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* Sri Lanka parliament passes Divineguma poverty alleviation bill
Wed, Jan 9, 2013, 01:04 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 08, Colombo: Sri Lanka parliament today passed the amended Divineguma Bill aimed at poverty alleviation in the country with a majority of 107 votes.

When the vote was taken following the Third Reading of the controversial Divineguma Bill today, 159 voted in favor while 42 voted against.

The opposition parties, United National Party (UNP), the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) voted against the bill.

Supporters of the Bill staged a massive demonstration today near the Sri Jayewardenepura Parliamentary Complex roundabout yesterday to express support to the Bill.

The government has made 10 amendments to the Bill based on the recommendations made by the Supreme Court to avert a referendum.

The Supreme Court after considering 14 petitions filed against the Bill ruled that certain clauses of the draft bill had to be approved by a two-third majority in the parliament as well as through a public referendum unless those clauses were amended.

The Divineguma Bill proposes the establishment of a new department by amalgamating the Samurdhi Authority, Southern Development Authority and the Udarata Development Authority to better achieve the grassroots economic development and alleviate poverty. The new department will function under the Ministry of Economic Development.

** Related Story :: Sri Lanka government to present poverty alleviation bill with amendments to avert referendum

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