming all over the land……vegetation in these areas” But does not see human beings roaming all over the place looking for shelter, food and livelihood and security!!! He must be salivating thinking of the “beef potential” of these cattle or stealing them and selling for cash!!! Already the security forces(robbing forces) have “eaten” a lot of them, exported to sinhala towns and villages and made money!!! These cattle belonged to these unfortunate people once!!! why cannot the Government gift these to the people!!!

  33. Whoever who elected the present command into power voted for the oligarchy. Why would any new Law by the oligarchy worry them. I don’t see the logic.

    For the rest, the exercise of scanning for a rationale behind each Law the Government makes is, indeed, a veritable pastime. Happy hunting!

  34. Wonderer whether the Tourist numbers doubled in two yeras in Idi.s Uganda?.

    Wonder whether Idi boosted the Per capita of the Ugandians to the tune of USD 3000 in three yeras?

    Wonder what the Growth rate was under Idi?.

    Did NY Times give Idi’s Uganda a plug as one of the most desirable destinations for Western holday makers?.

    Finally was there any high profile Indians wanting to set up a Fund to invest in Uganda . like our ex compatriot Mr Rajaratnam was trying to do for Srilanka?.

  35. Ugandans did not publish “false statistics” like the Sri Lankan Government!!! any way Sri Lanka is following in the foot steps of Idi Amin!!!

  36. From Omanthai to Chavakachcheri ,we saw hundreds, if not thousands of school kids walking or riding to school in their freshly starched uniforms.

    These plus Kilinochchi are bustling towns with plenty of shops crowded with plenty of shoppers.

    Of course there must be people still struggling to find suitable employment and a few feature comforts ,in the hinterland

    Buddhists who are the great majority do not like even Jaffna Goat Curry ,let alone indulging in Delft Beef.

    Mr Silva’s proposals have some merit for the Investor Community in the diaspora, to inject some assistance to the displaced inhabitants as well as making some money.

    After all Agriculture , and Livestock farming are the forte of our Northern inhabitants.

  37. And who decides that an asset is under-performing?


    The assets & enterprises belonging to the people who are against the GoSL will be ‘under-performing’ !

    There will be no communalism at all & no other discriminations either.

  38. Kalu Albert says:
    There are hundreds of thousands of cattle roaming all over the land destroying every bit of vegetation in these arid areas.

    Wonder whether these come under ” Underutilized and Under performing Assets?.


    dear Kalu,

    Are u referring to to the Sri Lankan parliament and all other provincial authorities and local govt authorities?????

  39. Dear Mahesh,

    Before bothering in Srilankan situation. Why not alarm on muslims are grabing whole indian economy. They are rich and increasing the population size.


  40. If the state managed its corporations well and earned real profits year after year,adhered to good governance etc,I may be inclined to agree with this bill.However,this not being the case and knowing that it will be used aginst political opponents,companies which are attractive to the ruling family and friends,this bill should be shelved.

  41. Government run businesses will NOT be efficient than private organizations. No one has to tell me that. That has been demonstarted not just in Sri Lanka, but all over the world. The point I was making, that no one appears to have understood, is that don’t make this into a Sinhala-Tamil issue. Sinhalese owned and run businesses, will be affected as much as Tamil businesses if this law is passed.

  42. Who owns Maharajas? One o fthe biggest group of companies in SL? So Tamils can not run big busnesses?

  43. Yes, what I hear through the grapewine is that they are after Ceylinco. Not that I agree with that, but given what Lalith Kothalawala did to his clients (including my own brothers) I have absolutely no sympathy for him or for Cylinco. he should be tried and if found guilty shot by firing squad on the Gall Face Green right in front of Ceylinco House.

  44. Nothern politicians should start talking to South in a genuine-constructive way rather than wasting time sending letter and memoranda to forigen leaders including Clinton. Then only can these issues be resolved. One way or the other, they will be resolevd in Sri Lanka not in Western capitals and at teh UN.

  45. Dushy says:

    “I wonder what are their ulterior motives”.

    To sell land to foreigners, allow them to grope the people, accumulate wealth in that process, find or create imagined enemies and ultimately speed up the self destruction process, eventually make Sri Lanka a Sinhala state of India.

    Learn Hindi and watch Bollywood movies and pretend you are Sinhala and Tamil (only when Sinhalese agreed to accept that Tamils also has rightful place) people with unique heritage.

    From then on everything will be hunky dory.

    We will still be demanding our land back.

  46. Ilaya Seran Senguttuvan says:

    “Aratai – “the country is moving in the right direction” We agree. Towards Angoda – the mental asylum.”

    I am sorry the whole country is an Angoda – the mental asylum and moving towards oblivion.

    No turning back under strong leadership.

  47. Ranjan of Toronto:

    Lalith Kotelawla was seized by a combination of extreme ego and megalomania. He fooled himself the whole of Colombo was becoming Ceylinco land. Overnight he made over 10,000 upper middle class men and women paupers – some committed suicide. At least two rich neighbours of mine lost their entire wealth, some of their children were pulled out of elite schools. They remain in virtual hiding and in tears. The Govt at its highest level said in January 2009 it sympathises with the less richer of the depositors dependent on income-interest for their daily living. What followed was the notorious and avaracious attack dog was sent to negotiate with Lalith. This Kudu beast is said to have assured Lalith he will be spared being taken into remand jail provided he agrees to a 60-40 deal. Lalith could not come out with the cash. Some valuable assets of Ceylinco have gone into the hands of friends of the regime – at virtual give-away prices. A famous Mudalali had Rs.90 million in deposit and, using thuggery, he is reported to have seized over Rs.200 million of Ceylinco’s assets in Cbo. A well-known Cricketer with Rs.9 million in deposit has taken assets of more than Rs.30 million. Some of the Directors themselves have pulled out their deposits and those of their near and dear.
    About 7,000 depositors so far were paid 2 instalments of Rs.100,000 each. A young lady with with 2 school going children I know, whose marriage failed, placed Rs.20 million of what her parents left herwith Lalith and is now virtually in the streets. Even the famed trio of “respected” Chartered Accountants failed to provide relief to the depositors but between themselves for a few sittings going into about 3 months have paid themselves well over Rs.15 million so far. The Central Bank oversees the matter now and has won the confidence of the depositors – now split into two feuding groups. The Govt should take a more positive and serious position in the matter of these people in a matter that has gobbled up over Rs.29 billion.

    Your suggestion the people of the North should engage into a dialogue with those from the South is a good one. In as much as “wars are too important matters to be left in the hands of Generals” so is the peace that all of us yearn for. It cannot be entrusted to corrupt, unreliable, deal-making politicians like the type we are fated to live with. It should be a mix of prominent non-political respected judicial officers, educationists, civil servants, members of the clergy unconnected with politics representative of the diverse population.


  48. Dissemination of information is very important. Therefore, Northern politicians should continue to vigorously disseminate information so that he outside world knows the inside reality.

    Whether Parippu is boiled in Colombo or in Western capitals, dissemination of information must be continued.

  49. Many memebers of my family living in Colombo were caught in Lalith Kothalawal’s web. None of them have seen any of their money so far. I have heard that there were many who lives in Canada and invested in Cylinco who lost a lot as well. Few yers back while I was in Sri Lanka for a holiday somebody known to me and workeing for Cylinco tried to convince me to invest money there. After looking at the out-of-this world interest rates being offered, I decided that this was too good to be true and decided not to put any money there. At that time I also tried to convince my family memebers who had invested with Cylinco that I did not think that it was a good idea, but they elected not to listen.

  50. Sinhala owned businesses also will be affected. But the Tamil business could be wiped out. This could be an extension to the Sinhala only policy.


    Muslims are not only increasing the population but the Hindus are also increasing the population. Indians in total are getting rich. There is no such legislation like this in India.

  51. How many times talks were held and how many times accords were signed and how many times they have been torn and put in the waste basket.

    This is the one of the options available to the Tamils now. Nothing wrong in telling there feelings to the world and also at the same time participating in the dialogue.

    Veetile adangadhavan oorile adanguvaan. The one who is not tamed in the house will be tamed by the village. You people have brought this upon yourselves.

    Even nearly three years after the war you have not done much to giving the political solution and there is no sign for that in the horizon.

    Nothing wrong in the part of the TNA going global in this count.

  52. Kalu Albert has a point!! First to go should be the parliament and its “elected members” and their cronies and private armies!! I see them as the most un-productive people in the whole country!!! We can do away with elections too!!! Because most of the time they are not “fair and free from violence” bur very costly in money and lives!!!

  53. “Veetile adangadhavan oorile adanguvaan. The one who is not tamed in the house will be tamed by the village. You people have brought this upon yourselves.”

    Of course we (Sinhalese and Tamils both) brought this upon ourselves. Just as you guys are doing in Kashmir and NE Tribal lands. Would you like if Pakistan or China said that they would like to sort out Kashmir or NE Tribal areas for the betterment of stupid Indians who appears to be totally lost?

    We will have to sort this by ourselves too, in Colombo and Jaffna. Not in London, Toronto or New York.

  54. What will the UNP do?
    Ranil will take a tour of the Western capitals. That is what the UNP will do. He can not pass wind without first checking that with his “Western advisers”

  55. How many chances were squandered by you people.Now also there is only dilly dallying. Sinhalese don’t want to settle this one in an honorable way. If they both cannot live together with dignity then do you mean to say that everybody should look on and do nothing.

    Talking about Kashmir will not deviate the matters at hand here. Kashmir is a different cup of tea. You cannot talk like this here. In Kashmir there is no colonization. They have their own law Ranbir Penal code. Nobody can buy any property there in Kashmir and change the demography.

    There is Human rights organizations watching the situation there.

    No accord was torn in Kashmir.

    Ranjan we have talked about Kashmir many times and still if you are not able to understand means that you do not want to understand the issue.

    I am not saying that everything is okay in Kashmir. I am saying that the things are far different than what you could see in North and East of sri Lanka.

    You people if you do not change your attitude will invite the outside intervention.

    May be that will be good for you and the only way this problem will be solved could be through the outside intervention.

  56. Ranjan this is another deceptive word from a Sinhalees like previous Sinhala leaders.It reveleas whatis hiding in your mind mate.

  57. All state owned enterprises are performing at a loss under unfit,unqualified and in some instances under underqualified/uneducated managers, appointed by the state.
    So, how will the state make “underperforming” enterprises “perform” ? ?
    There is some sinister purpose behind this bill. Hence the secret drafting of it by a private firm.
    It will be voted in by the ‘puppet’ “two thirds lackeys” in parliament even without the bill being made available to them – as happened when the 18th amendment bill was passed by parliament.

  58. Finally Minda will have an end…That’s what 99% people want except his family government…It’s a good news. finally we’ll get a solution.Time have to go!

Comments are closed.