The opposition party in Sri Lanka has protested against the government intention of legalizing gambling. The opposition staged the protests on Thursday at a site that had been proposed to host three casinos. The government at that time was considering passing a bill that had attracted lots of controversy, a bill to make gambling legal.
The three projects are a $350-million casino by Australian casino mogul James Packer, a $300-million gaming facility by local tycoon Dhammika Perera called Queensbury and the largest venture of $650 million by local conglomerate John Keells Holdings (JKH) that will also have a casino.
The casinos that are part of the proposed projects are expected to contribute to the economy of Sri Lanka. The other businesses that will be attracted by the traffic to the casino are a good opportunity for the jobless to invest in. The businesses that will feature in the project include a $ 350 million casino that is owned by an Australian casino expert James Parker, A Dhammika Perera owned casino, Queensbury that is valued at $300 million and another mega venture of $ 650 million owned by a conglomerate known as John Keells Holdings (JKH).
This is not the first time the government has tried to make gambling legal in Sri Lanka. It had tried some other time back and actually this was the second time the Sri Lankan government was trying to make the practice legal within the Sri Lankan territories.
The srong opposition protests has always made it hard for the government’s plan to make gambling legal in Sri Lanka a much harder task than expected. The opposition comprising of the United National Party and the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) which is composed of Buddhists has made it difficult for the government to pass the bill intended to legalize gambling.
The government continues to fool the people by saying that the casino gazette includes no casinos. It’s a joke. The government is trying to take people for a bunch of idiots but we cannot be fooled by the government, » Harsha De Silva who is a member of UNP as well as a popular economists said reporters as the protests proceeded.
The Protestants matched along the streets of Central Colombo. They were composed of the Buddhist monks and members of the United National Party. The protest led to a huge traffic snarl up within the area as the area hosts large business enterprises inclusive of very many offices.
However the bill that has led to the opposition take to street is likely to pass since the government has two thirds majority. Even the president Mahinda Rajapksa has endorsed the bill and is in favor of legalizing gambling within the Sri Lankan territory.
In the course of 2013 the government had decided to change the name of the word casino to something like “Mixed development projects” something the opposition rejected and saw as a way the government was sugar coating the weird practice that may lead to very bad consequences if legalized.