A Bill titled “Colombo Port City Economic Commission” was published in the Government
Gazette of the Republic of Sri Lanka of 19th March 2021 and was placed on the Order Paper of
Parliament on 8th April2021.
Nineteen petitions were filed on 15th April2021 invoking the jurisdiction of this Court in terms
of Article 121 to determine whether the Bill or any provisions of the Bill are inconsistent with
the Constitution. Upon receipt of the petitions, the Attorney-General was noticed in terms of
Article 134(1) ofthe Constitution.
The Court assembled for the hearing on 19th, 20th, 21st 22nd and 23rd of April 2021. The Court
heard all the Petitioners, Intervenient Petitioners and the Attorney General.
The preamble to the Bill reads as follows:
“WHEREAS in furtherance of the Directive Principles of State Policy enshrined in the
Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, which requires the State
to ensure by means of public and private economic activity, the rapid development of the
country, whilst co-ordinating public and private economic activity in the national interest,
the Government of Sri Lanka has considered it necessary to establish a Special Economic
Zone within which there is ease of doing business that will attract new investments
primarily to facilitate the diversification of the service economy, to promote the inflow of
foreign exchange into such Zone, to generate new employment opportunities within such
Zone whilst facilitating the development of technical, professional, technological and
entrepreneurial expertise and to facilitate the promotion of urban amenity operations
within such Zone, through the settlement of a residential community:
AND WHEREAS it has become necessary having regard to the national interest or in the
interest of the advancement of the national economy, to establish a Special Economic
Zone to be called “the Colombo Port City Special Economic Zone” which will be an
international business and services hub with specialized infrastructure and other facilities
within such Zone, for the promotion and facilitation of economic activity including
international trade, shipping, logistic operations, offshore banking and financial services,

information technology and business process outsourcing, corporate headquarters
operations, regional distribution operations, tourism and other ancillary services:”
The Bill seeks to establish a Commission called the Colombo Port City Economic Commission
(hereinafter referred to as the “Commission”) which is to be entrusted with the administration,
regulation and control of matters connected with businesses and other operations in and from the
Area of Authority of the Colombo Port City. The Bill provides for

Part I – Establishment of the Colombo Port City Special Economic Zone and the Commission

Part II- Objectives and powers, duties and functions of the Commission

Part III – Composition of and the administration and management of the affairs of the Commission

Part IV – Fund of the Commission

Part V – The Director-General and the staff of the Commission·

Part VI – Application for and approval as an authorised person, agreement required to be signed, single window investment facilitation, Sri Lanka citizens engaging in business, employment, purchasing, leasing or renting property or utilising facilities or services

Part VII – Offshore companies to operate within the Area of Authority of the Colombo Port City

Part VIII – Offshore banking business in and from the Area of Authority of the Colombo Port City

Part IX – Determination and grant of exemptions or incentives for the promotion of businesses of strategic importance

Part X – Applicability of the Condominium Management Authority Law and the Apartment Ownership Law

Part XI – Applicability of the Securities and Exchange Commission Act

Part XII – Estate Manager and provision of general services

Part XIII – International Commercial Dispute Resolution Centre

Part XIV – Priority in hearing legal proceedings

Part XV – Interim provisions and investment protection

Part XVI – Miscellaneous Provisions