UNF said to have power to de-proscribe

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 03 September 2002, 09:52 GMT]
A leading legal luminary has said that the Defence Minister in the United National Front (UNF) government has the authority to issue gazette notification announcing the de-proscription of the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. "Once the ban on LTTE is lifted the President absolutely has no right to change that decision," said President Counsel Mr. Desmond Fernando referring to the constitutional conflict that has arisen following the President's remarks that she would oppose de-proscription.

A former Attorney General, Mr.Tilak Marapone is the Defence Minister in the UNF government.

Mr. Fernando, who is also a former president of the International Bar Association, said, "it is necessary to lift the ban on the LTTE to strengthen the trust now in force following the cease-fire agreement between the two parties."

He questioned why the President is now opposing the de-proscription of the LTTE as she had earlier supported the ban removal ten days ahead of peace talks in Thailand.

Attorney-at-Law Mr. J. C. Williams participating in a discussion in the Colombo Russian Centre on "Constitutional Conflict and Peace process" said the country needs a new constitution that could ensure cohabitation of the country and the people. He stressed that under the present constitution, the Defence Minister has the authority to order the de-proscription of the LTTE and that the president has not been empowered in this regard.

Mr. Vasudeva Nanayakara, leader of the Democratic Left Front stated that President Chandrika is now "going behind the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna" (JVP) in opposing the de-proscription and an interim administration. The JVP is the only political party is now opposing the peace process and supporting war in the northeast, he noted. He added, "there is no constitutional conflict in the country. The constitution should be changed according to the needs of the country."

"A new leadership is surfacing in the main opposition Peoples Alliance. The President's influence in the PA is now diminishing," Mr. Nanayakara said.


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