|Divi Neguma draft bill passed|
The controversial Divineguma draft Bill was passed in to law with a majority in parliament with a majority of 107 votes. 160 voted in favour of the Bill while 53 voted against it.Eleven MPs abstained from voting. The UNP, JVP and TNA voted against 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.