Sri Lanka’s main political parties, on Monday November 12th 2018 filed legal challenges in the island’s Supreme Court, against the early dissolution of Parliament by President Maithripala Sirisena.
The petitioners said President Sirisena had no powers to dissolve the Parliament under the 19th amendment of the constitution and requested the Supreme Court to issue an order voiding the gazette issued by the President and to suspend the upcoming Parliamentary Election until a verdict is announced.
The parties which filed a Fundamental Rights petition included the United National Party led by ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the main opposition Tamil National Alliance, the Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, the Tamil Progressive Alliance representing Up Country and Western province Tamils,and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and All Ceylon People’s Congress representing Sri Lankan Muslims.
The Centre for Policy Alternatives(CPA) and Elections Commission Member Dr.Ratnajeevan Hoole were Also among the Twelve Fundamental Rights Petitioners.
Chief Justice Nalin Perera has appointed a Three -member Bench to hear the FR Petition cases. The Supreme Court Bench comprises Chief Justice Nalin Perera, Justice Prasanna Jayawardena and Justice Priyantha Jayawardena.
When the cases were taken up in the morning, the Supreme Court adjourned sittings till 2 pm after the Attorney General informed Court that they had not received instructions from the elections commission and that they had received the papers only this morning.
Deputy Solicitor General Sanjay Rajaratnam appeared for the AG.
An impressive array of Legal eagles presented arguments on behalf of the petitioners when proceedings resumed at noon. Among Lawyers who appeared for petitioners were Tilak Marapana, K.Kanagiswaran, Jayampathy Wickramaratne,JC Weliyamuna, Ikram Mohammed, MA Sumanthiran, Geoffrey Alagaratnam, Viren Corea and Hejaz Hezbullah.
Court proceedings were put off for 10 am tomorrow Nov 13th following representations made by the Attorney -General for more time
Court room 502 was filled by lawyers,law students, political activists and Journalists when proceedings were on.