11 July, 2020

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Gota V Parliament: SC To Hear Petitions Challenging Dissolution On May 18-19

The Supreme Court will hear several petitions challenging the presidential proclamation dissolving Parliament on the 18 and 19 of May 2020. The matter was taken up today in the Supreme Court.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Most of the petitions seek interim orders to quash the gazette issued by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on 2nd March dissolving Parliament on the basis that the new Parliament cannot meet within the three month deadline mandated by the constitution since elections have been delayed till June 20 on account of the corona virus pandemic.

The Elections Commission earlier postponed the April 25 parliamentary election to 20th June, but the Commission will meet again this week to determine if the new date was feasible on account of the country still being partially shut down due to COVID-19.

When the petitions were taken up in Court on Monday (11), the Attorney General informed the judges that the Department would not be appearing for the three members of the Elections Commission who had been cited as respondents in the petitions.

Petitions challenging the presidential proclamation argue that any attempt to exercise the powers of Government without parliamentary oversight for an indefinite period of time would amount to a violation of the constitution and constitutional principles of separation of powers and the need to have in place all three organs of the Government – namely, the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary.

Petitions have been filed by former Ravaya Editor Victor Ivan, the Centre for Policy Alternatives Executive Director Paikasothy Saravanamuttu, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya, Kumara Welgama and Champika Ranawaka and others.

The fundamental rights applications have been filed under Article 126 of the constitution which allows any citizen to challenge the actions or omissions of the President by bringing a lawsuit citing the Attorney General as a respondent qua president.

Prior to the 19th Amendment to the constitution, the incumbent executive president enjoyed absolute immunity from suit in the conduct of his official duties. The Article 126 provision allowed all opposition parties to file action against President Maithripala Sirisena after he illegally dissolved Parliament in November 2018 following an attempted coup. In a stunning, unanimous determination, seven judges of the country’s top court ruled that the President had violated the constitution. The judgment also clarified that with the exception of the president’s power to declare war and peace and his ceremonial duties, all his other powers could be challenged by way of FR in the Supreme Court.

In its rush to re-open the country to force the Elections Commission’s hand on holding Parliamentary elections in order to ensure the President is not forced to reconvene the old parliament, the Government has continued to confuse the public with its curfew regulations. Normal passengers are not permitted on public transport, however public offices are being opened to serve a public that cannot reach them in light of curfew still prevalent in several districts. The Colombo Stock Exchange was shut down for the day on Monday (11th May) after the market lost 10% of its value in the first 38 seconds of trading. The forced normalcy is an attempt to force the hand of the Elections Commission to plough ahead with poll preparations amid the corona virus crisis. Making matters worse Sri Lanka’s largest COVID-19 cluster is now the Sri Lanka Navy where more than 400 sailors have tested positive for the virus raising serious questions about the suitability of the military to lead a Government response to a public health crisis.

On Monday, “inspired leaks” about an army medical officer being tipped for appointment as Secretary to the Ministry of Health also sent shockwaves as President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appeared to be doubling down on the narrative that only his military could handle the crisis, despite the serious indictment on this Government policy after the massive cluster of Navy infections came to light. The appointment comes in the wake of public health inspectors complaining in writing that the Navy was hiding information about COVID-19 positive naval personnel in quarantine at navy bases around the island.

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Latest comments

  • 34
    1

    ViyathMaga fools promoted an idiot thinking that they would be big shots after the victory. Where are they now and what do they have to say?

  • 28
    1

    All these crooked rajapuka crooks and their worthless fellow think that Sri Lanka belongs to them by their doubtful birth
    the kallathoni bugger so uneducated in constitutional affairs thought that he’s the cleverest on this planet and blindly issued a presidential proclamation dissolving a legally elected parliament which had many months to run its normal course.
    The rajapuka’s by their boru hora victory are and were so cocky swollen-headed even in their private parts, have in their gang the Election chief who bends in two’s and three’s to pay pooja to his man-made boru horu gods.
    They with their fellow military goon ganankarraya’s are still under the notion that the country then known as Ceylon was their appochi’s dowry gift.?
    The manner they are the Kota Uda bankrupt country with the undivided blind loyal of those who have once upon a time adorned military war criminal’s uniforms if the court case goes against their lord and master
    All this is done in a hurry Burry to hold the general election is to by hook or by crook obtain the needed 2/3rd majority to get rid of the clean 19th amendment and bring in the 20th which will play many a pandu bandu in this lost its way no money island.

    • 5
      0

      Only 6 comments.?
      This clearly proves to one and all that the military dictatorship has made an impeccable mark on the lives of those who for no other choice of fate are forced to live in this now sad sorry shittiest of them all Sri Lanka which is now ruled as his own play-thing of a toy by the megalomaniac arrest evading kalathoni war criminal of a so-called president by the sad name birth doubtful gota Rajapaksa or better known as the wicked swine goat of a brainless rajapuka.
      =
      In a continuous sadness & sympathies to those who by no choice of their’s are forced to live in this rajapuka shithole. R. J.

  • 15
    1

    EC should not confirm the date until the court ruling is given. Further no election should be held unless and until foreign election monitors agree to participate in the election monitoring process as in the previous years. If not we know what will happen. Election should be held on one day all over the country and the election propaganda and campaign should be done in the same way it was done in the previous years, for that Corona related issues should be first addressed. The whole world is watching this election as this election in Sri Lanka is an election where the cold war is being fought between China-Russia duo and the free world lead by USA & G8 countries.

  • 13
    0

    ……….In a stunning, Unanimous determination,seven judges of the countrys top court ruled that the President had violated the Constitution………………..

    This was in Oct/Nov. 2018
    What was the reaction of President Sirisena after the Judgement?
    Ha! Ha! I had another Hopper meal at the expense of MaRa who was given a dead rope.

  • 11
    0

    We have come to a point when we have to wonder how many judges are in the pockets of the Rajapaksa’s. They now have all the top military and armed forces personnel already in line, the election commissioner, and various others to support any illegal move they may make, so why not judges too?
    Dictatorship?

  • 5
    1

    Going to SC for proper interpretation of the constitution law is the best approach. To me this hows two things. Sri Lankan constitution is written very poorly allowing different interpretations, contradictions and confusion. The second fact is our constitutional lawyers are either incompetent or nonindependent or both. In the SC decision on GR’s citizenship, judges said that then president MR could exercise Ministerial responsibilities to approve GR’s dual citizenship application without appointing the cabinet and as long as the cabinet is appointed within a REASONABLE time, he could run without a cabinet. This time SC would consider what is the reasonable time for GR to run without a parliament, during a unprecedented COVID-19 health emergency situation. As the EC has taken genuine effort to hold election as practically as possible, SC would consider whether there is a need a parliament during this REASONABLE time.. Up to now GR strictly followed the constitution. There is a possibility that GR will be asked to nominate another date instead of reconvening the parliament as he is the only person know what Government measures have been taken to all an election is held.

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