Colombo Telegraph

Full Text: CPA Written Submissions Challenging The Appropriation Bill

The Colombo Telegraph is able to publish today, the written submissions filed on behalf of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, challenging certain clauses of the Appropriation Bill placed on the Order Paper of Parliament on October 22, 2013.

Dr.Saravanamuttu

The written submissions, settled by Counsel Suren Fernando with Luwie Ganeshathasan set out very serious issues that the Supreme Court should take cognizance of, in making its determination as to whether the Bill is consistent with the provisions of the Constitution or not. The concerns raised are intended to preserve Parliamentary control over public finances, which in recent times is being sacrificed to the powerful Executive (effectively President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family).

Although Justice Shiranee Thilakawardena had earlier made a determination on a previous Appropriation Bill, emphasizing the importance of maintaining Parliamentary control of public finances under the Constitution. This determination had apparently been contradicted by de facto Chief Justice Mohan Pieris, who took up a reference by President Rajapaksa on the very same question, in secret, after clearing out the courtroom. This controversial ‘opinion’ of his, was conveniently cited when the present Bill was challenged. The de facto Chief Justice also made very controversial statements on the bench, to the effect that the Legislature must give up its powers to the Executive now.
The determination will be communicated to the Speaker of Parliament (Chamal Rajapaksa, brother of President Rajapaksa) and announced in Parliament, shortly.
Click here to read the written submissions filed on behalf of the CPA.
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