Wednesday, November 2, 2011
The legislation to be presented Parliament next week will “grab all you got”
I have gone through the draft bill to be presented to Parliament on 9th November with one day allocated for debate. The government expects to take over the Underperforming Asset which is the Hilton, and the list of Underutilized assets that include Pelwatta and Sevenagala Sugar and run it with a competent authority. Compensation will be determined by the Compensation Tribunal.
Whilst the draft as it stands does not refer to any more assets and only to those in the schedule with the extents of land for each of the companies involved, Pelwatte’s 6,300 hectares stands out as the largest single extent of land.
This legislation is just the beginning. It is very easy after a while to pass an amendment to the Act to take over any property on the whim of anyone in power. Your own technically be taken over using the same provisions of the Act after being called underutilized. The word under-utilized is not defined as when they takeover a profitable listed company like Pelwatte Sugar, then nothing is safe on this legislation.
The opposition does not have the fire power to fight the might of the Government and there is no doubt this will pass on the day it is presented as only a day has been allocated. What do we in Sri Lanka want from our Government? We must ask this very pertinent question. Giving a two thirds majority effectively means we have given them complete control over our lives. We as citizens of Sri Lanka DO NOT have any control anymore of our lives even till we die as all our hard work will be taken over in a jiffy.
If we demonstrate our opposition to the government we could find ourselves out of hearth and home. This is the reality of living in a Dictatorship. We know that once the dictatorship runs its course, the dictators end up in a Ghadaffiesqe fall from grace but up until then it is business as usual in a a Banana Republic.
The greatest control a dictator has is the power and money and influence he can use on the citizens of the country. As long as he can satisfy the powerful and the mighty with the use of the Armed Forces for support he has nothing to worry about as the people, especially those living in Sri Lanka can be kept enslaved by fear. So we must rise and combat this type of flagrant abuse of power. This legislation is not necessary to vest the list into government control, because there are existing provisions to infuse capital and take a majority interest except for listed companies.
THIS WILL BE A CATALYST FOR THE OPPOSITION TO BERRATE THE GOVT. PERHAPS EVEN GET THEM TO CHANGE IT IF THEY ARE LUCKY. IN REALITY THEY WILL ALLOW HARRY J HIS BIT OF PELAWATTA AND LET HIM GO FREE AND AS A QUID PRO QUO OFFER DAYA GAMAGE HIS BIT OF SEVANAGALA TOO FOR GOOD MEASURE.