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Monday, October 2, 2023

SJB proposes amendments to Port City Bill

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The Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) proposed some amendments to the  Colombo Port city Economic Commission Bill and urged the government to bring the Commission under Parliament.

Chief Opposition Whip  Lakshman Kiriella, at a press conference urged the government to bring in an amendment to the legislation to make provisions for  the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) and Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) to monitor the proposed Commission and bring in another amendment prohibiting money laundering within the Port City.

“The legislation in its present form does not come under Parliament and the Port City Commission does not have to submit annual reports to the House. This situation should be changed. Also it is important to bring the commission under COPE and COPA so that the two committees can deal with any scams that might come up in the port city.  The bond scam and the sugar scam would not have come out if not for COPE and COPA,” Mr. Kiriella said.

“The Yahapalana government did discuss about the Colombo Port City Economic Commission and proposed ex officio members including the Central Government Chief and the Secretary Ministry of Finance, UDA Chairman, Central Environmental Authority Chairman and Security Exchange Commission Chairman. However, according to the new legislation which was presented to the House recently, the President can appoint members to the commission,” he added.

MP Eran Wickramaratne who also attended the press conference said the move by the government to bring in a resolution to the House to implement the recommendations made by the Presidential commission which probed political victimization.

“Independence of the Judiciary has been undermined by this move as the resolution is aimed at stopping prosecution of some persons by the Judiciary. These court cases which  have been referred to in this resolution include Keith Noyahar’s abduction case, Eknaligoda disappearance  case and Joseph Pararajasingham murder case,” he said. 

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