3 December, 2020

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Attacks On Judiciary: We Should Stand On The Right Side Of History

By Karu Jayasuriya

Karu Jayasuriya MP

The onslaught on this country’s democratic establishments and rule of law institutions by the incumbent regime, warrants attention and unreserved condemnation by all those who aspire to higher democratic standards.

It is with grave concern, therefore, that we note recent developments regarding alleged interference by the executive on the affairs of the judiciary and the appalling intimidation and smear campaigns carried out by the regime’s propaganda outfits: the state media. We condemn these attempts to cast aspersions on the highest officers of the Sri Lankan judiciary as blatant attempts to irreversibly harm the fragile threads that hold together the once-vibrant democratic tapestry of our country.

The executive, legislature and judiciary are the cornerstones of a vibrant democracy, underscored by an active civil society, a free media and an informed and astute citizenry. All these, except the executive, and of that too, only a minority of the privileged, is being rendered redundant. Whilst the executive of the country is on a perpetual drive to further its powers, the other arms which are to serve as the foundations are being – expediently – rendered redundant with the same conviction.

This is an age in which sons of government ministers’ rampage against public officials forcing thousands of law enforcement personnel to look on powerlessly. We live in a time when the assault on a house of law, empowered and cheered on by a cabinet minister, goes without reprimand or punishment by the rulers.

Today, a government legislator named as a main suspect in the murder of a member of his own party basks in state patronage while the man the regime once called the Greatest Army Commander in the world for ridding Sri Lanka of the LTTE menace, is a convicted felon.

With its systematic assault on the rule of law and democracy, this regime chips away at every last remaining hope and redress of the victimized and oppressed citizen. When the people of Sri Lanka cry out for justice, this regime is intent on destroying the judicial system by striking at its very heart. Our collective future rests on safeguarding the dignity and independence of our judges: men and women who serve in capacities that might decide Sri Lanka’s future course. An independent judiciary could see democracy restored; a broken, cowering one would surely pave the way for tyranny.

These are dark times for democracy. Her lights are going out with every passing day. As the legislature loses its relevance, the media remains muzzled, and peoples’ liberties are stolen by their rulers, we must look to the judiciary to keep the power of a monarchic executive in check. We must look to the judiciary to save us from our elected representatives, for Sri Lanka has reached a stage when her people have be safeguarded from the very men and women who were voted into office to protect the populi.

That men and women of integrity and honour form the vast majority of the judiciary and police force is something that should never be cast into doubt. Their silence is understandable in these troubled times, but it can no longer be their sole recourse. If this regime’s continued march to authoritarianism is to be checked, the time has come for the silence of the good people to come to an end. The time has come for difficult choices to be made. We respect and honour those men and women of the judiciary who have decided to make those choices. We stand with them, beside them and for them as they face what will likely be the toughest challenges of their careers. If they will keep the faith, they carry with them the assurance of the opposition’s enduring and unwavering support for their struggle.

The task of restoring democracy and rule of law in Sri Lanka may seem daunting right now. Yet those of us willing to accept the challenge will be assured that future generations will look back on this time and know that we stood on the right side of history.

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Latest comments

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    If only more people had balls like this old man..

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      Nihal S

      If my memory serve right, UNP thugs intimidated a judge in the eigties by throwing stones and rocks at this judge’s house.

      Did Karu have balls then?

      Misuse or blatant violation of judiciary did not start with MR. You could only compare the scale of violation by both regimes.

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      Nihal S:
      Where were those particular appendages (b…s) when he helped build the power of MR by taking a number of UNPers and crossing over and then returning in disappointment to the UNP, leaving those guys behind?
      Brave my …!
      This man is simply a disappointed opportunist trying to salvage something out of a situation that he has a significant responsibility for.

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      Karu if the UNP cares about democracy and the law in Lanka it must lobby the international community and Commonwealth Organization to move the Commonwealth Heads of State meeting in SL in 2013 be moved to another country or aborted outright, rather than complementing the regime as Ranil – Lanka’s second dictator did.
      A few weeks ago the Commonwealth Parliamentarians Circus meet in Colombo gave the regime a chance to display its massive military might on the streets of Colombo and intimidated FUTA and student protests in order to provide “security” for delegates of an organization that is totally irrelevant – a colonial left over of British imperialism that is now used by third world dictators to market themselves. And Ranil who loves to run behind foreigners, particularly morally and intellectually bankrupt colonial officials of a by gone age lapped it all up!
      The Rajapakse regime has systematically used and targeted the Commonwealth organization to market itself internationally while wasting funds needed for recovery and reconstruction of war affected areas on Commonwealth Games bids, and useless shows such as the Commonwealth Parliamentary meeting and proposed Heads meeting. The Commonwealth needs to be shut down or asked to behave in a responsible manner and stop boosting third world dictators like Mahinda Rajapakse. Sri Lanka today is worse than Libya under Gadhafi: a country run by 4 brothers and sons, and a massive extended family that is looting the public wealth while having a facade of democracy through holding of staggered elections and winning through fraud and corruption.
      The Commonwealth legitimizing this sort of corrupt dictatorial regime is a disgrace and shows the moral and intellectual bankrupcy of the organization. ICG, AI, HRW etc, should jointly lobby it to stop supporting MR and is Family and cabinet of goons, criminals and fools. The fact is that the International Community does double speak.

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    Why don’t you Join SF,and make a change.
    Enough of talking,Its time now,NOW OR NEVER.
    Your not getting younger,and we are lacking young people in the UNP to rule this country.

    SF + Karu = brilliant combination.

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      Idi Mahin + Ranilpaksha = bad combination ?

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    Forget the past, if you gentlemen realize the danger we are in, then wake up from your slumber! Support the judiciary or whatever that remains of it, to ward of the impending catastrophe. We have to think proactively to forestall the machinations of our Machievellis.

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    Indeed to demand these contribuation Judiciry one thing.Not to undermine entire leagal system is another thing or harming to prevaling democratic order of society by your alligation seems to be other thing.
    We need law binding society to proteced soverignty of legal supermacy of island as well as pillar of democarcy foundation.
    Under the MR ruling operation there are dissaitsfied of certain mis-managament of State need to be address by upheld by RIGHTS and LIBERTIES OF DEMOCRACY ORDER and its valus are important.
    We should not mixed up principlly recognized values of Juduciary with strick arrangement of society into classes.. this system superstructure to free institutions of Sri Lankan all races.
    Two differant kind of laws A( Common Law B) Rules of Equity all have which are eqully Law.All are morally and legally biniding they are enfored by Judicary.
    Judiciary Act came in England into force 1875 as the rules of Commom Law.
    Now it will some thing happen that the workig of the law and proceduare of Justice of Our courts will have negative result in particular cases in INJUSTICE AND HARDSHIP.
    We might feel of inclined to say,well that is pity but it would be greater evil to interfere by MR ruling party are you mean by that Mr Karu Jayassoriya?
    Your argument matter of Law and morlity were not yet clearly distinguished nor one even say that whole of LAW OR JUSTICE WAS TO BE FOUNDED IN ANY WAY ONE COURT in our country.
    Democary history says is RIGHT SIDE OF PEOPLE OF MAJORITY.
    Since Magna Catra 1215,Petiton of Right 1628,Habeas Corpus Act 1679,
    Bill Rights 1689 in Engilsh Parliment,are proved history in side with people orinted -democarcy.

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    MR.JAYASURIYA,YOU ARE SUFFERING FROM MEMORY LOSS. IT WAS PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHO BY CROSSING OVER TO THE GOVERNMENT,FOR PORTFOLIOS AND PERKS, THAT HAS BROUGHT ABOUT THIS SITUATION.THEN YOU, CAME BACK TO THE OPPOSITION,
    AGAIN; WHY ? REMAINS THE 64,000 DOLLAR QUESTION.
    WHATEVER ANYONE, MAY SAY OF RANIL, HE LOST TO MAHINDA BY JUST UNDER 200,000 VOTES,THAT AGAIN DUE TO THE “TREACHERY” OF TIRAN AND MANGALA WHO “BRIBED” PRABAKHARAN TO PREVENT THE NORTHERN VOTERS FROM GOING TO THE POLLS.THE MONEY GIVEN WOULD HAVE BEEN USED TO KILL YOUR OWN PEOPLE
    RAJAPAKSE DID NOT WIN, RANIL WAS ROBBED OF VICTORY,WHICH IS THE REASON
    WHY WE ARE IN THIS MESS.
    WELL, THE HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY IS FULL OF THIS TYPE OF TREACHERY
    YOU WERE AN HONOURABLE MAN IN BUSINESS AND AS MAYOR OF COLOMBO.
    ITS TIME ALL THE PEOPLE, GOT TOGETHER AND PUT COUNTRY BEFORE SELF AND
    FORM A UNITED FRONT TO BRING DOWN THIS DESPOTIC CORRUPT REGIME.
    THE SOONER THE BETTER!!!!!!

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    UNP, a pro American/British party pavaed the way to all the “undemocratic” norms in the politics. During the rule of UNP, news papers of the opposition were closed, leader of the opposition Mrs. Banda lost her civil rights, LTTE emerged as a “super” terrorist of the region and many other devils.

    When Ranil came to power, he carved out an area for LTTE with all the powers.

    Now the LTTE is no more but the “undemocratic” norms exist. In Lanka or India or pakistan people are used to live with this kind of problems.

    Are there any “gurantees” for the politicos who replace UPFA under Mahinda brothers to rule the country as a “pious” democratic country?

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