Today, in Sri Lankan Parliament the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill was passed, that outline proposed laws for the $1.4 billion-Port City, includes changes on the recommendations of the court. The success or failure of this project depends on how soon authorities find solutions to residue problems. At the same time avoid hurting foreign invested projects already in the country!
The Port City project is currently the single largest private-sector development project in Sri Lanka, and it is envisioned to boost the economy alongside the country’s existing development plans with state-of-the-art living, working, public and recreational spaces.
Earlier, the President appointed five judge bench at the Supreme Court to consider many petitions challenging the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill. The Supreme Court Determination on Port City Bill, found multiple articles inconsistent with the constitution, that can only be passed with Special Majority and referendum.
In this scenario, the government agreed with the Supreme Court determination to amendment the Bill, enabling it to be passed with a simple majority in Parliament. Thereafter, Cabinet approved the updated Bill with amendments and presented to the parliament for a debate and votes.
The vote on the Second and Third readings of the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill were both passed in parliament with 148 voting in favour and 59 against it. With the settlements of these issues would certainly result foreign investments in the country; the construction activities would require local materials and generate local jobs.
The completed Financial City in Port City is expected to create thousands of new jobs; perhaps with high percentage foreigners. If those employees are allowed to invest in the apartments they occupy, a major part of their salaries would remain in the country. Thus immediate decisions on Port City policy matters would help to accelerate investments and create jobs.
Ironically, if the rulers had kept the communities united after independence, country would have avoided uprisings and bloodshed seen by the civil war. By now country would have had four modernised ports; Colombo in the West, Galle in the South, Trincomalee in the East and in the North at Kankesanthurai to build the Colombo Port City, all done with our own capital. ‘No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again’ said Lord Buddha; the opportunity to develop Colombo Port City has presented the rulers to redevelop Sri Lanka fit for all ethnic and religious communities in the land!