Petition on Ambagamuwa PS re-fixed for support | Daily News

Petition on Ambagamuwa PS re-fixed for support

A Fundamental Rights petition which sought an Interim Order restraining the Elections Commission from taking steps to hold elections for three Pradeshiya Sabhas, including the Ambagamuwa Pradeshiya Sabha, was re-fixed for support by the Supreme Court yesterday.

The Supreme Court’s two-Judge-bench comprising Chief Justice Priyasath Dep and Justice Anil Goonaratne, fixed the petition for support on January 8, since the Attorney General sought further time to obtain instructions from the Election Commission Chairman.

The Court was informed that the Election Commission Chairman is yet to receive notices. The Election Commission Chairman was re-noticed to appear in Court on the next date. The All Ceylon Buddhist Congress and the Chief Incumbent of the Sri Padasthana sought court's permission to intervene into this petition.

The petitioner, H.D.D. Nandaraja, a former member of the Ambagamuwa Pradeshiya Sabha, also seeks an Interim Order suspending the operation of the Gazette Notification issued by the Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Governments, dated 2.11.2017 in respect of these Pradeshiya Sabhas until the final determination of this application.

The Petitioner stated that the Local Government Minister in declaring the dissolution of the Ambagamuwa Pradeshiya Saba and constituting the aforesaid three Pradeshiya Sabhas has –inter alia:

(1) Effected the sub-division of Local Government areas of the former Ambagaumwa Pradeshiya Sabha solely on an ethnic basis;

(2) Failed to consider the historical importance, significance and sacred value of the Sri Pada for the Buddhists, which was located within the local limits of the existing Ambagamuwa Pradeshiya Sabha;

(3) Failed to consider the identity and the rights of the historical inhabitants residing within the local limits of the existing Ambagamuwa Pradeshiya Sabha;

(4) Failed to assure due protection and fostering of Buddha Sasana (guaranteed by Article 9 of the Constitution), by placing Sri Pada, the most Sacred Place of worship of Buddhists and the sanctuary forming part and parcel thereof in immense danger of mismanagement and ill-treatment by non-Buddhists;

(5) Failed to consider the historical and social reasons and requirements for the demarcation of the existing boundaries of the Ambagauwa Pradeshiya Saba and the need to correspond to the limits of the Assistant Government Agent’s Division (Divisional Secretary);

(6) Failed to consider the equal rights for effective participation of the people in local government and development of the people living in the existing Ambagamuwa Pradeshiya Saba limits and the right for equal distribution of the revenue, wealth and natural resources therein;

(7) Acted ultra-vires, arbitrary, capricious and violate the principle of Natural Justice and Rule of Law.

The petitioner said though there had been no date fixed by the Election Commission to call for nominations with regard to the elections of the Ambagamuwa Pradeshiya Sabha, he had made public announcements that such nominations would be called for Local Government bodies of the entire country together.

Senior Counsel Kanishka Vitharana with Counsel H.M. Thilakaratne, under the instructions of Nuwan Bellanthudawa, appeared for the petitioner. 


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