Husband and wife allege political victimisation
By Telles Anandappa
Two Ceylon Petroleum Corporation employees were granted leave to proceed in two separate fundamental rights petitions filed in the Supreme Court claiming they were politically victimised as they were active members of the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS), the UNP's main trade union.

The petitioners Mallika Rohini Karunanayake and her husband G.A.S. Asithanja of Moratuwa who was a JSS branch secretary had cited CPC Chairman Jaliya Medagama and 12 others as respondents. The petitions were taken up before a Bench comprising Justices Dr. S.A. Bandaranayake, N.K. Udalagama and R. Fernando

Mrs. Karunanayake said she was appointed as a Grade B-3 clerk on 15-2-83 and promoted to Grade B-1 on 1-12-2002 and was an active member of the JSS ever since she joined the CPC.

She alleged that a few days after the April 2004 General Election the Personnel Manager had verbally instructed her to hand over her work to a junior clerk and did not assign any work to her.

She claims after the UPFA Government came into power JSS members were being transferred and discriminated against and this was brought to the notice of the Power and Energy Minister at a meeting held on 7.7.2004. The minister had then specifically instructed the CPC chairman to effect transfers strictly in terms of the scheme of transfers of the CPC.

However without any reason she had been transferred from the head office to the Lanka Aviation Service Station at Ratmalana. When she reported for duty there she found she had no table or chair or any work allotted to her. She had to sign the attendance register and sit in her private car which was parked in the office premises till it was time to sign off.

She claims she was commended in 2003 for 20 years of uninterrupted and satisfactory service. She also states her husband suffered a similar fate. Mr. Asithanja claimed in his petition that he was transferred to an office in a security zone in Ratmalana thereby depriving trade union activists meeting him while at work.

Both petitioners are claiming Rs. 100,000 each for violation of their fundamental rights and requests the Court to quash the transfers. Attorney-at-law S.A. Collure appeared for the petitioners while K. Ranasinghe appeared for the respondent.

Court ordered objections to be filed within 6 weeks and counter-affidavits to be filed within 4 weeks and the case to be called on February 11, 2005.

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