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Market‐based reforms and privatization in Sri Lanka

Asoka F. Balasooriya (Monash University, Caulfield East, Australia)
Quamrul Alam (Monash University, Caulfield East, Australia)
Ken Coghill (Monash University, Caulfield East, Australia)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 25 January 2008




The purpose of this paper is to explore and analyse the extent to which socio‐political obstacles have influenced the successful establishment and performance of an institutional framework to implement the privatization programme in Sri Lanka.


Secondary data have been extensively used in this paper to interpret, analyse and strengthen the arguments. Further, the recent data collected through semi‐structured interviews with stakeholders in the telecommunications sector in Sri Lanka have been used. The analysis has been confined to the Sri Lankan context.


This paper finds that the institutional framework, one of the preconditions necessary for successful implementation of reforms, has not been successful in the implementation due to the unsound socio‐political milieu prevailing in the country.

Research limitations/implications

This paper addresses only one aspect, i.e. the importance of a proper institutional framework. It emphasizes the need for further case studies to investigate the importance of other preconditions in developing countries.

Practical implications

The paper shows that the current analysis could be of immense value to the policy makers of both Sri Lanka and countries in South Asia.


The findings in this paper suggest that careful consideration of the country‐specific socio‐political conditions in developing countries should be taken, and reform measures devised accordingly.



Balasooriya, A.F., Alam, Q. and Coghill, K. (2008), "Market‐based reforms and privatization in Sri Lanka", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 58-73.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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