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Behind the Government’s haste on the Port City Bill is its danger: JVP

Leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Anura Kumara Dissanayake today (04) stated that danger lies in the Government’s haste to enforce the Port City Economic Commission Bill.

He accused the Government of having an underlying objective from the very beginning of the formation of the Bill. Dissanayake stated that there is no room for a formal discussion in society about this Bill.

“For example, the Government introduced this Bill in Parliament on April 08. According to the Constitution, a citizen can go to Court against a Bill within a week from that date. Accordingly, it was not possible to file a petition in Court on Friday the 9th. The 10th and 11th were Saturdays and Sundays. The government declared the 12th as a special holiday. The 13th and 14th were New Year holidays. Accordingly, the only day left to go to Court against this Bill was the 15th. The Government made a cunning attempt to prevent petitions from being filed in the Supreme Court during this New Year season when even lawyers were on leave. However, several people including us as a Party filed petitions against it and defeated the Government’s attempt,” he said.

He further revealed that the decision of the Supreme Court regarding the Bill has to be submitted to the Speaker within 21 days.

“At the Party leaders’ meeting in Parliament last Friday (30) the Government stated that the Speaker would receive this decision on the 4th and accordingly the date for the debate would be set on the 5th. We emphasize that one day is not enough for such an important Bill and that at least two days are required. However, the Government insisted that the Parliament could not convene for more than two days due to the Covid threat” he said.

As of today, the Speaker has not received the Supreme Court’s decision.

“This debate cannot be held tomorrow. The Government may try to convene a meeting of Party leaders this evening (04) to hold a debate on this issue on Thursday (06). The Government has set a limit of two days for the parliament to convene today. They have no moral right to convene Parliament on Thursday. But we know that the Government does not care about morality due to its own needs,” Dissanayake said.

He stated that they have a different opinion on the Government’s rush to pass the Port City Act as a turning point in the economy.

He further accused the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa of implementing decisions at his will without consulting other authorities.

“The President established a special Presidential Commission consisting of 03 Supreme Court Judges through a gazette notification on January 29. Due to his urgency a gazette notification was issued again on the 5th of February to bring an amendment to it as is often done. On the 1st of April, the day that suits him, the relevant amendment was made to the Commission. This shows that he was paying special attention to this Presidential Commission,” he said.

He stated that as far as the JVP was concerned, this commission did not meet for a single day.

“Gotabaya Rajapaksa aimed to use this bill to hunt down political leaders, as President JR Jayewardene did. He hoped to use the power vested in him by the 20th Amendment and the 2/3rd majority in Parliament. Now this special Presidential Commission is an outdated commission. There is nothing it can do. For the first time, a President set up a suicide commission that did nothing. As soon as this was established we were told that we would defeat this anti-democratic movement. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa should know that not every thought that comes to his mind is a law of this country,” he concluded.