Two Fundamental Rights actions
In a Fundamental Rights action (SCFR 212/2022) against a string of VIPs, the Supreme Court has granted leave to proceed against former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Finance Ministers Mahinda Rajapaksa and Basil Rajapaksa, former Central Bank Governors, Professor W.D Lakshman and Ajith Nivard Cabraal, the Monetary Board of Sri Lanka and Former Secretary to the Treasury S.R Attygalle.
In another case (SCFR 195/2022), leave to proceed was granted against former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Finance Ministers Mahinda Rajapaksa and Basil Rajapaksa, the Cabinet of Ministers, the Monetary Board of Sri Lanka, Former Governors of the Central Bank, Professor W.D Lakshman and Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Former Secretary to the Treasury S.R Attygalle,, Former Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundera, Former Finance Minister Ali Sabry P.C., present member of the Monetary Board S.S.W. Kumarasinghe.
Court also directed that present members of the Monetary Board who served on the Monetary Board during the matters in question, namely Sanjeeva Jayawardena, P.C., and Dr. Ranee Jayamaha be added as Respondents in this Application.
The following orders were also made by court:
1. The Auditor General to conduct an audit and submit a report by November 30, in respect of:
a. The decision made by the Monetary Board to set the value of the Sri Lankan rupee at Rs. 203 against the US Dollar and all matters connected thereto.
b. The delay in seeking assistance from the IMF and all matters connected thereto.
c. All matters relating to the settlement of the sovereign bond of US Dollars 500 million on January 18, 2022, using foreign reserves
d. An audit on the loss caused to the Central Bank by such payments.
2. The Court also directed that Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe, Governor of the Central Bank produce copies of all communications and recommendations given to the former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Finance Ministers Mahinda Rajapaksa and Basil Rajapaksa, the Cabinet of Ministers, the Monetary Board of Sri Lanka, Former Governors of the Central Bank, Professor W.D Lakshman and Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Former Secretary to the Treasury S.R Attygalle, by the Central Bank on or before November 30, 2022.
3. The court also directed the Monetary Board to produce copies of all reports given to Former Ministers Mahinda Rajapaksa and Basil Rajapaksa, as per Section 64 and 68 of the Monetary Law Act, on or before November 30, 2022.These matters are to be mentioned on January 9, 2023.
Full implementation of 13A: NFF vows to torpedo Ranil’s move, asks Dinesh, Mahinda to disclose their stance
By Shamindra Ferdinando
The National Freedom Front (NFF), a constituent member of Nidahas Janatha Sandhanaya (NJS), has declared that it would oppose President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s bid to fully implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The patriotic people were ready to defeat such plans, even at the expense of their lives, the party has vowed.
The breakaway JVP faction consists of six MPs, including former minister Wimal Weerawansa. The NJS is contesting the Local Government polls, scheduled for March 09, under the ‘Helicopter’ symbol.
NFF spokesperson, MP Jayantha Samaraweera, on Monday (30), told the media that his party was ready to lead a campaign against the UNP leader’s move to do away with constitutional safeguards meant to ensure Sri Lanka’s unitary status. The Lawmaker addressed the media at the NFF main office, at Pitakotte.
Having declared his intention to fully implement the controversial constitutional amendment at the Thai Pongal celebrations, in Jaffna, on January 15, President Wickremesinghe reiterated his commitment to the Eelam project during the party leaders’ meeting at the Presidential Secretariat, the former State Minister said.
Lawmaker Samaraweera asked Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, and twice President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had flanked President Wickremesinghe, at the party leaders’ meeting, to disclose their stand on 13th Amendment.
The Nidahas Janatha Sandhanaya, consisting of NFF, Democratic Left Front, Communist Party, Lanka Samasamaja Pakshaya, Pivuthuru Hela Urumaya, Vijayadharani Jathika Sabhawa, Yuthukama, Sri Lanka Freedom Party, Nidahasa Janatha Sabhawa, Jana Jaya Peramuna, Sri Lanka Mahajana Pakshaya and Nidahas Janatha Peramuna, has yet to disclose its position on this issue.
MP Samaraweera attacked the President, close on the heels of NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, who is also the Chairman of the Uththara Lanka Sabhagaya (ULS), questioning the legitimacy of the move. Lawmaker Weerawansa addressed this issue at a meeting held at the BMICH, on January 26, to discuss ways and means to thwart the move to privatize the CEB.
The ULS consisting of seven political parties, and groups, is aligned with the NJS.
Referring to the circumstances UNP leader Wickremesinghe re-entered Parliament, through the National List, nearly a year after the last General Election, former Minister Weerawansa emphasized the President didn’t have a mandate to fully implement the 13th Amendment. How could the UNP leader abolish Sri Lanka’s unitary status, having received an opportunity to complete Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s remainder of five-year term, won at the Nov. 2019 Presidential Election.
The MP challenged their erstwhile comrades, in the JVP, to state their position on the 13th Amendment. Alleging that the JVP had been conveniently silent on the issue at hand, MP Samaraweera asked whether the current leadership would take up Wickremesinghe’s challenge.
In addition to Weerawansa and Samaraweera, Yuthukama leader Gevindu Cumaratunga, MP, has declared opposition to the President’s move, at the party leaders’ meeting.
Of the SLPP parliamentary group, retired Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera is the only MP to publicly oppose Wickremesinghe’s proposal.
Political sources said that the NJS, as a group contesting the forthcoming LG polls, was yet to deliberate this issue and take a stand. They said that consensus was required without further delay as the President’s proposal would be a major issue at the forthcoming election.
PHU, too, opposes land, police powers to PCs
A lawyers’ group, aligned with Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU), yesterday (31) said that President Ranil Wickremesinghe couldn’t unilaterally decide on the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.
Attorneys-at-Law Pasan Gunasekera and Bhupathi Kahathuduwa, in a statement issued, explained why police and land powers, in terms of the controversial amendment, shouldn’t be granted to Provincial Councils. Abolition of current constitutional safeguard would undermine Sri Lanka’s unitary status thereby paved the way for a new conflict.
Bangladesh FM to deliver LK memorial lecture
Bangladesh Foreign Minister, Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen, will deliver the Lakshman Kadirgamar memorial lecture at Block 3, Jasmine Hall, BMICH, on February 03, at 6 pm.
The LTTE assassinated the then Foreign Minister, Kadirgamar, on Aug. 12, 2005.
FM Momen will deliver the annual lecture on the invitation of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies.
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