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Sri Lanka Ruling UPFA fires volley challenging rejection of its nomination papers to LG elections in North.

Colombo, Feb. 7 -- Governing United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) today (7) filed 17 Writ applications in the Court of Appeal challenging the rejections of its nomination papers to the elections of the local government bodies in the predominant districts of Jaffna and Kilinochchi.

Sixteen nomination papers were rejected in the Jaffna district while three in the Kilinochchi district. In Jaffna district, the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) headed by Douglas Devananda garnered the majority of the local government bodies under its fold. The EPDP is one of the political parties in the UPFA government.

In the forthcoming local government elections, the EPDP is contesting on the Ticket of UPFA. The rejection of nominations had been attributed on the issue of the Tamil nomenclature of the party name UPFA.

The Tamil nomenclature of the party name UPFA in the nomination papers was in variance with the name recognized by the Commissioner of Elections and registered with him, it is reported.

The UPFA filed its Writ applications challenging the rejection of its nomination papers for the three Urban Councils namely Velvettithurai, Point Pedro and Chavakachcheri along withs 13 Pradeshiya Sabhas (formerly known as Village Councils) - Karainagar, Kayts, Delft, Velanai, Valigamam West, Valigamam North, Valigamam South West, Valigamam South, Valigamam East, Vadamarchchi South West, Point Pedro, Chavakachcheri and Nallur in the Jaffna peninsula.

In the Kilinochchi district it ischallenging the rejection of its nomination papers for three Pradeshiya Sabhas - Pooneryn, Karachchi and Pachchilaippalli.

All the Petitions filed by the UPFA are identical and on the same issue. They are filed by the UPFA Secretary A.D.Susil Premajayanth.The petition filed in respect of Chavakachcheri Urban Council election, it cited the Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dissanayake, Returning Officer P.Kuganathan, UNP Secretary Tissa Attanayake, United Socialist Party Secretary Sritunga Jayasuriya and Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi Secretary Mavai Senathirajah as Respondents.

The Petition states that the said party is called and known as the 'EKSATH JANATHA NIDAHAS SANDANAYA" in Sinhala.

It maintains the said party is also called and known in English as the "UNTIED PEOPLE'S FREEDOM ALLIANCE" (UPFA) and in Tamil as "IYKKIIYA MAKKAL SUDANDIRA MUNNANI" or "IYKKIYA MAKKAL SUDANDIRA KOOTTAMAIPPU".

It states that by letter dated 11.01.2011 addressed to the Secretaries of all recognized political parties, the Elections Commissioner set out the procedure applicable to the submission of nomination papers for the forthcoming election of members to local authorities.

The Returning Officer published a notice calling for nominations for the election of members to the Chavakachcheri Urban Council stating that the said nominations would close at 12.00 noon on January 27, it stated.

On behalf of the UPFA, the Petitioner appointed Devarajan Rengan, Attorney-at-Law, as the Authorized Agent in respect of the election of members to the Chavakachcheri Urban Council under the provisions of the Local Authorities Elections Ordinance (LAEO).

In the said letter, the party of the Petitioner was referred to in English as the United Peoples Freedom Alliance. The Returning Officer accepted the said appointment, it stated.

The UPFA submitted a nomination paper setting out the names of candidates to be elected to the said Chavakachcheri Urban Council. The said nomination paper complied with the provisions of the LAEO and was duly signed by the Petitioner in his capacity as the Secretary of the UPFA. The said nomination paper was tendered by the Authorized Agent to the Returning Officer before the expiry of the nomination period.

It further states that the said nomination paper was prepared in the Tamil language and the name of the party was set out in Tamil as "IYAKKIYA MAKKAL SUDANDIRA KOOTTAMAIPPU". The said nomination paper was signed by the Petitioner who was described therein as the Secretary of the UPFA.

The Petitioner made an application to the Returning Officer through his Authorized Agent for the issue of a certified copy of the said nomination paper, but the Returning Officer had declined to issue same, the Petition said.

The Petition complained that the Returning Officer rejected the said nomination paper and thereafter informed the Petitioner in writing that the said nomination paper had been rejected on the ground that it had not been submitted by a recognized political party.

The Petitioner contends that the said party is referred to in English as the United People's Freedom Alliance and in Tamil IYKKIIYA MAKKAL SUDANDIRA MUNNANI or IYKKIYA MAKKAL SUDANDIRA KOOTTAMAIPPU.

The Elections Commissioner has translated the term "alliance" in referring to the United National Alliance as "IYKKIYA THESIYA KOOTTAMAIPPU" and thereby acknowledged that this represents a correct translation of term "alliance", the Petitioner maintains.

Moreover, the Elections Commissioner has translated the term "front" as "Munnani" in referring to "SRI LANKA PROGRESSIVE FRONT" in the Tamil language as "SRI LANKA MURTPOKKU MUNNANI", it added.

The Petitioner, to chop logic, vouched for that the two references in Tamil, namely "IYKKIYIA MAKKAL SUDANDIRA MUNNANI" or "IYKKIYA MAKKAL SUDANDIRA KOOTTAMAIPPU" refer to one and the same party, namely the"Eksath Janatha Nidahas Sandhanaya" whichis also known as in English as the " United People's Freedom Alliance".

Petitioner states that he was advised and believes that the term 'IYKKIYA MAKKAL SUDANDIRA KOOTTAMAIPPU" refers more accurately to the said party in as much as the Sinhala term "Sandhanaya" and the English term "alliance" are correctly translated as "KOOTTAMAIPPU" rather than as "MUNNANI", WHICH means a "front".

He seeks the Court to issue a mandate in the nature of a Writ of Certiorari quashing the decision of the Returning Officer rejecting the nomination paper submitted by the UPFA in respect of the Chavakachcheri Urban Council

He seeks the Court to issue a mandate in the nature of a Writ of Mandamus directing the Returning Officer to accept the said nomination paper submitted by the Petitioner .

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Publication:Asian Tribune (India)
Geographic Code:9SRIL
Date:Feb 7, 2011
Words:985
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