Parliament sessions after dissolution unprecedented
[TamilNet, Thursday, 14 September 2000, 05:54 GMT]
Availing herself of a constitutional provision that no government has had recourse to in the past, the Sri Lankan President convened the Parliament Thursday to approve emergency regulations. Legal sources said the move is perplexing because the Sri Lankan constitution provides for emergency regulations declared by the President under the Public Security Ordinance to be in operation until ten days after the date on which the new Parliament shall meet and sit after the conclusion of the general elections.
According to Section 5 Article 155 of the constitution, emergency regulations proclaimed by the President will be in operation for one month from the date of the proclamation. However, according to Section 6 of Article 155, the Presidential proclamation of the regulations under the Public Security Ordinance will expire in fourteen days if not approved by Parliament by a simple majority.
But Section 6 (a) of Article 155 makes provision to keep emergency regulations in operation in a situation where the Parliament is dissolved and hence cannot meet within fourteen days to approve the proclamation of the regulations.
According to Section 6 (a) of Article 155, "if Parliament stands dissolved at the date of making such proclamation then such proclamation shall expire at the end of ten days after the date on which Parliament shall next meet and sit..."
Therefore, legal sources said that it raises many serious questions as to why the government is having such unprecedented recourse to Section 4 (i) of Article 155 to summon the Parliament by a Presidential proclamation of emergency regulations after its dissolution and to keep it in session until the expiry or revocation of the proclamation or the conclusion of the general election, whichever event occurs earlier.
Section 7 of Article 70 of the Sri Lankan constitution also provides for President to convene the Parliament after its dissolution.
According to this section - "If at any date after the dissolution of Parliament the President is satisfied that an emergency has arisen of such nature that an earlier meeting of Parliament is necessary, he may by proclamation summon the Parliament which has been dissolved to meet on a date not less than three days from the date of such proclamation and such Parliament shall stand dissolved upon the termination of the emergency or the conclusion of the General Election, whichever is earlier".