Friday April 26, 2019

Sri Lanka's actress-turned-politician suffers severe burns

Sep 02, 2017 14:21 PM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka's former actress and legislator Geetha Kumarasinghe was being treated at a private hospital in Colombo on Saturday following severe burns, police said.

Kumarasinghe, 62, was rushed to hospital on Friday night in what appeared to have be been an accident involving a gas stove at her home, police said.

"She has suffered extensive burns and her condition is serious, but she is getting all the medical attention she needs," a hospital source said.

Kumarasinghe's election as a member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party representing the district of Galle was declared invalid by the Court of Appeal, but she petitioned the Supreme Court, which fixed a hearing for September 25.

A divided Supreme Court gave her a reprieve. It is unusual for the highest court to put off such a hearing by four months when the spirit of the constitution is that a fate of an MP should be decided within two months.

The immigration controller has since announced that Kumarasinghe is the only dual citizen - holding Sri Lankan and Swiss nationality - in the 225-member parliament.

The three-judge Supreme Court bench, in a majority decision in May, extended a stay of her removal from parliament in line with a Court of Appeal decision that she was an usurper and had no right to remain in parliament. She had violated the provisions of the constitution, according to the Court of Appeal.

The Supreme Court's extraordinary decision to put off hearings by four months came despite the state declaring that Kumarasinghe was still a Swiss national holding dual Sri Lankan citizenship and was clearly in violation of the 19th amendment to the constitution.

The Court of Appeal had even ordered the attorney general to initiate action to recover all costs the state had incurred during the period Kumarasinghe held a seat in parliament.

Parliamentarians get duty-free cars, subsidised meals, free massages and bodyguards. (Colombo/Sept02/2017)


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