13 December 2018, Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) warmly welcomes the judgment by the Supreme Court today holding unanimously that the Proclamation issued by the President on November 9 to dissolve Parliament and call for a General Election is ultra vires and unconstitutional. The Court’s judgment is historic, coming at a highly charged moment when Sri Lanka’s constitutional and democratic processes are under unprecedented and severe strain.
In making its judgment, the seven member Supreme Court bench, comprising Chief Justice Nalin Perera and Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Sisira J de Abrew, Priyantha Jayawardena, Prasanna S. Jayawardena, Vijith Kumara Malalgoda and Murdu Fernando, have acted to uphold constitutional due process. We commend the Court for strongly signalling its commitment to judicial independence, democracy, fundamental rights, the rule of law, and the Constitution of Sri Lanka.
The judgment follows the Court’s earlier decision to stay the proclamation and grant leave to proceed on a number of fundamental rights applications, including those filled by CPA and its Executive Director, Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu. CPA was the only civil society organisation to petition the Court against the President’s purported dissolution of Parliament, which it has maintained as illegal and unconstitutional from the beginning of the present crisis.
CPA hopes that all political actors involved will now accept, respect and follow the judgment and work to bring about a speedy resolution to the present crisis. Sri Lanka’s democracy, its citizens and its economy can and must not suffer the catastrophic consequences of this crisis any longer.
Viran Corea, Bhavani Fonseka, Khyati Wikramanayake and Inshira Faliq acted as counsel for CPA and were instructed by R.M. Balendra.