Rusiru Egodage (left) and Namini Panditha
Liberal Youth Movement (LYM) convenors Namini Panditha and Rusiru Egodage have filed a fundamental rights petition challenging the emergency regulations of 18 July.
According to the Petition, the petitioners claim that the said regulations violate their fundamental rights and the fundamental rights of the Sri Lankan people, guaranteed by Articles 11, 12(1), 13(1), 13(2), 13(5), 14(1)(a), 14(1)(b), and 14(1)(c) of the Constitution.
The Petitioners state that certain provisions of the emergency regulations impose unconstitutional restrictions on the freedom of expression, as even legitimate criticism of the Government and the dissemination of accurate information that may alarm some portions of the population can be potentially punished under the regulations.
They further state that certain provisions of the regulations also empower the President to prohibit even peaceful and non-violent gatherings without cause, and therefore violate the people’s freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association.
They also state that certain provisions of the regulations have no rational nexus to national security or public order, such as the provisions that enable the arrest and detention of persons suspected of archaic criminal offences, including same-sex relations between consenting adults. The petitioners argue that such provisions have no connection whatsoever with the maintenance of public security in the country.
Dr. Gehan Gunathilake will appear on behalf of the petitioners representing the Liberal Youth Movement (LYM).