Poor economic management decisions lead to country’s downfall – PC
President’s Counsel K. Kanageeswaran stated in the Supreme Court yesterday that the cause of the current economic crisis is not the policy decisions of the government but the actions of the respondents.
He said this when the fundamental rights petitions which were filed seeking an order to conduct an investigation against the people responsible for bankrupting the country and the public, were taken up before the Supreme Court.
The petitions were taken up before the Supreme Court Five-Judge-Bench comprising Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Justices Buwaneka Aluvihare, Priyantha Jayawardena, Vijith Malalgoda and L.T.B Dehideniya.
President’s Counsel K. Kangeeswaran appearing on behalf of the Sri Lanka Bar Association stated that he supports the facts presented by these petitioners that the respondents violated the fundamental rights of the people of Sri Lanka by causing an economic crisis through poor economic management and decisions.
He also mentioned that due to certain acts and omissions of the respondents, fundamental rights have clearly been violated.
The President’s Counsel said that reliefs have been sought through petitions based on that and he pointed out that the objections filed by the respondents regarding those matters are unacceptable and that the facts presented to the court that court has no power to grant those reliefs are baseless.
The President’s Counsel said that these petitions have challenged the executive and administrative actions of the respondents and only this court can grant relief regarding the violation of fundamental rights by those actions.
The petitions were filed by the Open University’s Prof.Mahim Mendis, former Chamber of Commerce Chairman Chandra Jayaratne, swimming champion Julian Bolling, Jehan Canegaratne and Transparency International Sri Lanka.
The petitions have cited the Attorney General on behalf of the President, former Finance Minister and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Finance Minister and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, former Central Bank Governors Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Dr. W.D Lakshman, former Finance Ministers Basil Rajapaksa, Ali Sabry, Former Finance Ministry Secretary S.R.Artigala, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka Saliya Peiris, PC and 39 others as the respondents.
The petitioners allege that the country is currently in a state of bankruptcy and the people are in dire straits due to the unwise economic policies and inefficient administration pursued by the respondents.
The petitions allege that this has made it difficult for the people to access essential services such as fuel, electricity, food and medicine.
The petitions state that due to this situation, Sri Lanka has been listed as a country that cannot repay foreign loans and this has brought more disrepute to the country internationally.
The petitions point out that the tax concessions granted unnecessarily by the respondents in 2019 were one of the reasons for this economic crisis.
The petitioners also allege that the failure to seek the assistance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the right time during the economic crisis has led to such a crisis in the country.
The petitions have sought a declaration that the respondents have violated the fundamental human rights of the public. Also, the petitioners request the Supreme Court to issue an order to conduct an immediate investigation into the matters pointed out in this petition.
The petitions also sought an order directing the several respondents to appoint a committee under the supervision of the court to compile a report on the financial irregularities and mismanagement of the economy in relation to the specific cases outlined in the petition.
Also, the petitions have requested that the cabinet decisions taken regarding the financial matters, the documents exchanged between the respondents be submitted to the court.