Expelled UNP MPs file case
[TamilNet, Monday, 06 December 1999, 14:43 GMT]
Four Parliamentarians Sarath Amunugama, Wijepala Mendis, Nantha Mathew, and Susil Moonesinghe have filed fundamental rights applications challenging their expulsion from the United National Party (UNP).
UNP Chairman Karu Jayasuriya, General Secretary Gamini Athukorale and the Secretary General of Parliament are cited as respondents.
The applications seek a declaration that their expulsion from Parliament was null and void.
They also seek a declaration that they continue to be members of the UNP.
The applications filed by them through their Counsel Abdul Najeem stated that the late S. Thondaman and the Ceylon Workers Congress contested the 1994 parliamentary election on the UNP ticket.
The application went on to state that having won, Thondaman held a portfolio in the People's Alliance Government while being in the UNP and yet the UNP never took any disciplinary action against him until his demise.
The application alleges that in respect of these applicants, the UNP took hasty disciplinary action, which was discriminatory.
The applications further stated that while being in the UNP the applicants responded to the call made by President Kumaratunge to form a national government.
The application drew the attention of the Court to the fact that UNP Presidential candidate Ranil Wickremasinghe himself had stated that on being elected he would form a national government, even with PA Parliamentarians.
The applications stated that their expulsion from UNP was a denial of freedom of thought and expression.