The Supreme Court today concluded arguments put forward in support and against the proposed Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill.

Accordingly, all parties relating to the Special Determination petitions have been directed to submit their written submissions before next Tuesday (27).

Later on, the Supreme Court’s determination on the proposed bill is to be communicated to the President and Speaker.

Supreme Court five-judge-bench comprised Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Justice Buwaneka Aluwihare, Justice Priyantha Jayawardena, Justice Murdu Fernando and Justice Janak de Silva.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General today submitted to Court that all provisions of the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill are consistent with the constitution and thereby it can be passed by a Simple Majority in Parliament.

Additional Solicitor General Farzana Jameel appearing for the Attorney General said; There is nothing in this bill that the petitioners have not been able to establish any part of this bill is inconsistent with the constitution. Therefore, the Supreme Court is entitled to make an order that this bill can be passed by a simple majority in parliament. In view of the provisions of the bill, no referendum or no two-thirds majority required. None of that is needed.

Meanwhile, in reply to the intervenient petitioners and the Attorney General, Counsel Eraj de Silva informed Court that this bill would provide provisions to create two parallel regulatory regimes.

“The intention of this bill is to create two parallel regulatory authorities and two parallel economies. There is an unseen hand controlling our economy,” De Silva said.

Nineteen petitions had been filed against the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill. They are by; Samagi Jana Balawegaya General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara, SJB Parliamentarian Harshana Rajakaruna, former JVP Parliamentarian Wasantha Samarasinghe, UNP Chairman Vajira Abeywardena, UNP General Secretary Palitha Range Bandara, Oshala Herath, Dr Ajantha Perera, Jeran Jagatheesan who contested the 2020 General Election under the UNP ticket, President of BASL Saliya Pieris PC, BASL Secretary Rajiv Amarasuriya, Engineer Kapila Renuka Perera, Centre for Policy Alternatives and it’s Executive Director Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera, G.S. Shyamalee, Nagananda Kodituwakku, Rajika Kodituwakku and Trade Union activist Lesley Devendra.

The petitioners are seeking a declaration that the Bill in whole or in part requires the approval by people at a Referendum and requires a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

Meanwhile, eleven intervention petitioners including Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, Secretary to the President Dr P.B. Jayasundera, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) General Secretary Attorney-At-Law Sagara Kariyawasam, Athula de Silva, SLPP Lawyers’ Association, Secretary to the Minister of Finance and Secretary to the Cabinet Ministers have sought the Court’s permission to present their submissions, in support of the bill.


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