President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s second term will begin on November 19 this year. The President’s Office yesterday received a communication from the Supreme Court to that effect. Sources said that the President thereby would lose one year of his first term.
The Supreme Court yesterday conveyed to the President its interpretation of the reference made to it by the President regarding the issue of his taking oath of office as President for a second term.
On Monday President’s Counsel Nihal Jayamanne told the Court that the first term of office of President Mahinda Rajapaksa went on till November 11, 2011, according to the Constitution of Sri Lanka and his second term of office, after re-election, begins only from there. Counsel Jayamanne appeared for Sarath Kongahage, a candidate at the January 26, 2010 presidential polls.
He emphasized that the six years must run as the people had decided it was six years and nothing less. President Rajapaksa should take oaths for a second term within two weeks from November 19, 2011, he said
At the outset, Attorney General Mohan Peiris PC told the Supreme Court that President Mahinda Rajapaksa should take oath of office for his second term, as President of Sri Lanka, on November 19, 2010, according to Article 31/3A/d/i, introduced by the Third Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka.
The President took oath of office for his first term on November 19, 2005. He went for an early poll at the end of four year. The poll was on January 26, 2010. Hence he should take oath for his second term of six years, on a date corresponding to November 19, on the date of the poll in 2010 or the succeeding year, 2011, whichever date is earlier, he said.
Hence, the date for the second term should be November 19, 2010. The first term of office of the President was alive though he had gone for a poll at the end of four years instead of six, the AG said.
The President could take the oath within two weeks from Nov 19, 2010.
The bench comprised the Chief Justice J. A. N. de Silva, Justices Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, J. de S. Balapatabendi, K. Sripavan, P. A. Ratnayake, Chandra Ekanayake and S. I. Imam. island