The Supreme Court yesterday ordered that Major General (temporary) Nimal Ainsley Jayasuriya be promoted and confirmed as Major General before the end of this month.
The bench which heard the fundamental rights violation case filed by Maj. Gen. Jayasuriya comprised Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva and Justices Shirani Tillekewardena and J. Balapatabendi.
The Supreme Court said the Army which has to protect the rights of the citizens must start with the rights of its own officers. The Court declared the petitioner`s fundamental rights to equality and equal protection before the law had been violated.
The Court said the impugned order of the Army Advisory Board was that all officers who had been on A. W. O. L. (Absence Without Leave) could not be promoted.
However the Defence Minister subsequently had given a covering approval for the medical leave he has obtained while he was overseas for treatment for his back injury.
The Court said though it was reluctant to make an adverse order against the army it was forced to do so in view of the circumstances of this case.
The Supreme Court has earlier issued an order staying the operations of the decisions and determinations of the first respondent until the determination of this application and restraining the Sri Lanka Army from promoting anyone who is junior to the petitioner over the petitioner.
The petitioner stated that at the time he completed his training in the Army and was commissioned in 1977, the petitioner was the youngest officer in the Army at the time. Since the petitioner was the youngest commissioned officer them, he was
also the youngest officer at the stage of each of his promotions, which was the case even up to the stage of his last promotion to the rank of Major General(Temporary). In his present rank and seniority, the petitioner is the 12th in line to be the Commander of the Army. The petitioner said all his promotions up to the rank of Major General (Temporary) had been effected on time and without any undue complications or delays.
Sanjeewa Jayawardena with Rajeewa Amerasuriya instructed by Sudath Perera Associates appeared for the petitioner, Major General Jayasuriya.