Sri Lanka Oppn. to chal­lenge dis­so­lu­tion of Par­lia­ment

High stakes le­gal bat­tle in off­ing as par­ties will move Supreme Court next week

The Hindu - - FRONT PAGE - Meera Srini­vasan

A day af­ter Sri Lankan Pres­i­dent Maithri­pala Sirisena con­tro­ver­sially dis­solved Par­lia­ment, par­ties op­posed to the de­ci­sion are pre­par­ing for a high stakes le­gal bat­tle.

Ma­jor par­ties on Satur­day de­cided to move the Supreme Court early next week, chal­leng­ing Mr. Sirisena’s de­ci­sion that, they said, vi­o­lated the Con­sti­tu­tion.

The United Na­tional Party (UNP) of the de­posed Prime Min­is­ter, Ranil Wick­remesinghe, and its coali­tion part­ners will mount a le­gal chal­lenge, ac­cord­ing to their mem­bers.

The Sri Lanka Mus­lim Congress (SLMC), which is part of the UNP-led front, is con­tem­plat­ing court ac­tion in­de­pen­dent of the coali­tion as well, a se­nior mem­ber said.

The All Cey­lon Makkal Congress (ACMC) is also pre­par­ing to pe­ti­tion the Supreme Court on Mon­day. “This is not be­cause we fear elec­tions, but be­cause we think the Pres­i­dent’s ac­tions are com­pletely un­con­sti­tu­tional and against demo­cratic val­ues,” ACMC leader Rishad Bathi­udeen told

Hindu. The

Fur­ther, the Tamil Na­tional Al­liance (TNA) and the Janatha Vimuk­thi Per­a­muna ( JVP), which were part of the Op­po­si­tion in the House that was dis­solved, are ready­ing to file pe­ti­tions in the Supreme Court on Mon­day.

‘Statute con­tra­vened’

The TNA will seek an in­terim or­der sus­pend­ing the Pres­i­dent’s procla­ma­tion on the dis­so­lu­tion of Par­lia­ment and call­ing for gen­eral elec­tion, party sources said.

Speak­ing to on Satur­day, Leader of the Op­po­si­tion and TNA vet­eran R. Sam­pan­than said the ac­tion taken by the ex­ec­u­tive on Fri­day “con­tra­vened” the Con­sti­tu­tion.

“I don’t think it can be con­sti­tu­tion­ally sup­ported,” Mr. Sam­pan­than said.

The Hindu

AFP ■

Groundswell of sup­port: Ranil Wick­remesinghe’s sup­port­ers shout slo­gans at his residence in Colombo on Satur­day.

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