Colombo Port City Bill passed with amendments
Posted on May 20th, 2021

Courtesy Adaderana

The committee stage reading of the Colombo Port City Economic Commission draft bill has been passed with amendments in parliament, with majority of 91 votes.

Ada Derana reporter said that the third reading of the bill was passed with 149 parliamentarians voting in favour and 58 voting against the bill. 

After presenting the amendments, Justice Minister Ali Sabry moved the Port City Bill for the Third Reading and JVP MP Vijitha Herath had called for a Division for the Third Reading of the Bill. 

During the Second Reading, the Government presented the Bill with amendments at the Committee of the Whole Parliament. Amendments proposed by the Opposition were rejected by the Government. 

Accordingly, a division were called for and voting took place in three occasions at the Committee Stage. 

The Opposition, asked for a number of clauses to be recorded as opposed by the Opposition during the committee stage.

Previously SJB MP Harsha de Silva had proposed amendments to Clause 23 and a division had been called for it as well, the 3rd proposed amendment for which a vote has been called for. 45 votes were cast in favour of the amendment proposed by the MP while 146 vote against it.

Earlier today, the second reading of the bill was passed with a total of 148 Members of Parliament voting in favour and 59 against.

All political parties affiliated with the government have supported the draft bill during the vote, while members of Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), National People’s Power (NPP) and Tamil National Alliance had opposed it.

Parliament this morning resumed the debate on the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill, which kicked off on Wednesday morning (May 19).

Delivering a special statement to the House yesterday, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said the government expects to bring in an amendment that allocates at least 75% of the job opportunities at the Colombo Port City should be reserved for Sri Lankans.

On Tuesday (May 18), Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena had presented the Supreme Court’s determination on the Colombo Port City Bill.

The Supreme Court had found that several clauses of the Bill were inconsistent with the Constitution. However, these clauses can either be amended or passed in the parliament with a special majority or in a referendum, the Supreme Court determined.

In its 62-page determination on the Bill, the Supreme Court had also included how the concerning clauses can be amended.

The government later announced that it agrees with all determinations and amendments of the Supreme Court with regard to the Colombo Port City Bill.

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