Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) files aFundamental Rights petition in Supreme Court challenging the Nomination of businessman Dhammika Perera to the SLPP National List MP seat Vacated by Basil Rajapaksa


Lakmal Suriyagoda

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) has filed a Fundamental Rights petition in Supreme Court challenging the appointment of businessman Dhammika Perera to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, as a Member of Parliament.

In accordance with Article 99A of the Constitution, the CPA’s position is that a person is only entitled to be nominated to fill such a vacancy if their name was included in the district nomination papers or national list submitted by the relevant political party.

The CPA stated that Dhammika Perera’s name was not on the list submitted by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) to the Election Commission under Article 99A of the Constitution or in any nomination paper submitted in respect of any electoral district by the SLPP for the General Election held in 2020.

The petitioners the CPA and its Executive Director Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu also highlighted the appearance of very real bias and conflicts of interest caused by Perera’s appointment as a Member of Parliament and possibly a Cabinet Minister, due to his ownership in a multitude of different business ventures in a variety of sectors ranging from plantation, power generation, licenced commercial banks, finance companies and consumer goods.

The petitioners maintained that the Article 91(1)(e) of the Constitution disqualifies a person with any such interest in any such contract made by or on behalf of the State or a public corporation from being a Member of Parliament.

Accordingly, CPA submits that Dhammika Perera’s appointment is illegal, arbitrary, irrational, grossly unreasonable, contrary to law and will if unchecked cause grave and irremediable harm and prejudice to the People of Sri Lanka and the Rule of Law itself.

The CPA further maintains that this appointment constitutes an infringement and continuous infringement of the fundamental rights of the People of Sri Lanka guaranteed under Articles 10 (Freedom of thought, conscience and religion), article12(1) (Right to equal protection of the law), and 14(1)(a) (Freedom of speech and expression) of the Constitution.

Courtesy:Daily Mirror