FR petitions filed against Bill banning parties signify race, religion

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 12 August 2009, 17:26 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Wednesday filed Fundamental Right Violation petitions separately in the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka challenging the Parliamentary Elections Amendment Bill on the grounds that its provisions violate the fundamental rights of the people, legal sources said. The Bill that was presented in Parliament last week seeks to ban political parties that signify names of a race or religion. The Bill also seeks to deregister parties which have failed to contest parliamentary elections twice consecutively.

The Speaker put off the debate on the Bill for next Tuesday. However the Bill will not be taken for debate as scheduled following the filing of FR petitions against the Bill, parliamentary sources said.

Both political parties were of the view that the Bill was inconsistent with Article 10 and 14 of the Constitution. Article 10 outlines the people’s right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion while Article 14 ensures the right to freedom of speech, assembly, association and movement.

According to these Articles people have the right to associate and promote their own culture, sources said.

 

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