Date to be fixed at party leaders’ meeting tomorrow
The parliamentary debate on the “Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill”, which was scheduled to commence today (5), will most likely be held on 18 May since the special determination by the Supreme Court (SC), with regard to the petitions filed challenging the Bill and the intervenient petitions filed in favour of it, has not been received by Speaker of the Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena yet. Speaking to The Morning yesterday (4), Speaker Abeywardena said that the debate would most likely be held on 18 May as he is yet to receive the special determination of the five-judge SC bench that considered the said petitions. A press release by the Parliament said that following the receipt of the special determination, party leaders will have to make a decision on when the debate should be held. In a statement yesterday, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), which also filed a petition challenging the said Bill, speculated that a party leaders’ meeting would likely be held tomorrow (6) to set dates to hold the debate as soon as possible. The JVP further said that if the Bill does benefit the country, then the Government should hold a thorough public discourse on it first. Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) General Secretary Ranjith Maddumabandara told The Morning yesterday that depending on the special determination given by the SC, the party would take further action regarding the Bill. The SJB also filed a petition challenging the Bill. Over 18 petitions challenged the “Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill” while around two intervenient petitions were also filed in support of the Bill, and the petitions were heard by a bench headed by Chief Justice and President’s Counsel (PC) Jayantha Jayasuriya and Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare PC, Priyantha Jayawardena PC, Murdu Fernando PC, and Janak De Silva.