The Supreme Court yesterday decided to proceed with hearing the five petitions filed against the Tamil National Alliance election manifesto after the party made preliminary objections in the case.
The five petitions filed by Patriotic National Movement Representative Gunadasa Amarasekera and others under the sixth amendment to the constitution dealing with Sri Lanka’s territorial integrity came up before a bench headed by Chief Justice Mohan Peiris today. The petitioners ask the court to suspend the Northern Provincial Council elections which did not happen before the September 21 poll and also call on teh court to proscribe the TNA for violating the constitution by promoting separatism in its election policy statement. TNA General Secretary Marvai Senathirajah, TNA Leader R. Sampanthan, Elections Commissioner and the Attorney General have been cited as respondents in the case.
Appearing on behalf of the TNA, K. Kanag Iswaran PC, said the petitioners had misunderstood the manifesto and said that according to the constitution, they cannot maintain the petition.
After hearing submissions by the TNA lawyers the Supreme Court directed that the preliminary objections be tendered in writing and gave the TNA two weeks time to tender the written objections, TNA MP and lawyer for the TNA M.A. Sumanthiran said. He said the Supreme Court had fixed October 23 as the date on which the preliminary objections raised by the TNA would be taken up for support.
President’s Counsel K. Kanag Iswaran, M.A. Sumanthiran, V.T. Thavarasa, Viran Corea and Niran Ankertel, with a team of lawyers appeared for the TNA while the
Deputy Solicitor General, President Counsel Bimba Thilakaratna appeared on behalf of the Elections Commissioner. Attorney-at-Law Palitha Gamage, appeared on behalf of the petitioners.