Colombo Port city to become Chinese colony: Sri Lankan opposition party

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The proposed Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill will turn the Colombo Port City–a dream project of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa–into a Chinese colony, an opposition party in Sri Lanka alleged.

Anura Kumara Dissanayake, the leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) party, said on Monday that the bill would allow the city to function beyond the existing laws of the country.

He further added that the proposed bill which was included in the Order Paper of Parliament would empower the president to appoint a Colombo Port City Economic Commission which includes five or seven members named by him.

Under the bill, the commission would be empowered with special financial power and judicial immunity, he claimed.

Local businesses, he said, would not be allowed to establish laws in the post-city areas. Another controversial clause is the payment of salary to the staff working in the port city zone. The rules will empower the commission to pay salaries to employees even in foreign currencies.

There was a threat of the Port City becoming a separate territory with independent powers devoid of common laws of the country, he said. He stressed the need to defeat it being enacted in Parliament.

The leader claimed he would challenge the bill legally in court.