ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday April 13, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 46

Mangala to face disciplinary inquiry next month

Sole remaining SLFP rebel Parliamentarian and dissident SLFP (Mahajana) wing convener Mangala Samaraweera will now face the party disciplinary inquiry launched by its General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena on May 27, a top party source said.

Mr. Samaraweera and the other rebel MP the late Sripathy Sooriarachchi were each served a second charge sheet calling for their explanations over their crossing over to the opposition, their decision to form an alliance with the UNP and their opposing the last Government budget among other matters. Mr. Samaraweera had been served a total of seven charges.

Ironically the second charge sheet was served on February 3 and Mr. Sooriarachchi was killed in a freak accident on February 6. The first hearing of the disciplinary inquiry against Mr. Samaraweera was fixed for March 26, but he had sought a postponement after his mother died during the latter part of that month.

Party sources said evidence on behalf of the party will be led by D.P. Mendis PC, while Paul Ratnayake Associates will represent Mr. Samaraweera. The inquiry will begin with Mr. Mendis leading the evidence of party General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena.In January the party had to withdraw the two earlier charge sheets after the lawyers for the two rebels spotlighted some glaring glitches in them in court. They pointed out that the party Central Committee that decided to charge sheet the duo was not a lawful CC as it had an excess of three members above the limit set by the party constitution and four of the Disciplinary Committee members had to be considered as being biased as they were also on the CC that decided to charge them.

Under the party constitution the CC should comprise a maximum of 63, but at the time the crucial decision was taken it had 66. Since the decision Dilan Perera had resigned from the CC in protest at Mahinda Ratnatillake joining the Government and two other CC members have dropped out.

The lawyers for the rebels also pointed out that John Seneviratne, W. Karunajeewa, Prof. Wiswa Warnapala and Saliya Mathew were all members of the CC and the Disciplinary Committee. In correcting these glitches, the SLFP has appointed a new Disciplinary Committee comprising Senaka Walgampaya PC (Chairman), Champani Padmasekera attorney at law (Secretary), Boniface Silva PC, Sagara Kariyawasam attorney at law and Sarath Weragoda attorney at law.

The Inquiring Panel appointed to hear the disciplinary inquiry against Mr. Samaraweera comprises Boniface Silva PC, Champani Padmasekera and Sarath Weragoda. (RA)

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