Amid sharp protests from various quarters, the government last night decided to shelve the decision to approve regulations governing two gazette notifications for the establishment of two casino centres in Colombo, sources said.
They said the decision was taken at a special meeting convened by President Mahinda Rajapaksa with the leaders of the government alliance partners. At the meeting, it is learnt that the two main government allies – the SLMC and the JHU, had opposed to the gazette notifications.
It was also decided to amend the two gazette notifications and present it on a later date. The amendments will likely include a clause restricting entry to the gaming centres in the city for foreigners only.
At the meeting, JNP leader and Minister Wimal Weerawansa said he would make his stance known today whether he would vote for the regulation or not.
The regulations which would provide tax concessions to two casino centres in Colombo, were earlier scheduled to be debated on October 24 and 25 and taken up for voting on October 25, following a gazette notification tabled in parliament by Investment Promotions Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana, under the Strategic Development Act. (Kelum Bandara)