FR Petitions to be heard on 27 July

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The Fundamental Rights (FR) Petitions filed seeking an order to hold authorities accountable for their failure to avoid the economic crisis were fixed for hearing on 27 July before a five-Judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice.

Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) and three others filed the petition in public interest, citing the lack of accountability and transparency in the decision-making process that has led to the present economic crisis.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, former Treasury Secretary S.R. Attygalle, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and seven others were named as respondents to the petitions. They are represented by the Attorney-General.

The petitioners observed that the fundamental rights of the citizens to equality, freedom of expression, and the right to information guaranteed under the Constitution have been violated through the actions or inactions of the respondents.

They said the respondents named in the petition are directly responsible for the unsustainability of Sri Lanka’s foreign debt, its hard default on foreign loan repayments, and the present state of the economy.

“The inaction of the respondents has led to the present shortages of food, medicine, fuel and gas in the country, victimising the entire population in an unprecedented manner,” the petitioners said.

Thereby, they sought an order accountable for their illegal, arbitrary, and unreasonable acts or omissions which culminated in the present economic crisis.

By Faadhila Thassim