Fisher-folk Trade Union FR re-fixed for support | Daily News


Port City project

Fisher-folk Trade Union FR re-fixed for support

The Supreme Court yesterday re-fixed for support a fundamental rights petition filed by Ceylon Fisher-folk Trade Union which sought an order to cease the activities of the Colombo Port City Development Project.

When the petition came up before Supreme Court's three-judge-bench, the petitioner sought a further date to inspect the documents filed by the respondents pertaining to the Colombo Port City Project.

Senior Counsel J. C. Weliamuna who appeared for the fisher-folks informed Court that the concerned documents are needed to be examined through the environmentalists and geological experts and thereby he moved for a further date. Accordingly, the petition was fixed for January 19 next year.

Ceylon Fisher-folk Trade Union and its President N. A. R. Fernando in his petition cited the Attorney General, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Director General of Coast Conservation and Coastal Management, Central Environmental Authority, Director of Geological Survey and Mines Bureau, Urban Development Authority, Colombo Municipal Council and Road Development Authority as well as the China Communication Construction Company Ltd as respondents.

The petitioner stated that the sand mining which is carried out between Negombo and Colombo for the said project, to reclaim 233 hectares of land from the sea may adverse affect about 30,000 fisher-folk living close to the sea.

The said Project was initiated in 2000, to reclaim 120 hectares of land adjoining the Colombo South Harbour Project near the Galle Face Green and the entire project was to include 485 hectares of land including the said extent of land, they stated.

China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) is to be allocated 20 hectares as freehold with 88 hectares on a 99-year lease with the Port Authority being allocated 62 hectares while 63 hectares will be 'public areas', the petitioner states bemoaning that they are unaware as to what access rights citizens will have towards the same.

The petitioner in his public interest litigation seeks the Court that his fundamental rights to equality and equal protection of the law as well as their right that no person shall be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to access to shops, public restaurants, hotels, places of public entertainment and places of worship of his own religion, have been infringed.

He is also seeking the Court for a declaration that their fundamental rights to the freedom of speech and expression as well as the freedom of movement and of choosing their residences within Sri Lanka have been violated. 

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