SC concludes inquiry on SL President's petition

[TamilNet, Friday, 31 October 2003, 16:20 GMT]
The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka Friday concluded its one-day inquiry into the application made by President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, to determine whether the Executive President or the Defense Minister has the executive powers regarding the country's security, legal sources said.

The Chief Justice, Mr.Sarath N.Silva, announced at the conclusion of the inquiry that the determination of the application would be sent to Ms. Kumaratunga under seal, court sources said.

President’s Counsel Mr. H.L.de Silva supporting the application argued that, according to the constitution, the President is directly entrusted with executive powers including state security and these powers cannot be abandoned by any means.

At that stage, the Chief Justice queried what was the reason for appointing a Minister of Defense if the constitution had pointed out that the state security is an inalienable right of the President.

Counsel Mr. de Silva in response to the query said the President had appointed a Minister for Defense as the administrative power of the country was transferred to another party at the last parliamentary election. Such an appointment has become necessary to promote co-habitation between the two main political parties.

Attorney General Mr.K.C.Kamalasabeyson argued that the Defense Minister is responsible for the implementation of the executive power of the President, and hence the Minister has the power to issue orders relating to defense issues.

The Chief Justice intervened to say, "The State security is the executive power of the President. Abandoning or transferring of such powers by the President amounts to a violation of the country's constitution."

 

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