Ten amendments to Divineguma bill tomorrow

By Shyam Nuwan Ganewatte

Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa yesterday announced that since the Supreme Court had given directions that the Divi Neguma Bill could become law without going for a referendum if passed with amendments by a special majority in Parliament, the government would bring ten amendments to the legislation during its third reading debate tomorrow.

Minister Rajapaksa said: "The radical changes envisaged by the provisions of this bill are needed for the development of the country.

Therefore, the government was ready to bring in necessary amendments to some sections in the draft bill. We hope to get it passed with a two third majority in Parliament and to move ahead for its fully implementation by Sinhala Tamil New Year."

The Supreme Court in its determination said that 16 clauses of the draft bill were inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution and recommended 12 amendments.

However, only ten amendments would be introduced to the draft bill, government sources said adding that the balance amendments would not be needed as the bill would be passed with a two-thirds majority.

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