FR filed seeking order staying Election Commission holding elections to three Pradeshiya Sabhas | Daily News

FR filed seeking order staying Election Commission holding elections to three Pradeshiya Sabhas

A Fundamental Rights petition was yesterday filed in the Supreme Court seeking an Interim Order restraining the Election Commission from taking steps to hold elections for the election of members to three Pradeshiya Sabhas, including the Ambagamuwa Pradehiya Sabha established by Gazette Notification dated November 2, 2017 until the final determination of this petition.

The petitioner, H.D.D. Nandaraja, a former member of the Ambagamuwa Pradeshiya Sabha also seeking an Interim Order suspending the operation of the Gazette issued by the Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Governments dated 2.11.2017 in respect of these Pradeshiya Sabhas until the final determination of this application.

The petitioner stated that Minister Faiszer Musthapa, by order published in the Gazette No.2043/57 of 2.11.2017 dissolved the existing Ambagamuwa Pradeshiya Sabha with effect from the 14th day of February 2018 in order to constitute new Pradeshiya Sabhas, namely the Maskeliya Pradesh Sabha, Norwood Pradeshiya Sabha and Ambagamuwa Pradeshiya Sabha.

The Petitioner states that the Local Government Minister in declaring the dissolution of the Ambagamuwa Pradeshiya Saba and constituting the aforesaid three Pradeshiya Sabas has –inter alia-

(1) Effected the sub-division of the local government areas of the Former Ambagaumwa Pradeshiya Saba solely on an ethnic basis;

(2) Failed to consider the historical importance, significance and sacred value of the Sri Pada for the Buddhists, which is located within the local limits of the existing Ambagamuwa Pradeshiya Sabha;

(3) Failed to consider the identity and the rights of the historical inhabitants residing within the local limits of the existing Ambagamuwa Pradeshiya Sabha;

(4) Failed to assure due protection and fostering of Buddha Sasana (guaranteed by Article 9 of the Constitution) by placing the Sri Pada, the most Sacred Place of worship of Buddhists and the sanctuary forming part and parcel thereof in immense danger of mismanagement and ill-treatment by non-Buddhists;

(5) Failed to consider the historical and social reasons and requirements for the demarcation of the existing boundaries of the Ambagauwa Pradeshiya Saba and the need to correspond to the limits of the Assistant Government Agent’s Division (Divisional Secretary);

(6) Failed to consider the equal right for effective participation of the people in local government and development of the people living in the existing Ambagamuwa Pradeshiya Saba limits and right for equal distribution of the revenue, wealth and natural resources therein;

(7) Acted ultra-vires, arbitrary, capricious and violate the principle of natural Justice and Rule of law.

The petitioner said though there has been no date fixed by the Election Commission to call for nominations with regard to the elections of the Ambagamuwa Pradeshiya Saba, he has made public announcements that such nominations would be called for Local Government bodies of the entire country together. Nominations for some of the Local Government institutions have already been called for by the Chairman of the Commissioner of Elections.

The Petitioner is seeking permission of Your Lordships Court to seek an interim relief by way of a stay order staying or restraining the Election Commission from taking steps to hold such elections for the Pradehiya Sabas established by said gazette until the final determination of this Application; which if implemented shall cause detrimental and irreparable violations of the fundamental rights of the Petitioner and the people of Sri Lanka. 


 

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