More Petitions To Challenge Port City Commission Bill
Posted 21,April

By Chaveendra Dunuwille

In Local News

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As of the 21st of April, 2021 the 5 judge panel appointed by the Supreme Court  has received over 19 petitions against the Port City Economic Commission Bill.  This bill was introduced by President Gotabaya Rajapakshe and recently put into  gazette. 

The passing of the bill would allow for the establishment of an Economic  Commission that would be responsible for all activities in the Colombo Port City. The proposed commission would consist of a wide range of powers including the  ability to approve investments in the Port City region without the approval of the  Board of Investments.  

On behalf of the President of the Sri Lanka Bar Association Saliya Peiris PC and  its Secretary Rajeev Amarasuirya submissions to the court have been made by  Ikram Mohammed PC and Udith Egalahewa.  

Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe PC made submissions on behalf of Murutthettawe  Ananda Thera and Yasas Sri Nagasena. Naganada Kodituwaaku had also made  a separate submission. 

It is believed that the passing of the bill would allow room for the establishment  of a separate legislative body other than parliament opening the door for the Port  City region to be considered as a Chinese colony rather than sovereign Sri  Lankan territory. The provisions of the bill are stated to be in conflict with the  separation of powers and the rule of law as well as affecting the independence of  the judiciary.  

The general consensus of the petitions received by the Supreme Court requests  the court to consider the bill as unconstitutional thereby requiring the  government to withdraw it or the bill should be passed with a 2/3 majority in  parliament and it will require a referendum before it is incorporated into law.