By S.S. Selvanayagam
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), the unofficial Bar yesterday (4) sought a fuller Supreme Court Bench to hear the fundamental rights petition on the Easter Sunday (April 21) attacks on churches and hotels.
The Bench comprising Justices Prasanna S. Jayawardena, Lalith Dehideniya and P. Padman Surasena fixed the matter for June 6 to be taken up along with other kindred petitions.
Petitioners BASL President Kalinga N. Indatissa PC, its Deputy President Shavindra Fernando PC, Secretary Kaushalya Nawaratne, Treasurer Nalin Chandika De Silva and Assistant Secretary Vishwa De Livera Tennekoon cited Defence Secretary Gen. S.H.S. Kottegoda (Retd), former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando, IGP Pujith Jayasundera and the members of the Cabinet of ministers as respondents.
President’s Counsel Sanjeeva Jayawardena appeared for the petitioners. Additional Solicitor General Farzana Jameel appeared for the Attorney General. Shamil Perera PC appeared for Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith.
Petitioners are seeking a declaration that any person found interfering with or attempting to interfere with the anti-terrorism operations of the police and the armed forces should be forthwith arrested and arraigned before the law or otherwise dealt with swiftly in terms of the law.
They also seek a declaration that special and sustained investigations and other related pre-emptive actions should be taken by any and all of the respondents to identify, locate, confiscate and prevent all funding and sources of funding being made accessible to terrorism and terrorists.
They are asking a declaration that special resources be allocated to enhancing the efficacy of the intelligence services of Sri Lanka and the training of personnel and also direct that co-operation in the form of intelligence sharing with other countries should be maximised.
They seek another declaration from the court that the Fundamental Rights of the Petitioners as well as all persons and the citizens of Sri Lanka, as well as those of the victims of the Easter Sunday bombings and their families guaranteed by Articles 12(1), 14(1)(b), 14(1)(e), 12(2), 10 and 14(1)(g) of the Constitution have been infringed by the respondents.
Petitioners are seeking a declaration that any person found interfering with or attempting to interfere with the anti-terrorism operations of the police and the armed forces should be forthwith arrested