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Sri Lankan SC adjourns hearing till tomorrow on petitions against dissolution of Parliament

The court was adjourned on Monday after Attorney General, appearing for the government, sought more time for his submissions.

Several political parties in opposition and civil society organizations filed petitions today against the dissolution terming it as unconstitutional.

The petitioners said the President has no power to dissolve the parliament under the 19th amendment of the constitution and requested the apex court to issue an order to suspend the upcoming general election until the verdict on the hearing is passed.

Interestingly, one of the three election commissioners was also among the petitioners.

His lawyer argued that right to franchise is not only about holding elections but also respecting the choices of people made in previous elections.

Another lawyer said an article of the constitution cannot be read in isolation adding that if that was possible, President can dissolve the parliament the day after it is elected.

Meanwhile, new government under President Mahinda Rajapaksa continued with its outreach activity to justify the developments taking place.

Foreign Minister Dr Sarath Amunugama briefed foreign diplomats based in Colombo and clarified the chain of events that compelled President to dissolve Parliament.

He emphasized the constitutionality of the steps taken and added that having being elected through a nation-wide vote, the President derives his authority directly from the people of Sri Lanka.

Dr. Amunugama also made special note of the peaceful atmosphere that continues to prevail in Sri Lanka, in the midst of internal political changes.

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