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Can an Indian political party register in Sri Lanka?

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(Translated by Akitha Wijayasinghe)
The Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar had told Indian media that Indian Minister of Home Affairs and former Bharatiya Janata Party chairman Amit Shah has announced plans to form a BJP government in Sri Lanka and Nepal.
The Times of India had reported that he made the revelation while addressing a function at the Rabindra Shatabarshiki Bhavan in India.
“Amit Shah, the former national president of the BJP, told us that the party plans to expand its network of operations and establish rule in Nepal and Sri Lanka,” he said.
When inquired about this, the Elections Commission of Sri Lanka stated that the registration of political parties under the Parliamentary Elections Act No. 01 of 1981 is a very complex process and out of 150 applications submitted last year to form a political party in Sri Lanka, only 06 parties were allowed to form parties.

Four years of continuous politics is needed!

When asked whether a foreign political party could start a political party in Sri Lanka, an Election Commission official, who did not want to be mentioned, said,
“Political parties in Sri Lanka are established in accordance with the Parliamentary Elections Act. For that, it has to be engaged in politics continuously for 04 years. Also, the party should have audited accounts for 04 years. Also, the political policy of the party and the staff should be presented to the Election Commission. How can those who have not done so, form a new party. This is how it is mentioned in the act ;
The Election Commission should be satisfied that the party has been engaged in political activities for at least 04 years from the date of submission of the party’s request.
Also, party registration is not easy, proceeding in accordance with the Parliamentary Elections Act No. 01 of 1981. Last year 150 applications were submitted for party registration. Only 93 of them have been called for interviews. Only 06 parties have been accepted. Also, a party that has been denied one year of registration cannot apply for registration again until another year has elapsed. Also, registration will be allowed only if the Election Commission is satisfied with all this. ”

No legal right under the Constitution and the Act

When inquired about this, Attorney-at-Law Prathibha Mahanama Hewa said that India issuing such a statement at a moment where the 46th Geneva Human Rights Conference is due, can not be approved.
He said that the statement made by the Bharathiya Janatha Party that it’s taking steps to establish a political party in Sri Lanka is a statement without any basis that should be rejected completely legally and morally.
“All independent countries are members of the United Nations. Although India is the powerful in our region, the formation of their own party branches or the formation of those parties or governments in any other country is an approach to colonialism that has a profound effect on sovereignty. There, Indian political expansionism is being tried to show by linking two small countries, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
In terms of the legal basis for this statement, the Constitution and the Parliament Act No. 01 of 1981 and other Elections Acts have no legal right to register or engage in political activities in any way. Also, I see the social basis of this statement could be the port deals between Sri Lanka and India.
I also see this as a project that seeks to expand India’s power by showing that if a resolution is brought at the 46th Human Rights Council, we must win India for it. ”

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