Three university professors petitioned the Supreme Court for support of their Fundamental Rights claim on the state of the economy, and the Supreme Court decided to do so today.
The petition will be heard on July 6 (today) by a three-judge panel of the Supreme Court, consisting of Justices Vijith Malalgoda, Mahinda Samayawardena, and Arjuna Obeysekera.
Dr. Athulasiri Kumara Samarakoon of the Open University of Sri Lanka and academics Soosaiappu Neavis Morais and Dr. Mahim Mendis filed this petition naming 39 individuals including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, former Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundara, former Governors of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal and W.D. Lakshman and former Ministry of Finance Secretary S.R. Atygalle as respondents.
The petitioners cited the country’s current economic woes as being mostly caused by the tax cuts implemented under President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. They claim that the President and the former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa have continuously and purposefully chosen to lower the taxes that Republic citizens must pay in order to fulfill electoral pledges, and that this decision was solely political in nature.
The petitioners further claimed that as a result of the tax cut, the nation has sustained massive and unheard-of economic harm and its residents are currently dealing with unheard-of economic hardship, with extraordinary levels of inflation driving up the cost of basic goods and services at extreme rates.
The petitioners request a decision mandating that the Auditor General look into the activities of the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and determine the harm done to the bank.
Upul Jayasuriya, President’s Counsel, appeared on behalf of the petitioners. For the Attorney General, additional Solicitor General Nerin Pulle made an appearance.