LSSP contests UPFA national list in sc

Published : 8:49 am  September 22, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 


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By S.S. Selvanayagam
The Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), one of the constituents of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) yesterday filed a fundamental rights petition in the Supreme Court over the appointment of defeated candidates to parliament through the national list.

The followinsdfg were cited as respondents by LSSP General Secretary Tissa Vitharana — Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya, UPFA General Secretary Vishwa Warnapala, former General Secretary Sunil Premajayantha, Parliament Secretary General Damikka Dassanayake, the Attorney General, S.B. Dissanayake,Thilanga Sumathipala, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane, Vijith Vijayamuni Zoysa, Sarath Amunugama, Dilan Perera, Angajan Ramanathan, Faiszer Musthapha, A.H.M. Fowzie, M.L.A.M. Hisbullah and G.L. Peiris whose names were in the second national list and several others.

The petitioner said it appears that the present and the former UPFA general secretaries had acted in collusion to commit a fraud on the constituent parties by depriving and denying them of their legitimate right of being appointed to parliament through the national list.
He said notwithstanding the representations made on August 21, 2015, a list was submitted to the Elections Commissioner by Mr. Premajayantha purportedly functioning as General Secretary of the UPFA.

He claims that from the inception, the UPFA had functioned in a transparent and democratic manner and all the decisions taken and all appointments made with the consensus of all constituent parties.

Accordingly, the constituent parties had entered into a mutual agreement to nominate their representatives to the national list.
Prof. Vitharana said according to an agreed system, the constituent parties other than the SLFP were allocated a seat each in the national list at every general elections held in the past.

He said according to the agreement and understanding, the (first) list of UPFA nominees was submitted by the former General Secretary of the UPFA within nomination period as required by the Constitution.

As such the nominations were made with the concurrence of the executive committee of the UPFA and its constituent parties.
The petitioner said Prof. Vishwa Warnapala was later appointed as UPFA General Secretary by its leader (the President) without the knowledge and without consulting other constituent parties of UPFA.

He said Prof. Warnapala had since his appointment taken arbitrary, capricious and undemocratic decisions in a manner harmful to the democratic rights and interests of all constituent parties, their members and the majority of the executive committee of the UPFA.
The petitioner is seeking a declaration that his and that of the people’s fundamental rights to equality and the right to equal protection of the law and his right not be discriminated on the grounds of political opinion and right to freedom of speech and expression have been infringed upon.

He is asking for a declaration from the Court that the election of the names in the second list is null and void and has no force in law.
The petitioner is seeking Court to cancel or quash the declaration that the names in the second list as elected members and for a declaration that he is entitled to be nominated as member of parliament through the (first) list submitted under Article 99A.