|Complaint against north-east merger: right to be heard to be
ascertained on June 4
by Chitra Weerarathne
The Thera and five other petitioners are electors of the Eastern Province, while four petitioners are citizens from Colombo, who had come to court in the interests of the public.
Justice Shirani Tilakawardene of the Court of Appeal said that the petition could be supported only after the Attorney General ascertains the locus standi of the petitioners.
Counsel Elmo Perera said that the AG was made the first respondent since a poll could be declared only by the President. Counsel said that a date in July will be too late since everything will be over then, through discussions to be held in June in Thailand.
The notice returnable date was fixed on June 4. The petition said that the impending merger of the Northern and Eastern Province without a referendum in the East, will impair the interests of the majority electors in the East.
The petition requested the court to quash the decision to merge, without previously holding a poll in the Eastern Province.
The second respondent is the Minister of Home Affairs and Provincial Councils, Alick Aluvihare while the third is the Secretary to the Ministry.
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