The government today withdrew the State Lands (Special Provisions) Bill, against which several petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court.
House Leader Lakshman Kiriella informed parliament about the withdrawal of the Bill and said the sole objective of the legislation was to provide lands to the landless. "However, the opposition has filed several petitions challenging the Bill thus preventing us from giving lands to the needy,” he said and added that under this Bill lands were to be given to 2.5 million needy people.
Joint opposition MP Bandula Gunawardane said the opposition did not file petitions to prevent the poor from obtaining lands but to prevent the internationalisation of the country with lands going into the hands of foreigners” he said.
JO MP Wimal Weerawansa said the opposition would have supported the legislation if the government brought in a provision to prevent foreigners from purchasing lands. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwadana)