Thursday, September 24, 2009

SLBFE Bill passed

Uditha KUMARASINGHE and Irangika RANGE

The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (Amendment) Bill was passed in Parliament yesterday.
The UNP was against taking up the Bill for debate stating that the 54th clause of the Bill was subjudice. However Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara provided an opportunity for the Bill to be debated after refusing to accommodate the arguments and legal points raised by the UNP. The amendments proposed by the Opposition were rejected by the Government.
When Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister Keheliya Rambukwella presented the Bill for debate, Chief Opposition Whip Joseph Michael Perera inquired from the Speaker whether the Bill could be debated in Parliament as it had been challenged before the Court of Appeal.
The Speaker said the Bill can be debated in Parliament without passing any opinion that would affect the matter before Court.
The UNP provided the relevant Court case number and its details to the Speaker while Minister Rambukwella gave a letter to the Speaker which was sent to him by the Attorney General regarding this Bill.
The Minister said the Attorney General has mentioned that no clause of the Bill was not in concurrence with the clauses of the Constitution.
Finally, the Speaker accepted the communique sent by the Attorney General and asked the Minister to commence the debate.

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