Mayor chides UNP parliamentarians who speak without knowing facts

By Lal Gunasekera

The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) did not get any income from casinos operating within the city limits and had no authority to issue any licences for them, Colombo Mayor A. J. M. Muzammil said yesterday.

He told The Island that casinos did not come under the CMC and they were operating under a club licence for many years as the CMC’s powers had been abolished during the tenure of late President Ranasinghe Premadasa under a special gazette notification.

Certain UNP Parliamentarians who had demanded that the CMC shut down casinos operating in Colombo were making statements and were not aware of the real situation, the Mayor said, stressing that it was the government which raked in Rs. 150 million by way of tax from each Casino.

CMC Commissioner Mrs. Badrani Jayawardena said that only a 10 per cent entertainment tax was charged on musical shows and other such events, but the CMC had no control over casinos. She said that night clubs, Karaoke bars etc should be registered with the CMC if they were within the city limits. There were certain shortcomings in the law and the CM had discussed the matter with the police, she said.

Deputy Colombo Mayor Titus Perera said that the CMC did not have any control over casinos and not a single cent was earned by the CMC from casinos.

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