Writ issued on SLBFE
The Court of Appeal issued notice on the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign
Employment (SLBFE) in a writ case challenging a Circular issued by the
SLBFE, that would allegedly render nugatory the statutory requirement of
a licensed foreign employment agency to be a member of the ALFEA.
The Bench comprised Justice Sathya Hettige PC and Justice Anil
Gooneratne. Counsel Sanjeewa Jayawardane for the petitioner submitted
that the SLBFE had taken a decision that the submission of the
membership certificates issued by the petitioner was unnecessary for
obtaining a new license or the the renewal of their licenses with the
SLBFE by employment agencies.
The counsel submitted that the decision contained in the Chairmanís
circular dated March 31, 2009 and was effective from May 15.
The counsel submitted that the decision was in violation of the SLBFE
Act and would render the mandatory requirement obsolete for all
licensees to become member of the petitioner. He submitted that the
decision of the SLBFE was unlawful and ultra vires.
The petitioner cited SLBFE, its Chairman, the Board of Directors, the
Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare, the Secretary to
the Ministry and the Attorney General as respondents.
The petitioner ALFEA stated that it was incorporated under the Sri
Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment Act and was supposed to make
recommendations to the SLBFE with regard to the promotion and regulation
of employment, to advise and assist in the promotion of employment
opportunities outside Sri Lanka, to formulate a code of conduct for
licensees and to make representations to the SLBFE and to the Minister
on matters relating to the recruitment of Sri Lankans for migrant
employments. The petitioner stated that it rendered an invaluable
assistance to the licensed Employment Agencies.
The petitioner also sought Prohibition order restraining the
respondents from renewing the existing licenses or issuing new licenses
for the employment agencies who are not members of the petitioner and an
order of Mandamus compelling the respondents to ensure that every agency
should become and continue to be members of the petitioner.
Counsel Sanjeewa Jayawardane instructed by G.G. Arulpragasam appeared
for the petitioner. The notice would be returnable on July 13.