TNA files petition challenging Local Authorities Amended Bill

[TamilNet, Thursday, 28 October 2010, 11:30 GMT]
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Wednesday filed a petition in Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court that the “Local Authorities (Special Provisions)” Bill seeks to amend the Municipal Councils Ordinance, the Urban Councils Ordinance and the Pradeshiya Saba Act No. 15 of 1987 while the “Local Authorities Elections (Amendment)” Bill seeks to amend the “Local Authorities Elections Ordinance” which cannot become law without the ratification of the elected Northern Provincial Council (NPC).

Mavai Senathirajah in the capacity of the General Secretary of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchchi (ITAK), a major constituent of the TNA signed the petition which was submitted by his counsel Mohan Balendra.

The petitioner has cited the Attorney General as the respondent.

The Northern Provincial Council has no elected administration and is being administered by the Governor appointed by the central government since the de-merger of the North-East Provincial Council (NEPC).

Before the de-merger NEPC was administered by the governor appointed by the central government since the dissolution of the NEPC in 1991 by the then President R. Premadasa.

Now the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) after the de-merger is being administered by an elected administration.

Mavai Senathirajah in his petition said the two Bills cannot become law due to non-compliance with Article 154G (3) of the Constitution which reads that “No Bill in respect of any matter set out in the Provincial Council List shall become law unless such Bill has been referred by the President, after its publication in the Gazette and before it is placed on the Order Paper of Parliament, to every Provincial Council for the expression of its view.

He said the present Bills seek to legislate on subjects that were set out in the Provincial Council List and alleged that the very conduct of the president in referring the said Bills to all Provincial Councils except the Northern Provincial Council, was clear evidence of the fact that the Bills were considered by their own proponents to seek to legislate on matters set out in the Provincial Council List.

Mavai Senathirajah said there was no evidence before parliament that these Bills had in fact been referred to other Provincial Councils for the expression of their views before it was placed on the Parliament Order Paper.

 

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