Mahinda Rajapaksa criticizes Government’s plans to sell national assets

Mahinda Rajapaksa

Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has voiced concerns over the current government’s plans to sell off national assets and state-owned enterprises, sparking discontent among various sectors of society.

Rajapaksa, who governed the country for over nine years from 2005 to 2015, emphasized that during his tenure, not a single state-owned enterprise was sold off.

Instead, his administration even re-acquired some previously privatized entities such as the Insurance Corporation and Lanka Hospitals, which continue to generate profits for the state.

Highlighting the pragmatic approach of his government, Rajapaksa noted that profitable state-owned enterprises providing essential services to the public were not privatized.

He stressed the importance of considering national interests and maintaining transparency in any restructuring of state-owned enterprises.

While acknowledging the role of private sector participation in revitalizing underperforming state assets, Rajapaksa cautioned against hasty divestment, especially in the interim period before the next Presidential election.

He proposed postponing any sell-off until a new government is formed, allowing for a more considered approach in line with the electorate’s mandate.

Rajapaksa also called for a nuanced perspective from trade unions, suggesting that opposition to private sector involvement should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, considering the overall benefit to the country.

The former President’s letter comes amid growing discontent over the government’s divestiture drive, which has sparked protests from trade unions, political parties, and the general public.

Rajapaksa’s proposal aims to address these concerns and ensure that decisions regarding national assets are made with prudence and in the best interests of Sri Lanka.