Sept 17, Colombo: A fundamental rights petition has been filed before the Supreme Court challenging the President's takeover of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation by a Gazette notification.
The petition has been filed by Venerable Dambara Amila Thera and Professor Chandraguptha Thenuwara.
President Maithripala Sirisena took over the state television Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation under the authority of the Minister of Defense with effect from September 09.
The petitioners stated that according to the 19th Constitution, the President is entitled only to the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and the Ministry of Defense.
The petitioners, therefore, request the Supreme Court to issue a declaration that the taking over of the National Rupavahini Corporation has violated the Constitution.
In an extraordinary gazette notification, the President exercising powers vested in him by the Paragraph (1) of Article 43 and Paragraph (1)(a) of Article 46 of the Constitution amended the Gazette Extraordinary No. 2103/33 of December 28, 2018 to bring the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation under the authority of the Minister of Defense.
According to the gazette notification the measure was taken for the "Implementation of programmes for the promotion of peace, harmony and reconciliation among people whilst ensuring national security through the use of audio visual media, enhancement of the entertainment quality of the people and creation of a higher media culture using state-of-the-art technology."