Samagi Sewaka Sangamaya’, a trade union attached to the ‘Samgi Jana Balawagaya’ (SJB) political party, has filed a Fundamental Rights petition seeking the Supreme Court’s intervention in regularizing the ongoing privatization of Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT). The trade union, comprising employees and shareholders of SLT, has filed this petition in the Supreme Court, citing concerns over the violation of their constitutional rights and the rights of the citizenry at large under and in terms of Article 12(1) of the Constitution.

The Union asserts that SLT, a prominent telecommunications company with an asset base of 240.6 billion rupees, has become the centre of attention due to the ongoing privatization efforts. In the company’s annual report for 2022, SLT reported revenue of 107,710 million rupees and a profit before tax of 10,588 million rupees. Additionally, SLT has made significant contributions to the government’s Treasury, with taxes amounting to 5,823 million rupees as of December 31, 2022. The union argues that SLT is a profit-generating blue-chip company and questions the necessity of privatizing a successful entity due to the lack of transparency and research leading to the decision.

The trade union seeks greater transparency in the privatization process, calling for the involvement of the Auditor General and the Department of Management Service, who are also named as respondents in this application. The Union implores the court that the Auditor General, the Department of Management Service, the Treasury, and the other stakeholders of the government propose a blueprint to govern the operations of government-owned profit-making institutions, including SLT. The petitioners are appealing to the court to address the overlooked process and ensure a fair and impartial evaluation and the implementation of the said blueprint.