By S.S. Selvanayagam
The Supreme Court yesterday (29) refused to grant leave to proceed with the Fundamental Rights violation petition filed against the Eastern Province Chief Minister as well as the President concerning the incident where the Chief Minister had allegedly snubbed a Naval Officer at a school function at Sampoor.
The bench comprising Chief Justice K. Sripavan and Justices Priyantha Jayawardane and Prasanna S. Jayawardane was of the view that the Petitioner has no locus standi (right to appear or to be heard).
Petitioner P. Liyanaarachchi who the President of Sri Lanka Janatha Peramuna in his petition cited Eastern Province Chief Minister Z.A. Nazeer Ahamed and the Attorney General as Respondents.
Dharshana Weraduwage appeared for the Petitioner. Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Rajaratnam appeared for the State and the Attorney General. M.I.M. Ashan appeared for the Chief Minister.
He states the Chief Minister verbally abused and threatened a Uniformed Naval Officer Captain Premaratne, the Officer-in-Charge of the Sampur Naval Base at an opening ceremony of Science Lab and the Computer Unit for Sampur Maha Vidyalaya on 20 May in the presence of Eastern Province Governor Austin Fernando and US Ambassador Atul Keshap.
In the course of this purported incident, the Chief Minister’s hand had accidently hit the face of a uniformed school girl, he states.
He states Governor Austin Fernando was the Chief Guest of the ceremony in which the Chief Minister, Provincial Ministers, Provincial Council Chief Secretary, Government Agent, principals and students participated.
He bemoaned the alleged behaviour of a public official which, he claims, is subject to judicial review.
He laments since the incident, Rear Admiral Neil Rosayro, Navy Commanding Officer of the Eastern Province and Deputy Chief of Staff of the Navy, was transferred.
He complains the act of the Chief Minister who is mandated and obliged to act only in accordance with the Constitution and the law has given rise to a public disquiet and may demoralise the armed forces, directly affecting national security.
He bemoans the President who is constitutionally mandated to ensure that the Constitution is respected and upheld as the Head of the State, Executive, Government and the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces to promote national reconciliation and integration was unable to take prompt and suitable action to end the public disquiet which stemmed from the said incident.
He is seeking a declaration from the Court that the fundamental rights of the citizenry and his have been violated.