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* Opposition political parties in Sri Lanka object to government's new gazette on casinos
Wed, Feb 19, 2014, 10:12 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 19, Colombo: Opposition political parties in Sri Lanka have objected to the new gazette notifications under the Strategic Development Projects Act, which they claim allows the setting up of casinos.

The main opposition United National Party (UNP) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) had objected to the amended gazette notification when the Investments Promotion Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena presented it in parliament Tuesday evening.

Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe told the House that the content of the new gazette was very much similar to the three gazettes that were previously withdrawn by the government and the only difference was that the words 'casino' and 'gambling' had been replaced by the term 'associated facilities.'

The notifications had contained information of a project to establish and operate an Integrated Super Luxury Tourist Resort consisting of 500 rooms including high end shopping malls high quality residences and office spaces/service spaces with associated facilities at D. R. Wijewardene Mawatha, Colombo 10 and at Glennie Street/Justice Akbar Mawatha Colombo 2.

Wickremasinghe added that the gazette notifications cannot be permitted since they were withdrawn earlier by the government.

However, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa has permitted Leader of the House, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva to proceed with presenting the gazette notifications adding that other matters could be debated during the Second Reading.

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