A Fundamental Rights Violation petition filed by uprooted villagers of Champoor in Trincomalee is to be taken up for further hearing on November 15, according to legal sources in Colombo. The petitioners have been challenging the Gazette Extraordinary issued on May 12 this year that a “Special Zone for Heavy Industries” had been demarcated in the areas formerly inhabited by them. Seven villagers in their petition filed on Friday before the Sri Lankan Supreme Court complained that the Gazette purportedly attempts to demarcate a “Special Zone for Heavy Industries” within the provision of the Section A of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka Law No:4 of 1978.
The petitioners had been seeking the Court to declare that their fundamental right to equality and equal protection of the law as well as the right not to be discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion, language etc and the right to the freedom to engage in any lawful occupation and the right to the freedom of movement and of choosing their residence within the island were violated by the respondents.
President’s Counsel K.Kanag Iswaran with M.A.Sumanthiran, Bavani Fonseka, and Juanita Arulanantham instructed by Mohan Balendra appeared for the petitioners.
Counsel Priyantha Jayewardene appeared for the 1st respondent Economic development Minister Basil Rajapakse, Deputy Solicitor General Shavendra Fernando appeared for the 3rd respondent Director General of the Board of Investment and the Attorney General.