Banning political parties identifying with race, religion is violation

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 08 September 2009, 16:59 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has ruled that certain sections of the Amended Parliamentary Elections Bill are inconsistent with the Constitution, Speaker W.J.M Lokkubandara informed the Parliament Tuesday. A section in the Bill banning political parties signifying a race or a religion is a violation of fundamental rights of the citizens. Hence the Bill is inconsistent with the Constitution and will require two-third majority to be approved by Parliament, he said. The Supreme Court conveyed its ruling to the Speaker after inquiring into several petitions filed against the Amended Bill, parliamentary sources said.

The Speaker tabled the ruling of the Supreme Court on five FR petitions filed separately by the main opposition United National Party (UNP), Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) and Peoples Wing of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP-M) in parliament Tuesday when it resumed sitting for the month of September.

Three petitions were filed on August 11 and two on August 12. All were inquired by the Supreme Court on August 31.

Counsel Jayampathy Wickremaratne with Nizam Kaariappar appeared for the SLMC. Counsel J.Niles appeared for the UNP.

Minister Dinesh Gunawardene, Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Election Reforms, was also present in court at that time of inquiry who presented the Bill in parliament on August 6.

 

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