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SC grants leave to proceed with FR filed by affected residents of Salawa


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The Supreme Court on Monday granted leave to proceed with the Fundamental Rights petition filed by the residents of Salawa in Kosgama affected by the explosion at the Salawa Army Camp armoury.

The Bench comprising Justices Priyatha Jayawardane, Nalin Perera and Vijith K. Malalgoda granted leave to proceed for the alleged violation of their Fundamental Right to equality.

Shantha Jayawardane with Chamara Nanayakkarawasam instructed by Sunil Wattagala appeared for the petitioners. Senior State Counsel Rajiv Gunatilake appeared for the Attorney General.

They complain that the relief granted to them is inadequate and impugns the alleged arbitrary failure and refusal on the Secretaries of Defence Ministry, the Disaster Management Ministry and Finance Ministry, Army Commander, Disaster Management Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Science Susil Premajayantha and others.

They state Salawa in Kosgama is a highly-congested residential and the Army Camp with it armoury was established in 1994 despite the protests of the residents.

They state that on 5 June 2016, the armoury exploded continuously and the people of the area were within three km were evacuated and state that due to the said explosion, their dwellings/business premises and movable properties and livestock, etc., were damaged.

About 250 families within the Seethawaka Divisional Secretariat Division were adversely affected the said explosion, they state.

They complain on the Respondent’s failure to establish the mechanism recommended by the Human Rights Commission to which the Respondents agreed.

They state that Cabinet of Ministers on 20 July 2016 granted approval of funds to pay compensation sought by the Disaster Management Minister as follows: to pay a sum of Rs. 25,000 for the person who lost a leg and to pay a sum of Rs. 100,000 to the family of the deceased army officer/soldier; to pay damages for the movable properties based on the police report, recommendations of the Assessment Committee and the recommendation of the Committees headed by the Divisional Secretary; to obtain approval for payment of Rs. 50,000 for 54 business places which were paid as per the earlier Cabinet approval; to pay Rs. 50,000 allowance to families who cannot go back to their damaged houses until their houses are reconstructed.

                                                                      (S.S) 


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