President of the National Movement for a Just Society, Deshabandu Karu Jayasuriya, emphasizes that the majority of the world's democratic countries are criticizing the manner the government passed the Port City Bill in Parliament.
He also points out that a country with even the slightest concern towards democracy will not approve a Bill of national importance which also has an impact over the number of future generations will not pass such a Bill in a matter of hours in this manner.
Deshabandu Karu Jayasuriya made these points at a discussion, organized by the National Movement for a Just Society via "ZOOM" technology on Tuesday (25) under the theme of "After passing of the Port City Commission Act" where he further emphasized.
Many democratic countries around the world have criticized the way that the Port City Act was passed in Parliament. A country with even the slightest concern towards democracy will not pass a bill of national importance which has an impact over a number of future generations, in this way in a matter of hours.
The government acted with overwhelming feeling at that time with its two-thirds majority in Parliament and shining of the 20th Amendment. Above all, the people are outraged over the government and the former Attorney General’s statements, made publicly in front of the country as well as local and foreign investors that the Bill is constitutional. The government should immediately clarify its position in this regard. This process has completely misled the country, the people, local and foreign investors.
Also, the government of good governance had acted to present this bill in the Parliament by the time of the 2020 General Election in a professional way while initiating common dialog and including suitable conditions to the Bill. Accordingly the present government would have drafted and passed the Bill in collaboration with the Opposition, in a way that is beneficial to the country. But after the Parliamentary election, the government wanted to bring the Port City project and the Bill under the control of Mr. Basil Rajapaksha and his team to turn it into a project that works for its cronies. Accordingly, the government created a false impression in the country that the opposition was against this Bill.
But the present opposition has always stated that it would give its fullest support to the project if it was presented in accordance with international procedure but not in the manner desired by one political party. Accordingly, the support of the Opposition can be obtained even in the future for a properly prepared Bill.
The whole country knows that the Supreme Court has given a clear verdict expressing its view that 25 conditions, contained in the Act are against the Constitution in which some conditions need the voting of majority in the Parliament as well as a referendum.
When the situation remains so, the majority of the people are of the opinion that the government and the former Attorney General were misleading the country and the people by saying from the beginning that the Act was in accordance with the Constitution of the country. Thus our question is how the country can be protected from such authorities in the future.
It is no secret that the "Port City" Act was completely politicized. It must be said that it is a disgrace to democracy to dismiss the amendments presented by the Opposition in a very polite manner without considering same in any way while renouncing in a repugnant manner. The Prime Minister made a promise in Parliament in this regard. But no clear statement has been made that special attention will be paid to the appointment of Chairperson and Directors in relation to this project. Accordingly, the appointment of henchmen, friends and politicians can be done easily.
The leader of the Opposition also alleged that the Bill was drafted not by the Legal Draftsman's Department but by a Lawyer attached to a foreign Company. If there is a truth behind this accusation, it should be considered as a great disgrace done to the Parliament. Hon. Members, do not take this situation lightly. Do not allow the respect of the Hon. Members to be harmed. You have a political future ahead. At a time when the country is on fire, we want to resolve this issue amicably. But for the unfortunate of the country and the people, still such an environment has not been created.
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