November 20, 2019
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    Takeover of Rupavahini under Defense Ministry legal, AG tells court Featured

    October 19, 2019

    The Attorney General yesterday submitted to the Supreme Court that the President’s decision to bring the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) under the purview of the Defence Ministry is constitutional.Additional Solicitor General Indika Demuni de Silva appearing on behalf of the Attorney General made this submission when two Fundamental Rights petitions filed against the bringing of the SLRC under the Defence Ministry were taken up for support.


    The Additional Solicitor General argued that the President has discretionary powers to determine the subjects and functions relevant to his Ministries including the Ministry of Defence, Mahaweli Development and Environment. This petition had been filed seeking an interim order suspending the operation of the Gazette notification and directing that the President shall exercise no power of functions with regard to the SLRC.
    Parliamentarian Ashu Marasinghe, Ven. Dambara Amila Thera and Prof. Chandraguptha Thenuwara filed this petition naming the President and the Attorney General as respondents. The petitioners further sought a declaration that the President’s decision to bring the SLRC under the Defence Ministry has violated the fundamental rights guaranteed to the petitioners by Article 12(1) of the Constitution.

    On September 9, 2019, the President, by Gazette Extraordinary No.2140/2, brought the SLRC under the purview of the Defence Ministry. This Gazette notification was issued to remove the SLRC from the purview of the non-Cabinet State Media Minister.The petitioners further stated that the only subjects and functions which can be assigned to the incumbent President are the Defence, Mahaweli Development and Environment Ministries.They further stated that subjects and functions other than of Defence, Mahaweli Development and Environment cannot be assigned to the President.
    The petitioners stated that in terms of Articles 43 and 44 of the Constitution, subjects and functions can only be assigned to Cabinet Ministers.President’s Counsel Sanjeewa Jayawardena with Counsel Suren Fernando counsel Dilumi de Alwis and Lakmini Warusevitane appeared for the petitioners. Additional Solicitor General Indika Demuni de Silva appeared for the respondents.

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