FR challenging political parties with racial and religious identities fixed for support | Daily News

FR challenging political parties with racial and religious identities fixed for support

The Supreme Court yesterday fixed for support for June 6, a Fundamental Rights petition which challenged the existence of political parties with racial and religious identities in the country in violation of the citizens' fundamental rights guaranteed in the constitution.

The petitioner, President's Counsel Prasantha Lal de Alwis cited the Election Commissioner, Secretaries of 20 political parties and the Attorney General as respondents.

In his petition, Alwis sought an order directing the Election Commissioner to declare the respondent political parties are to be cancelled after expiration of four years unless they amend and change their racial and religious objectives and character or names.

Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK), Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), Bodu Jana Peramuna (BJP), Akila Ilankai Thamil Congress (AITC), Akila Ilankai Thamil Mahasabha (AITM), Ceylon Makkal Congress (CMC), Pathamanabha Eelam Revolutionary Liberation Party (PERLP), Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), Nawa Sihala Urumaya (NSU), Muslim National Alliance (MNA), Democratic People's Front (DPF) and the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) were several political parties listed as the respondents by the petitioner.

The petitioner stated that during the nomination, pre-election political campaign and post election events he was subjected to heavy racial, religious based propaganda and views.

Therefore it created a confusion and conflict in the mind process of the petitioner when deciding which party to vote.

The petitioner stated that he being a Sinhala Buddhist, he himself found unable to join and to be an activist in the political parties of which the pre-requisite was of other race and religion.

Similarly, the petitioner found to his dismay that other citizens of Sri Lanka of other races and religions were unable to join any political party due to their racial and religious identities.

Therefore, the petitioner submitted that discrimination is caused to him and all other citizens on the basis of race and religion due to existence of such recognised racial religious based political parties.

He stated that in considering the vote he needed to exercise at the General Election 2015, he was adversely affected by such discriminative political process due to the existence of such recognised racial, religious based political parties thus infringing his fundamental right of freedom of thought, conscience and religion enshrined in article 10 of the constitution.

The petitioner stated that it imminently violates the right of the petitioner to live in a unitary state of Sri Lanka and thereby violates fundamental rights of freedom of movement and of choosing in residence within Sri Lanka stated under Article 14(1) h of the constitution.

The petitioner also sought an order compelling secretaries of 20 political parties to submit their political party constitutions and objectives to court. 


 

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