Sri Lanka has two main parties, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the United National Party. In terms of policy, however, the two have become very much the same, and I say this in a non-cynical way. The UNP used to be the more capitalist party and the SLFP more socialist. Now they’re both pretty capital friendly. How did that happen?
UNPers In The SLFP
Over 60 MPs have crossed from the UNP to the SLFP, because Ranil Wickremesinghe sucks. These include Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris, Min Media Keheliya Rambukwella, Dep Econ Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, Min High-Ed S.B. Dissanayake, etc. Also Duminda Silva. Of older vintage, crossovers include Sarath Amunugama and even Basil Rajapaksa (who bounced around). Basically everybody who speaks English in public is from the UNP, as are a lot of the intelligent guys who write policy.
Hence, it’s not surprising that modern SLFP policy is very capital friendly and rather light on the social programs. This would be surprising from the SLFP of yore, a coalition of often communist leaning lefties, but it’s not so surprising if you consider that the SLFP is now very UNP, a lot of them Ministers and key advisers.
Capitalists In China
The SLFP originally leaned towards the communist world while the UNP leaned towards towards America. Once China became rampantly capitalist, however, they kinda met in the middle. Now you could say that the SLFP remains oriented towards communist China, but the result is American style capitalism. Really, Chinese-style state capitalism, but capitalism nonetheless.
Hence, international developments as well as internal political developments have led to an SLFP that looks an awful lot like the UNP, on economic issues at least (privatization, foreign investment, etc).