SLPP files RTI ask­ing whether it was sought

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS - BY LAHIRU POTHMULLA

The Sri Lanka Po­du­jana Per­a­muna (SLPP) has sub­mit­ted a right to in­for­ma­tion (RTI) ap­pli­ca­tion to the Pres­i­den­tial Sec­re­tar­iat ask­ing whether the Pres­i­dent or any­one on be­half of him sought le­gal ad­vice from the new At­tor­ney Gen­eral Dap­pula de Livera on the tenure of Pres­i­dent Maithri­pala Sirisena.

SLPP Chair­man Pro­fes­sor G.L. Peiris yes­ter­day said the RTI ap­pli­ca­tion was sent to the In­for­ma­tion Of­fi­cer at the Pres­i­den­tial Sec­re­tar­iat.

Speak­ing at a news brief­ing, he said SLFP Gen­eral Sec­re­tary MP Dayasiri Jayasekera made a state­ment to the ef­fect that the opin­ion of the Supreme Court would be sought on the ques­tion when Pres­i­dent Maithri­pala Sirisena’s term of of­fice would ex­pire.

“Mr. Jayasekera ar­gued that since the 19th Amend­ment to the Con­sti­tu­tion, which re­duced the Pres­i­dent’s term from six years to five was cer­ti­fied by the Speaker on May 15th, 2015, the Pres­i­dent’s term of of­fice com­menced on that date. Mr. Jayasekera added that le­gal ad­vice was be­ing sought on this is­sue. Mr. Jayasekera also stated that the opin­ion of the Supreme Court would be sought only af­ter the ap­point­ment of the new Chief Jus­tice. Chief Jus­tice Nalin Per­era was due to re­tire from that of­fice on April 28th. On April 26th, the Con­sti­tu­tional Coun­cil ap­proved the rec­om­men­da­tion of Pres­i­dent Sirisena that Jayan­tha Jaya­suriya be ap­pointed as the Chief Jus­tice,” he said.

In his ap­pli­ca­tion, Pro­fes­sor Peiris asked whether on or about April 8th, or at any time be­fore or af­ter such date, Pres­i­dent Sirisena or any­one on his be­half or at his re­quest sought le­gal ad­vice from At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jayan­tha Jaya­suriya over the ex­piry date of Pres­i­dent’s tenure.

“I did not in­quire what ad­vice, if any, was pro­vided, or the con­tent of any com­mu­ni­ca­tion re­ceived from the At­tor­ney Gen­eral or any of­fi­cer as­sist­ing the At­tor­ney Gen­eral which, of course, is priv­i­leged, but whether ad­vice was sought from the At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s De­part­ment when Jayan­tha Jaya­suriya is serv­ing as At­tor­ney Gen­eral,” he said.

“This is a mat­ter of grave na­tional im­por­tance in view of Mr. Jayasekera’s state­ment that the Pres­i­dent would be seek­ing the opin­ion of the Supreme Court only af­ter Chief Jus­tice Nalin Per­era re­tired and af­ter the new Chief Jus­tice was ap­pointed; a de­lay which is in­ex­pli­ca­ble if the ques­tion of law “is of such a na­ture and of such pub­lic im­por­tance that it is ex­pe­di­ent to ob­tain the opin­ion of the Supreme Court upon it” (Ar­ti­cle 129),” Prof. Peiris said.

Mean­while, he said the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion Chair­man has in­formed the Pres­i­dent that the nom­i­na­tions for the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion should be called be­fore Oc­to­ber 20 and the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion should be held on a date be­tween Novem­ber 15 and De­cem­ber 08.

“Too many elec­tions have al­ready been post­poned. We won’t al­low the govern­ment to post­pone the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion as well,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Sri Lanka

© PressReader. All rights reserved.