Another victory for democracy
The Speaker announces to the Parliament the Supreme Court decision on the petition against the amendment proposed to the Local Government Ordinance by Jayantha Katagoda MP.
Today (8th August), the Speaker announced to the parliament the decision of the Supreme Court on the petition filed by PAFFREL and several other parties against the Local Governments Amendments bills presented to the Parliament by Jayantha Katagoda, MP, to reinstate the former Councilors of the dissolved LG bodies. Mr. Rohana Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director, PAFFREL represented the PAFFREL in filing the petition.
The PAFFREL has repeatedly expressed its protest against the people's representatives holding to their office beyond the limit they were elected for by the people and the Councilors acting in an arbitrary and undemocratic manner. This petition bearing the number SC (SD) NO 25/2023 was filed on the 12th July making Mr. Jayantha Katagoda MP and the Attorney General the respondents of the case.
The decision of the Supreme Court on this petition which has been referred to the Honorable Speaker today (August 8, 2023) was announced to the Parliament by the Hon Speaker and the latter stated that the Clause 2 of all three amendments proposed namely the "Pradeshiya Sabha Act (Amendment)" "Urban Councils Ordinance (Amendment)" and "Municipal Councils Ordinance (Amendment)" which were challenged before the Supreme Court is inconsistent with Articles 1, 12 (1), 82, 83 and 104B of the Constitution, and therefore the Supreme Court has decided that all three bills pertain to the "Pradeshiva Sabha Act (Amendment)" "Urban Councils Ordinance (Amendment)" and "Municipal Councils Ordinance (Amendment)" should be passed by special majority vote of the Parliament and also approved by the people in a referendum according to the provisions of Article 83 of the Constitution.
This judgment is a great victory achieved in recent history by the people who value democracy in Sri Lanka. Also it is envisaged to achieve similar victories in respect of the other petitions filed by the Paffrel and other parties in the Supreme Court in relation to the postponement of local government elections arbitrarily. Despite there has been a recent tendency among politicians to abuse parliamentary power and undermine democratic values to consolidate their power, this judgment emphasizes that such practices could not be continued any longer.