Port City paves way for ‘Two States – Two Laws’ concept – Lawyers for Democracy

Port City paves way for ‘Two States – Two Laws’ concept – Lawyers for Democracy

Port City paves way for ‘Two States – Two Laws’ concept – Lawyers for Democracy

Written by Staff Writer

18 Apr, 2021 | 8:04 pm

Colombo (News 1st); The Supreme Court can only provide a determination on the constitutionality of an act and not whether it good or bad for the country, said Attorney-at-Law Harshana Nanayakkara for Lawyers for Democracy on Sunday (18).

Some 14 petitions have been filed with the Supreme Court challenging the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill.

“The Supreme Court will only give a determination on the constitutionality of a matter and we appoint governments to decide on what is good and bad,” he added.

The passage of the Port City Economic Commission Bill will pave the way for a ‘Two States – Two Laws’ concept, warned Attorney-at-Law Harshana Nanayakkara.

Nanayakkara went on to note, no matter what name you give it, be it ‘Port City’ or ‘Ealam’, it refers to a separate state, and therefore there is an attempt to create one via the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill.

“Yes, the country needs investments and tax concessions need to be provided. However, to do so the state must follow the provisions of the Strategic Development Act and the Board of Investment Act,” he said adding the Shangri-La Hotel project was awarded to China using the provisions of the said acts during the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration.

“The Hambantota Port was leased to the Chinese based on these same acts by the Ranil Wickremesinghe administration,” he added.

Attorney-at-Law Nanayakkara alleged that 21 laws in Sri Lanka will not fall within the ambit of the Colombo Port City adding Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill does not specify that ‘Sri Lankans’ will be appointed to the Port City Economic Commission.

“What is more important is to understand whether it is good or bad for the country, before determining on its constitutionality,” he said.

The Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill is also silent on who mention as to who would own and do business in the sea area surrounding the Colombo Port City, highlighted Attorney-at-Law Nanayakkara.

Further, the establishment of an International Arbitration Centre within the Colombo Port City indicates that Sri Lankan Courts will not have any scope over CPC (Colombo Port City).

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