FSP takes President to SC for continuing to use draconian law


By Saman Indrajith

The Supreme Court will take up today a fundamental rights violation petition filed by Frontline Socialist Party against incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena continuing to call out all members of the armed forces under the provisions of Public Security Ordinance for active service.

"We filed a petition against continuation of routine acts practiced by previous regimes which amounts to violation of fundamental rights of people. People voted for Maithripala Sirisena as they wanted to get rid of ‘military rule’. It is now clear that instead of Maithree Palanaya

the military rule will continue," Propaganda Secretary of the Frontline Socialist Party (FLSP) Pubudu Jayagoda told The Island yesterday.

Emergency regulations which had been used to control political opponents by successive governments for decades had been relaxed in August 2011 by the then government in power, he said. "But thereafter it had become routine for the President to call out all the members of armed forces for active service. This is done under the provisions of the Section 12 of the Public Security Ordinance so that members of the tri-forces could be deployed to carry out police duties. This is a serious threat to the democratic rights of people. It has to be done by the President every month and published under government notifications of the gazette. Last time President Mahinda Rajapaksa signed the notification on Jan. 3. Its effects ceased on Feb. 3."

"When the previous government was dislodged we thought that the new one which promised good governance and safeguarding of democratic rights of people would not sign it. But, hearing that President Maithripala Sirisena, too, was to sign the gazette notification we filed a petition at the Supreme Court on Feb 2 pointing out that it would violate the fundamental rights of citizens. Despite that now we hear that the President has signed it. Our petition will be taken for consideration on Thursday. It is sad that many of those who clamoured against suppressive administration of Rajapaksa government are silent today," Jagoda said.

Petitioner is Duminda Nagamauwa Central Committee member of the FSP and the respondents are the President, commanders of the tri-forces, IGP N.K. Illangkoon, Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya and Solicitor General.

The gazette notification to be read out in Parliament by Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa under President’s announcements said: ‘By virtue of the powers vested in me by Section 12 of the Public Security Ordinance (Chapter 40), I, Maithripala Sirisena, do by this order call out all the members of the armed forces specified in the First Schedule hereto (Army, Navy and Air Force) for the maintenance of public order in the areas specified in the Second Schedule hereto (the 25 administrative districts of the country).

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