20 September, 2020

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Appointment Of The New Chief Justice Is A Positive Step: C’wealth Sharma

“Sri Lanka’s people have strongly validated their country’s democratic credentials and this is a matter of pride as much for the Commonwealth as it is for Sri Lanka. We look forward to a continued and strong partnership over the remainder of Sri Lanka’s term as Commonwealth Chair-in-Office and in the years beyond.” says the Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma.

Issuing a statement today on the conclusion of his official visit to Sri Lanka, Sharma says, the Commonwealth will focus its technical assistance in a number of areas. “My meetings offered the opportunity to explore ways in which we could support priority areas in the Government’s ambitious 100-Day Work Programme. These will build on our ongoing assistance to advance the fundamental values and principles of the Commonwealth as set out in the Commonwealth Charter.” he said.

“We note the positive steps taken by the Government since 9 January and the further measures contemplated. These include a commitment to fundamental governance reforms and strengthening the independence of national institutions; the appointment of civilian governors in the Northern Province and Eastern Province amongst other changes in the provincial administrations; and, the appointment of the new Chief Justice” he further said.

We publish below the statement in full;

Today I concluded a brief visit to Sri Lanka. The purpose of my visit was primarily to reiterate and renew the Commonwealth’s commitment to work in partnership with Sri Lanka to advance its own national plans. We have successfully identified areas where the Commonwealth will provide practical assistance as the country turns a new and transformative page in its history.

Sharma MaithripalaMy visit was also an opportunity to provide an update on Commonwealth priorities given Sri Lanka’s continuing two-year role as Commonwealth Chair-in-Office, which commenced at the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo and will conclude at the next summit of Commonwealth leaders in Malta in November this year.

Sri Lanka is one of the oldest democracies in Asia and is a founding member of the modern Commonwealth. Voters, who last month turned out in impressively large numbers to exercise their democratic right, have once again confirmed this standing. The Commonwealth’s contribution to the 8 January election included the presence of our international observer team and the agreement secured to have domestic observers present at counting centres. I am pleased that the Commonwealth played a part in facilitating a successful electoral process and that this has been highly valued.

We note the positive steps taken by the Government since 9 January and the further measures contemplated. These include a commitment to fundamental governance reforms and strengthening the independence of national institutions; the appointment of civilian governors in the Northern Province and Eastern Province amongst other changes in the provincial administrations; and, the appointment of the new Chief Justice.

I called on President Maithripala Sirisena. I also met with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Public Administration Karu Jayasuriya, and Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake. I was also pleased to meet Provincial Governors and Chief Ministers.

My meetings offered the opportunity to explore ways in which we could support priority areas in the Government’s ambitious 100-Day Work Programme. These will build on our ongoing assistance to advance the fundamental values and principles of the Commonwealth as set out in the Commonwealth Charter.

The Commonwealth will focus its technical assistance in a number of areas, which include:

· Expertise and information on best pan-Commonwealth practice to build a fully independent national human rights commission, electoral commission, judicial services commission, media commission, and an anti-corruption institution;

· Expertise to strengthen Parliament and its oversight committee structure in consultation with the Hon Speaker; and,

· Expertise and advice to strengthen the independence of the judiciary in line with the Commonwealth’s Latimer House Principles on the separation of powers, on which the Commonwealth’s best practice compendium has been submitted.

We also remain ready to extend Commonwealth support by:

· Providing technical assistance to help implement the Right to Information Act;

· Extending the Commonwealth’s programme to strengthen the quality and professionalism of the Public Service;

· Supporting transparency and good governance in public finance management;

· Offering experience from other Commonwealth countries on electoral reform that may usefully inform Sri Lanka’s own consideration in this area;

· Strengthening of the Attorney-General’s Office; and,

· Promoting youth entrepreneurship in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, including through the Commonwealth Alliance of Asian Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE).

The Commonwealth is also developing:

· A comparative compendium of practice across the Commonwealth concerning the appointment procedures for human rights commissioners and which enhances the independence of national human rights institutions; and,

· A compendium of practice from across the Commonwealth concerning the establishment and independence of Election Management Bodies. These will be shared with Sri Lanka.

Many of these areas will involve the Commonwealth Secretariat working in partnership with other Commonwealth bodies with specialist expertise.

We were pleased to learn that the Government is currently considering the necessary steps to address Sri Lanka’s accountability and reconciliation needs, including fuller implementation of the recommendations of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). We have discussed options for practical Commonwealth support for these vital domestic processes, and welcome the intent to establish a credible domestic investigation mechanism that respects international humanitarian law.

We are particularly pleased, in this context, that memorialisation will be part of Sri Lanka’s Independence Day observance on 4 February.

My visit was also an opportunity to brief the President on his role as Commonwealth Chair-in-Office. We discussed progress in implementing CHOGM mandates set by leaders when they met in Sri Lanka in November 2013. These include the development of a trade finance facility and also strengthened access to climate finance for small and developing states; a new ICT-based platform for sharing technical assistance between Commonwealth countries; increasing the opportunity for Commonwealth citizens to visit each other’s countries; and, Commonwealth high-level political advocacy in the development of the new Post-2015 Global Development Agenda.

In my meeting with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, we discussed the mandate of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) to work with member countries in a proactive and positive way in advancing the Commonwealth’s political values. We look forward to the Minister’s participation at CMAG’s next meeting in March in London. The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister will also be chairing the annual Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting in New York in September.

Sri Lanka’s people have strongly validated their country’s democratic credentials and this is a matter of pride as much for the Commonwealth as it is for Sri Lanka. We look forward to a continued and strong partnership over the remainder of Sri Lanka’s term as Commonwealth Chair-in-Office and in the years beyond.

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Latest comments

  • 15
    2

    MR.Kamalesh, since you are so proud of SL and the Commonwealth, for starters, could you please return the { COMMON WEALTH) of Sri-Lanka that MR had paid u as a bribe .. what say U?

    I bet u would oblige coz if not U may be hauled by the Interpol, like how we had Tissa hauled to jail.. choice is yours. Like our Dy Minister who gave 1 month for Elephant thieves, we the citizens give u double that… 2 months for you to return or face consequences, for there will be investigations done on how much was paid to U..

    • 1
      0

      Forgive me that the follwing text can necessarily be to the topic addressed, but I HAVE to add it since I think the way the current regime moves on is healthy to the country.

      Rajapakshe reign paved all avenues to the revenues of the people like DUminda, Lanza and the like et all. Artistes like Jackson Anthony and his mouth pieces solely caused the personal aggrandizement of Rajano picture. Even the criminals could be made as respectable ones since law and order directly carricatured by Rajapakshe did not allow senior politicians to share what they thought was right until 8th Jan. Else, not even handful would realize as to why the man went on attacking anyone that would rise against him. THe way MY3 s election campaign was attacked – has been all ethical and moral values thought Mr Sirisena being all natured and cultured personality even today sees it with patience. If MR would ahve been elected, he would have been celebrating abusing the treatury funds further to this day, nothing would have been changed towards the line of price reductions of anything but fatting his pockets further.

  • 6
    1

    Hi Queen [Edited out], all the problem in the world origins from the empire days. [Edited out], remember we are not Queens subject any more, we don’t care a damn about your opinion. [Edited out].

  • 12
    1

    Mr.Kamlesh Sharma you failed to say getting rid of MR is a positive step!

    • 5
      0

      It is because Kamelash Sharma is more corrupt than MR! Let’s hope that Sharma will not corrupt MS.

    • 2
      1

      why you think he should have said that ?

      It is the power of lanken folks drove MR away … why should we bother with what Sharma or anyone outside have to say ?
      At the time, CJ Dr. SB was sacked, CW to stay that deaf and dumb is a greater failure I would say – they could put pressure on the MR regime, bu tthey ddi not ? So what is the use of CW at all ? Nothing actually, Just an another toothless body.

    • 0
      0

      Had MR remained in power after a Coup.KS would have said it was a great step forward for democratic traditions, with Sri Lanka being one of the oldest democracies on earth, has once again proved that she can select a suitable leader.

      For Nava gilunath band Chune.
      levi

  • 6
    0

    Sharma is originally from today ‘s South asia – so even to expect such a person to react doing this the due is a joke I feel. Give me any single example in current day global poltics if any south asian has shaped up properly ?

  • 9
    1

    Can’t trust these Sarmas and Swamis even for a penny. They fooled our people into cast trap for them to make money. Still our people are unable to come out of that trap. Why God is not punishing these people.

  • 1
    0

    Of course that is very much positive to Tamil Eelam concept too. Now CJ can release political prisoners, combine East and North together, send medamulana Malakanda co. to Welikada and much more. So that’s a wakening green light for Tamil Diaspora.

  • 4
    0

    Ah! You again, Mr. Sharma. Reminds us what a former PM Sir John
    said in undiluted Singlish “while the lickers remain the same only the a..ses are different” But then Ranil is far too smart for you. You might not find Sri Lanka lucrative anymore.

    Backlash

  • 2
    0

    Can this bugger Sharma at least now release the two reports of the two eminent Jurists of the Commonwealth on the Impeachment of CJ 43, that Sharma withheld?

  • 2
    0

    This fellow Sharma is the pits.

    It is no secret that he had quite and unhealthy and dark association with the utterly corrupt MR. Kamalesh Sharma would have been the most inept and blind man who does not deserve the post he holds if he was not aware of the antics of the MARA mafia. How low this man stooped for a fist full of dollars.

    The wholly fraudulent and inept organisation called the Commonwealth of Nations must be scrapped. It has delivered nothing to most of the third world countries that its membership comprises of other than poverty and promoting corruption.

  • 0
    0

    “I called on President Maithripala Sirisena. I also met with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Public Administration Karu Jayasuriya, and Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake. I was also pleased to meet Provincial Governors and Chief Ministers.”

    No meeting with Mr Mahinda Rajapakse, who was the head of Commonwealth until the election? At least, no formal hand over of the role????

  • 0
    0

    Sharama in wrong track that an appointment of and removal of CJ by
    HE: Mathripala Sirisena is willfully wrong. Against will of Sovereign Rights of People and its constitution.

    All power used by MS’s that is act of wrongful way and anti-constitunital of Republic and undermine Sri lanka, which undermine that Judiciary system after hundred years of British Colonial Rule.

    The act of MS by misused Executive power of Presidency is need to be urgently recificty and re-dress the remedies that bad impact on Independence Judiciary order and court system of an Island.

    The recent appointed of CJ by President is null and void.
    He has leave courts and back previous position.
    MS should give power to the Parliament, which take decision by elected member of Peoples Chamber.

    Mr Sharam has to learn more on Commonwealth Legal system and lack poor knowledge legal system Sri Lankan, is cause give wrongful statement of an appointment of CJ by MS.

    Sharam’s statement is not that ‘positive,’ is which negative one, result of such CJ appointment totally undermine Judiciary Independence of Republic of Sri-lanka.

  • 0
    0

    Ranil Wickremesinghe was not properly appointed
    -Former Chief Justice Sarath N Silva

    Commenting on the controversial removal of Mohan Peiris from the post of Chief Justice and the reinstatement of Shirani Bandaranayake as CJ is null and void, former Chief Justice Sarath N Silva said yesterday.

    He said the proper procedure had not been followed even in the appointment of Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister.

    Mr. Silva said if each new government set aside the proper procedure on matters of a fundamental character then anarchy would prevail.

    “Our supreme law is the Constitution; even the president has to uphold it and is subject to it. It upholds and separates the powers under Article 4. There is a special provision in the Constitution on the independence of the judiciary under Article 107 which provides for the appointment of the Chief Justice and the Judges of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. They have to be appointed under the hand of the President. Removal too is in the same way, but under address to parliament and has to be preceded by an impeachment motion, then will proceed to 78A of the standing orders. There is a very clear procedure and we can’t depart from it whatever our perceptions of the person however fit or unfit they are for the office,” he said.

    Mr. Silva said Dr. Bandaranayake was appointed by the President there is no question about it.

    “The Court of Appeal ruled that it must be decided on law and not on standing orders and the Supreme Court quite rightly overruled that on the basis that the Court of Appeal has no jurisdiction on parliamentary matters. Her removal was signed by more than 100 MPs, and though it may have had procedural flaws, it was an official act of parliament and the president receiving his mandate from parliament removed her. It is a valid removal and it stands thereafter whether we like it or not. That Chief Justice did not challenge her removal, nor did she contest the appointment of the new Chief Justice. The correct action was to bring a writ of quo warrantor and contest his holding the office, which she did not do,” he said.

    Responding to questions about the involvement of the Bar Association in effecting the removal of the person holding the office of Chief Justice, Mr. Silva said there must be some limit on the involvement of the Bar in relation to such sensitive matters

    “The Bar going up in arms does not validate the removal of the Chief Justice. Only a court can use the words ‘null and void’ on the appointment and removal of judges. Moreover the Executive cannot use the words null and void because it is a matter to be decided by court, and as much as I greatly admire the new President even he can’t say this is right. Upul Jayasuriya has reportedly said he was the one who drafted the impeachment motion against me which never went through, and I have nothing against him. But there must be a limit to the involvement of the Bar in impeaching the apex judicial figure. Warrant of the President comes under the public seal of the republic, and now you can’t say its null and void because then what you are saying is that a sovereign act is null and void,” Mr. Silva said.

    He said even Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was not properly appointed according to procedure as the former Prime Minister has to be removed according to the Constitution before appointing a new one.

    “It is under the Constitution that the Prime Minister holds office unless he’s removed by the President. He is the second citizen of the country and his appointment and removal must be specific. You can’t appoint two Prime Ministers nor can you remove one by conduct. It is a simple matter of removal, and the Constitution under Article 81 says that notice of removal must be given in writing before the new Prime Minister is appointed and this was not done. Rule of Law and due process- we have lost track of that and embraced this basic misconception of Rule of Law. Even I have received criticisms for judgments I have made. If it is legally correct then it does not matter if it political or not,” he said.

    Source: http://www.dailymirror.lk

    • 0
      0

      When the ’78 Constitution was enacted it prevented an MP elected from one political party from crossing over to another. However this man Sarath N Silva allowed the practice to continue where the Constitution was violated by him as the CJ then. Not only did he violate the Constitution but he went on to deliver judgement on his assumptions avoiding the Rule of Law and publicly apologised for setting MR scot free from the Helping Hambanthota Scam. Now this same scumbag is trying to interpret Law making it an Ass.

  • 0
    0

    THIVAKAR.

    Anarchy prevailed from the day Sarath N.Silva was appointed as CJ. Victor Ivan can give you more details about the man!

  • 0
    0

    In the land where people are constantly being “awarded,” I would like to nominate Kamalesh Sharma for the award as “Hypocrite of the Year.” In fact, it might be appropriate to nominate him as simply “Hypocrite,” without any time limit, given his monumentally sleazy conduct in defence of Mahinda Rajapaksa at the last Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo where his conduct was nothing short of totally reprehensible and cost Sri Lanka a pretty packet into the bargain.

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