Once the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill comes into effect, the Colombo Port City (CPC) will be a safe haven for money laundering activities, former Justice Minister Wijayadasa Rajapakshe PC today said.
While making his oral submission to the petition filed challenging the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill, Dr. Rajapakshe PC said that the drafted Bill was not for the development of Sri Lanka, it was only for the development with the particular zone, which would be administrated as a separate state in the future.
"The new legislative regime which would function as CPC, allows for tax exemption, tax-free salaries and to be an offshore financial centre. This is going to be a safe haven for money laundering activities," he said.
Dr. Rajapakshe PC informed the Court that there will be power vested upon the companies at the CPC through the Bill to enter into different international agreements and foreigners could acquire the particular land and sell it to different entities.
"The whole CPC is going to function as a separate state. The total land area of is 269 hectares and the whole area will have a different law. This will be a serious danger to the sovereignty of the country," he said.
He highlighted that United States had already blacklisted the Chinese Company which would run the CPC and the whole project would double the debt of the country.
"The Bill also mentioned that the particular land would be prohibited of the Sri Lankan currency. This is an arbitrary violation of Parliament's supremacy and violation of country's constitution," he said.
The Colombo Port City Economic Commission would operate as an auctioneer and it was unknown to the law of the country, he added.
"Once the auction is completed and once all the companies are set out, there will be no powers to this Commission," Dr. Rajapakshe PC said.
He said that at the moment international communities had openly threatened the country and the public had been exposed to a serve danger when it came to consider the country's sovereignty.
Dr. Rajapakshe PC urged the five-judge bench of the Supreme Court to nullify the Bill since it was inconsistent and in violation of the Constitution. (Yoshitha Perera)