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SC orders English translation of ITAK manifesto

2014 Jun 17

Based on a petition filed against the use of the word “Confederal” instead of “Federal” in the amended policy statement of the Ilangai Thamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK), the Supreme Court ordered that the original and the amended policy statements be translated into English and submitted to Court.

The petition filed by H.K.D. Chandrasoma stated that a citizen could petition the SC in the likelihood of a political party or a group attempting to set up a separate state in Sri Lanka and create a division among multiethnic communities.

This petition was taken up for hearing by a SC Bench comprising Eva Wanasundera, Sisira De Abrew, and Priyantha Jayawardene.

Attorney Dharshana Weerasekera representing the petitioner told courts that the word “Samasthi” mentioned in the original policy statement of the ITAK had been replaced by the word “Inaipachchi” in its amended policy statement.

He said the word ‘Samasthi’ was similar to the word Federal, but however the word “Inaipachchi does not bear similarity to the word federal and was interpreted more as ‘Confederal’.”

“The words Federal and Confederal are not two words with the same inference, but words that give different meanings altogether,” he said.

The Counsel said the amended policy statement infers that people living in a unitary state were expecting to live under a different system in accordance with a Confederal state. By this amended policy statement of the ITAK the Unitary state mentioned in the Constitution was grossly challenged. He also appraised the court by quoting from the Wadukkodai policy statement.

The respondents in this case, the ITAK was represented by MP and Attorney M.A. Sumanthiran who said there was no difference between the original policy statement and the amended policy statement as claimed by the petitioner.

He said t hey had only substituted correct Tamil words for the Sanskrit words contained in the original policy statement and that no violation of the country’s constitution had taken place.

The three-judge bench after considering the submissions directed that the ITAK’s original policy statement and its amendments be translated into English through the Official Languages Department and submitted to Court at the next hearing on July 15.

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