Court rejects FR petition against USA-GOSL defence agreement

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 24 July 2007, 11:24 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Supreme Court unanimously refused to inquire into a fundamental rights violation petition filed by Mr.Vasudeva Nanayakkara, a veteran leftist leader, challenging the Defence Agreement signed by the governments of United States of America (USA) and Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL), legal sources in Colombo said. The petition came up before a three member bench of the Supreme Council chaired by Chief Justice Sarath N.Silva Monday. Justices Shiranee Bandaranaike and Nihal Gamini Amaratunge were other members of the panel.

The petitioner Mr. Nanayakkara, general secretary of the Democratic Leftist Front, is also an advisor to Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse. The Defence Secretary Mr.Gothabaya Rajapakse and the Attorney General were cited as respondents in the petition.

The petitioner stated that Defence Secretary Mr.Gothabaya Rajapakse and USA Ambassador in Sri Lanka Mr.William O Blake had signed the defence agreement between the two countries against the laws of Sri Lanka thus affecting the fundamental rights of every citizen in Sri Lanka.

The first respondent had abused his power by signing the agreement on behalf of Sri Lanka, the petition said.

The petitioner requested the court to declare the said agreement null and void.

President Counsel Silva with Attorney-at-Law W.C.Thusahrika argued in support of the petition. Deputy Solicitor General Mr.Demunu de Silva submitted to court the said agreement had been tabled in parliament.

Justice Shiranee Bandaranaike queried from the petitioner how his fundamental rights had been violated by the said agreement between the two countries.

The SC Bench thereafter decided to reject the FR petition stating that the court has no authority to inquire into that agreement as it has been tabled in parliament.

Mr.Vasudeva Nanayakkara was present in court with his supporters when his petition was taken up for inquiry.


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