Sri Lanka citizens group calls for changes to upcoming bill

Jan 06, 2012 (LBO) – Friday Forum, a Sri Lankan citizens group has called for changes to an upcoming bill on a new agency called Divineguma Development Department and has called upon parliament not to impose it on the Northern Province with a two thirds majority. The full statement is reproduced below

Friday Forum on the Divineguma Bill

The Divineguma Bill now before Parliament provides for the setting up of a new department called the Divineguma Development Department, the main object of which is the administration of a poverty alleviation programme. The Bill was challenged before the Supreme Court and the Court held that as much as fifteen clauses of the Bill dealt with matters enumerated in the Provincial Council List. Article 154G (3) of the Constitution requires every Bill in respect of any matter set out in the Provincial Council List to be referred by the President to every Provincial Council for the expression of its views before it is placed in the Order Paper of Parliament. The Divineguma Bill had not been so referred to Provincial Councils and, as such, the Supreme Court held that the Bill could not become law unless so referred. As the Bill had been placed in the Order Paper without complying with Article 154G (3), the Court made no det