Port City Bill violates Constitution – Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera

CEYLON TODAY (RP) | Published: 11:52 AM Apr 17 2021
Local Port City Bill violates Constitution – Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera

Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera and Nagashenage Dasun Yasas Sri Nagashena have filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the Colombo Port City Economic Commission (CPCEC) Bill.

They have named the Attorney General, Dappula de Livera and Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake as respondents.  

The petition says that powers to be vested in the said commission is in derogation of the powers vested in the Parliament and is tantamount to a delegation of or abdication of the legislative powers of the Parliament and accordingly the said Bill is in violation of Article 4(a) and Article 76 of the Constitution. 

“The Section 27 of the said Bill provides exemption of the statutory laws of the country and accordingly it is in violation of Articles 3(a), 5, 12, 14 and 76 of the Constitution. As a result of the Reclamation of the Waters in Sri Lankan Territory and the Establishment of the said Commission as a Project with multiple objects of China and Sri Lanka have been subjugated by the Chinese Rulers with the purpose of dominating the entire Indian Ocean as a part of their ‘One Belt One Route’ invasion policy.”

The whole purpose of the said Bill is to accommodate the Chinese Government to have a fully dominated Zone within the territory of Sri Lanka and therefore, the said Bill would undoubtedly encroach upon the sovereignty and the independence of the Republic in violation of Article 1 and 2 of the Constitution. 

According to the Schedule III of the proposed Bill, Several Acts such as The Urban Development Authority Act, No. 41 of 1978, The Municipal Council Ordinance (Chapter 252), the Commercial Mediation Centre of Sri Lanka Act, No. 44 of 2000, The Town and Country Planning Ordinance (Chapter 269), the Strategic Development Projects Act, No. 14 of 2008, Public Contracts Act, No. 3 of 1987 and the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka Law, No. 4 of 1978 are not applicable to the areas of the Port City. 

Therefore, this Bill clearly violates the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and the Articles 154A, 154B, 154C of the Constitution. Further, every area of Sri Lanka is governed by a respective Provincial Council and Local Government Body elected by the people and this Bill proposes this area to be governed by a Commission elected by the President which is a clear violation of the 154G and 154Q of the Constitution.

Moreover, Section 20 of the proposed Bill attempts to grant immunity, for actions done in good faith, to the members of the proposed commission to be set up under the Bill and that it contravenes the principles of justice and rule of law guaranteed by the Constitution, the petition said. 

“The Commission proposed to be set up is afforded regulation making powers to setup a reserve fund, borrow funds, and manage funds under provisions entailed in Section 6, 14 and 23 of the proposed Bill. The Constitution of Sri Lanka states, in Section 148, that Parliament shall have full control of public finances and that in Section 149 it states that every other revenue and receipts of the Republic not allocated to a specific purpose shall be deposited to the Consolidated Fund of the Republic. Accordingly, it is in violation of Articles 148, 149 and 150 of the Constitution. 

CEYLON TODAY (RP) | Published: 11:52 AM Apr 17 2021

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