Writ application filed against Govt. - LTTE MoU

By Chitra Weerarathne

The Secretary of the Sinhala Jathika Sangamaya and the National Joint Committee of Sri Lanka, Dr. Piyasena Dissanayake, yesterday filed a Writ application in the Court of Appeal, seeking to invoke the jurisdiction of the Court to quash the purported agreement entered into on February 23, 2002, between Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, (made the first respondent in the petition) and Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Among the respondents are V. Prabhakaran, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Government of Sri Lanka and the Attorney General.

The petition had further requested the Court to issue a Writ of Prohibition, prohibiting the respondents from giving effect to the purported agreement.

Interim relief has been sought by way a suspension of the purported agreement, until the petition is heard and finally determined by the court. Subsequent to the publication of this purported agreement, the Presidential Secretariat stated that the President was only informed of the said purported agreement, only after the second respondent, Prabhakaran, had placed his signature and only a few hours prior to Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s, scheduled placing of his signature thereon. President Kumaratunga had expressed her surprise and concern with regard to the manner in which this purported agreement had been prepared.

The purported agreement were entered into, between Wickremesinghe and Prabhakaran, in secrecy without permitting any public discussion on the matter. The whole process lacked transparency and accountability, which the Prime Minister held out to the people that he would abide by, prior to the election held on December 5, 2002.

The petition said that Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, has usurped the powers of the President, by entering into this agreement, purported to be acting on behalf of the government of Sri Lanka. The petition said that the conduct of the Prime Minister constitutes a blatant violation of the directive principles of State policy and the fundamental duties of the State enshrined in the

Constitution, namely, the duty of the State to safeguard the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka, the duty to uphold and defend the constitution and the law, the duty to further the national interest and to foster national unity.

The petition said by entering into the purported agreement the first respondent, the Prime Minister, has acted in derogation of Article 3 of the Constitution, which vests the sovereignty of the Republic of Sri Lanka in the people, which is inalienable.

The petition added that, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Minister, have taken a decision to bind the Government of Sri Lanka, in the manner morefully set out in the agreement.

The agreement is ex-facie unlawful, unconstitutional capricious, mala-fide and has been done in excess of or without jurisdiction. The petitioner is entitled to seek a Writ of Certiorari and prohibition, on the purported agreement.

The petition will be supported in Court shortly by S. L. Gunesekera.