The Cabinet of Ministers has decided to go along with the Supreme Court determination and amend the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill accordingly.

The Supreme Court, in its determination, had suggested, several amendments, a way out of the impasse, for the government to pass the CPEC Bill without clashing with the provisions of the Constitution.

Accordingly, the Ministers who met today approved the amendments and agreed to incorporate the amendments into the CPEC Bill before it is taken up for debate on Wednesday.

Minister G.L.Pereis told Parliament that they would act as per the Supreme Court decision and introduce the necessary amendments.

Once those amendments moved, the Bill could be passed, by a simple majority in Parliament. he said.

The Supreme Court in its determination had pointed out that 25 clauses in the CPEC Bill are inconsistent with the Constitution and out of which nine clauses need to be approved by the people at a referendum, in addition to the special majority in Parliament.

The debate of the CPEC bill is scheduled, to be taken up on Wednesday and Thursday amidst protests by the Opposition. The opposition has taken up the position that it is not the right time to pass such a bill when the country is facing a severe threat posed by the rapidly spreading Coronavirus.

SJB Parliamentarian Lakshaman Kirielladescribed the government’s actions, as somewhat similar to the saying that “Nero fiddled while Rome burned”.


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