Dissolution of Parliament unconstitutional – Supreme Court
Posted on December 13th, 2018

Courtesy Adaderana

The Supreme Court announces verdict stating that the gazette notification dissolving the parliament is not in accordance with the constitution. The seven-member judge bench unanimously made this judgment stating that it was illegal to dissolve the parliament before its 4.5 year term limit.

Sri Lanka was on the edge, ahead of the crucial Supreme Court ruling on President Maithripala Sirisena’s controversial sacking of Parliament and call for a snap election that pushed the country into unprecedented political turmoil.

As many as 13 petitions were filed against the President’s November 9 order sacking the 225-member Parliament, almost 20 months before its term was to end, and setting the election date for January 5.

The petitions have been filed by political parties including United National Party (UNP), Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) and the All Ceylon People’s Congress.

Organisations and activists such as the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Attorney Aruna Laksiri and also a member of Elections Commission Prof. S. R. H. Hoole have also filed petitions.

The Supreme Court on November 13 had issued an interim order ruling Sirisena’s gazette notification as temporarily illegal and halted the preparations for snap polls. The hearing in the case was concluded last week as the court reserved its judgment.

The judge bench consisting of Supreme Court Justices consisting of Chief Justice Nalin Perera, Priyantha Jayawardena, Prasanna Jayawardena, Sisira de Abrew, Vijith Malalgoda, Buwaneka Aluwihare and Murdu Fernando commenced hearing the petitions on the 4th of December.

On the final day of hearing of the petitions, President’s Counsel S. Kanageswaran, representing the leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) R. Sampanthan, presented submissions on behalf of the petitioners.

He stated that the impunity conferred to the President of the country, under Article 35 of the Constitution, in civil or criminal proceedings has been inhibited to a certain extent by the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

Pointing out that the 19th Amendment to the Constitution has made provisions to file lawsuits under Fundamental Rights against the executive and administrative actions of the President, he said that the official activities of the President can be queried before the court.

Hence, the dissolution of the Parliament is also an official activity carried out by the President, it can be challenged before the court under the Fundamental Rights provisions, President’s Counsel Kanageswaran had further said.

The rest of the attorneys appearing on behalf of the petitioners also presented submissions in this regard.

The petitioners had presented submissions before the court in response to the submissions of the intermediate petitioners.

Presenting submissions before the Supreme Court on the 5th of December, the Attorney General had stated that in accordance with Article 38 (02) of the Constitution, the Supreme Court does not have the legal authority to hear these fundamental rights petitions filed against the parliamentary dissolution.

The Supreme Court last Friday (Dec. 7) concluded the hearing of the petitions filed challenging the Gazette notification dissolving the Parliament after four consecutive days of court hearings.

Meanwhile, the interim order issued by the court, suspending the Gazette notification on the dissolution of Parliament, was extended until the verdict is delivered in the case.

President Sirisena has said he will accept the Supreme Court’s ruling on the petitions filed against his gazette notification dissolving Parliament.

I look forward to the constitutional interpretation of the Supreme Court. Whatever it may be, I will take future political decisions accordingly, to the best interest of our motherland, not to the benefit of any person, group or party,” the president tweeted on Sunday.

His remarks were apparently aimed at Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) with whom Sirisena was running the national unity government since 2015.

The partnership ended on October 26 when Sirisena fired Wickremesinghe, triggering the political standoff.

Since ousting Wickremesinghe, Sirisena has highlighted the shortcomings” of the ex-premier in a bid to justify his sacking and dissuade his reinstatement.

The president has already said he has no intention of making Wickremesinghe prime minister again no matter what the outcome of the case.

Both Wickremesinghe and Rajapaksa claim to be the rightful prime minister. Wickremesinghe says his dismissal is invalid because he still commands a majority in Parliament.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has officially conveyed that the House does not recognise Rajapaksa as the legal prime minister until he proves his majority.

The United National Front (UNF) coalition led by Wickeremesinghe has moved three no-trust motions against Rajapaksa.

The motions came to be adopted after the speaker summoned Parliament, in a direct confrontation with Sirisena.

9 Responses to “Dissolution of Parliament unconstitutional – Supreme Court”

  1. Charles Says:

    I cannot understand Why the SC took such a long time to decide or rather announce what theyt had decided as I am sure this is what they always wanted do from the begining.

    The Sri Lanka Judges have to learn a lot. This is a judgement not for the benefit of the people and the country, but certainly to please the west above all.

    These are judges who have the same learning and way of judicial thinking like that of Wignesvaran the extremist Tamil racist.

    These Judges cannot change and they live in a different society out of touch with the people. I wonder how many of them were Buddhist, how many Christians and how many Evangelists.

  2. aloy Says:

    Fundamental rights of some eight or nine individuals have been violated. So the judges decided and I can understand that as their dreams were shattered.
    What were their dreams: this was clearly specified by Anura D after the verdict;he said they want to pass the 20A and then disolve the parliament. This is the very reason why Prez dissolved the parliament, I believe. They did not get a mandate to divide the country during the last presidential and parliamentary elections. If they do that it will violate the rights of all the millions that voted for MY3 and UPFA and that will not be able to revrse. Therefore I cannot say that the judgement has delivered justice to the vast majority of people. It has sided with only a small section of the society hell bent on dividing the country.
    If we do not have a country called Sri Lanka as it is known today after 4.5 years, then what good are all these judgements coming one after another in the name of democracy?. I believe the fundamental rights of the people to protect the country from rogue governments have been taken away by the 19A by sneaking in things at the committee stage that actually requires 2/3rd majority as declared by the earlier supreme court.

  3. Geeth Says:

    I knew this is what we are going to get. The judgement was written on the wall. The doubt was their in the air. We could feel it. It was there everywhere. People’s suspicion was proven by the appeal court decision that came before this, which approved a stay order preventing the function of the MR cabinet. However Making Ranil prime minister, or reinstating the former cabinet is not the solution. entire nation knows it. So the referendum is the ultimate solution. No, we can’t give up.

  4. Dilrook Says:

    [Quote] The Supreme Court announces verdict stating that the gazette notification dissolving the parliament is not in accordance with the constitution.

    The seven-member judge bench unanimously made this judgment stating that it was illegal to dissolve the parliament before its 4.5 year term limit. [Unquote]

    It was a unanimous judgement.

    As I said this was a textbook case. Some legal “experts” said a contrary view despite the obvious. We must remember the names of those liars. They will be back again with wrong opinions. Probably Mahinda got advice from such people many a time. He can keep getting advice from them or turn to honest legal experts.

  5. Hiranthe Says:

    In the West, if a thief comes inside your home to rob you, you cannot assault the bad guy because it violates his human rights. It is how stupid the Western thinking.

    They are talking of the human rights of LieTTE suicide bomber who ended up killing 100’s of people and organising compensation to the suicide bombers family. That is what the UNP government was doing.

    By dissolving the parliament, who’s rights are violated is clear. It is the LieTTE.

    These bunch of foolish Supreme Court Judges were ignorant of all these facts. Getting free education from the State will not make anyone smarter. All what they do is interpreting some phrases written by a similar cunning lot, as a holy document and showing they are supreme. If you take an IQ test, I don’t think any one of these top Judges and lawyers will score above our Grade 5 top student.

    They only thought about the Millions of dollars they received. I estimate it will be $3.0m for Nalin Perera, $2.0m for Sisira Abrew and $1.5m for each of the other 5 totalling under $12.5m. A fresh allocation of $2.5m for JVP will add to the total project cost of $15m. JVP will now hurry with the 20A.

    This $15m is peanuts for LieTTE coffers who earns equivalent to McDonald chain. No buying ammunition and guns. No military infrastructure costs. It is all done at top level in a gentlemen fashion with the blessing of their masters, the West and RAW.

    I am really frustrated with this decision as it again opens up the window of opportunity for Run-nil and the rogue team to sell this beautiful Island piece by piece. But I will keep reminding people that the traitor politicians whom we see in TV are not the only traitors who sells their mothers, the following SC judges have sold their mothers yesterday for paving the path for Ealam for a large sum of money.

    1. Chief Justice Nalin Perera,
    2. Justice Buwaneka Aluwihare,
    3. Justice Sisira J de Abrew,
    4. Justice Priyantha Jayawardena,
    5. Justice Prasanna S. Jayawardena,
    6. Justice Vijith K. Malalgoda and
    7. Justice Murdu Fernando.

    Please remember them. We should put a face to these names!!

  6. Ananda-USA Says:

    Hiranthe,

    I am APPALLED and DISGUSTED with the SC decision, as you are.

    In ignoring the National Integrity and Security issues of their decision, they have been APPALLINGLY UNPATRIOTIC and COLLUDED with Sri Lanka’s enemies to help DISMANTLE our Motherland.

    But, did they accept BRIBES as you claim? WHERE is the EVIDENCE?

  7. Ananda-USA Says:

    This ENTIRE FIASCO of Mis-Governance shows only ONE THING: That Sri Lanka’s Constitution, AMENDED many times to suit political convenience of unprincipled leaders is NOW UNABLE TO DEFEND & PROTECT Sri Lanka’s National Interests which go ABOVE & BEYOND “Democracy” considerations! The CURRENT CONSTITUTION is now an EXISTENTIAL THREAT to Sri Lanka’s VERY SURVIVAL as a Sovereign Nation

    The CONSTITUTIONAL SAFEGUARDS for Sri Lanka’s National INTEGRITY and the SECURITY of its People has been TRADED IN for a watered-down Western Style Democracy that the West DICTATES to preserve their interests while the INALIENABLE RIGHTS of Sri Lankans are FLOUTED by their PAID STOOGES in all 3 branches of Government!

    We, the PATRIOTIC CITIZENS of Sri Lanka must TAKE CONTROL of our Motherland before it is LOST FOREVER! We MUST STRENGTTHEN the National Government, and the EXECUTIVE PRESIDENCY FURTHER, while ELIMINATING ALL Sub-National Governments except city, town and village local governments, We must REPEAL both the 19th and 13th Amendments to the Constitution!

    We must ELIMINATE the PM’s post as UNNECESSARY and DUPLICATIVE; the Speaker’s post is sufficient to conduct the LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS of the Parliament. The Parliament MUST NOT HAVE ANY EXECUTIVE ADMINISTRATION ROLE; its business should be SOLELY to LEGISLATE and to Aend as needed ad Approve the BUDGET as presented to it by the EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT in charge of a CABINET of MINISTERS who report SOLELY to him.

    If the CURRENT FIASCOO has SHOWN ANYTHING, it is that it is a FATAL MISTAKE to DIVIDE the powers of the EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT between a WEAKEEED PRESIDENT and an EXECUTIVE Prime Minister! That experiment HAS NOW BEEN demonstrably proved to be UNWORKABLE, FLAWED from the VERY START and a NEAR-FATAL DISASTER!

    We must HALT the ECTA and Singapore Agreements NOW! We must IMMEDIATELY MOVE to take back ALL STRATEGIC National Assets . like our Ports, Airports, Banks, Hospitals, Teaching Institutions, Highways, Refineries, Factories, Petroleum Tank Farms, Construction Companies, Real Estate, etc. As far as possible, we must award our National Development Contracts to Companies that are owned at least 60% by Sri Lankan citizens.

    Sri Lanka’s ENEMIES, both WITHIN and WITHOUT, will be within a STONE’s THROW of achieving their MACHIAVELIAN DESIGNS should Hitapu PARA-GATHI AGA-MATHI Ranil Wikunanasighe, and his SEPARATIST Alies in the TNA and the SLMC cimb back into the SEAT of Power, with the EVER-OPPORTUNISTIC and SUPREMELY UNPATRIOTIC JVP enthusuastically pushing the 20th Amendment to strike the FINAL NAILS into the COFFIN of NOW SUPINE Mother Lanka’s heaving BREAST!

    I havew said it before, and I will say it again: President Sirisea shhould not back down ONE-INCH; he should SUSPEND the Parliament and SHUT IT DOWN under armed forces protection, DECLARE an EMERGENCY and IMPOSE Martia Law; EXPEL Ranil from the Temple Trees, charge him with Trespassing on Government Property and seek DAMAGES both Real and Punitive; and MOST IMPORTANTLY MOVE to HOLD a GEERAL Parliamentary ELECTION to DETERMINE the WILL of the PEOPLE!

    NEVER HAND the Government back to the ACCOMPLISHED CROOKS and TRAITORS of Ranil Baba ad his 40-Thieves without the SUPPPORT of the VOTERS of Sri Lanka!

  8. Randeniyage Says:

    Constitutions cannot be written assuming certain individuals are the protectors of the nation and giving them absolute power.
    I wonder whether any of the commentators anyhow criticizing the decision has read the 88 page report by the bench.
    Judges have said AG argument of applying article 38(2) is logically flawed.
    I invite all to read it.

  9. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    1. Chief Justice Nalin Perera,
    2. Justice Buwaneka Aluwihare,
    3. Justice Sisira J de Abrew,
    4. Justice Priyantha Jayawardena,
    5. Justice Prasanna S. Jayawardena,
    6. Justice Vijith K. Malalgoda and
    7. Justice Murdu Fernando.

    SC panel had 3 portuguese nationals and as expected the judgement went in favour of the portuguese national Batalande wandakaya to destroy our country further. How much money influenced this decision, only
    Wandakaya and the ambattayins from the spy centres aka embassies will know. We have to thank traitor
    Sinhalese who support these anti Buddhist, anti Sri Lanka, anti Sinhalese catholic-run UNPatriotic_rats party
    With the support of tamils, mussies and catholics , and full support of us, uk, france etc. etc destroying
    Sinhalese race, Buddhism and Sri Lanka. Their eventual goal is drealam and mussiesthan
    while west get rid of the Chinese in the indian ocean.

    Traitor Sinhalese just think about wandakaya’s titles:
    Traitor chief
    die hard catholic token Buddhist
    bay gal karaya
    samanalaya in chief
    mega thief
    mega thakkadiya
    walking crime bomb (against Sinhalese Buddhist, Buddhism and Sri Lanka only)
    Batalande Wandakaya
    Pol Pot
    ([email protected]_)leech
    wickrama Sinhala killer.

    At least think about last bit of its name. It says, SINHALA KILLER. Brain cells <1 to support a monster
    who has only been only destroying Sinhalese race (Buddhists only), Sri Lanka and Buddhism in the past 40
    years? Future generations will be cursing you for helping to dig the graves for the Sinhalese race, Sri Lanka and
    Buddhism by supporting this monster! Just take one look at wandakaya's chief lieutenants at the moment:
    Tamils Nadu Alliance aka TNA's samba nathan, church acolyte sumanthiran, Sri Lanka Multiplying Community
    aka SLMC's kabir hashih, a sad ali (not enough children to be sad?), bada udin etc. etc. Friends of Sinhalese/
    Sri Lanka or Buddhism? You know the answer if you have an iota of patriotism! Dump wandakaya and anti
    Sinhalese, anti Buddhist, anti Sri Lanka catholic-run UNPatriotic_rats party for good if Sinhalese race, Sri
    Lanka (in one piece), Buddhism want to survive in the Island.

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