3 March, 2024


Buried Legal Opinions: Commonwealth Secretariat Refers To The Impeached Sri Lankan CJ As The “Former” CJ

The Commonwealth Secretariat has released an official statement revealing Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma’s response to an exclusive report by Colombo Telegraph that his office buried legal opinions commissioned by the Secretariat about the Sri Lankan Government’s impeachment of its Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake.

Sharma and Uku

Commonwealth Spokesman Richard Uku said the communications had been provided in confidence to Secretary General Sharma.

In a statement released on the Secretariat’s official website, Uku said that a number of reports and opinions were requested and received about the removal of Bandaranayake.

Uku refers to the impeached Sri Lankan Chief Justice as the “former” CJ of Sri Lanka even though her sacking was declared invalid and illegal by the country’s highest courts of law, making the appointment of her successor unconstitutional.

“It is Commonwealth practice to ensure that the Secretary-General is as well informed as possible when determining the most effective way in which he can assist in politically sensitive situations,” Richard Uku’s statement said.

Communications which are provided in confidence to the Secretary-General are treated as internal documents and protected accordingly,” he explained.

The Commonwealth Spokesman said it would be injurious to the discretion, and ultimately the effectiveness of the Secretary-General if information of this kind were to be released.

Uku does not respond in his statement to criticism against the Secretary General for failing to disclosing those legal opinions even to the powerful Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group that met in April this year and conducted long discussions on Sri Lanka. Canadian High Commissioner in London Gordan Campbell, wrote to Sharma in May, asking to see the documents, which he said were germane to the CMAG’s discussions on Sri Lanka.

Last week Colombo Telegraph exclusively revealed that Secretary General Sharma had commissioned legal opinions on the Sri Lankan impeachment process against Bandaranayake which his office had then hidden, even from CMAG, to the deep disappointment of some of the Foreign Ministers within the grouping. Speculation is rife in London diplomatic circles that Sharma failed to disclose the reports to CMAG because the opinions contained the views that the impeachment process was flawed and did not abide by the Commonwealth principles on ensuring the independence of the judiciary. Sharma has been criticised for soft-peddling the Commonwealth response to Sri Lanka’s human rights and democracy record as the country prepares to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in November this year.

Related stories;

Exclusive: Secretary General Hides Two Key Legal Findings On CJ Impeachment From CMAG

C’wealth Spokesman, Presidential Media In Joint Twitter Q&A – Uku Fails To Answer Tough Questions On CJ Impeachment Reports And Others

Release The Buried Reports, Be Transparent – Bar Association SL Tells Commonwealth Sharma

Canada Slams Commonwealth SG Sharma Over Burying Legal Reports On Sri Lanka


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Latest comments

  • 0

    This is serious

    • 0

      Very serious. SG Sharma’s SG post is under attack…..on line .

      It say…..”Canadian High Commissioner in London Gordan Campbell, wrote to Sharma in May, asking to see the documents, which he said were germane to the CMAG’s discussions on Sri Lanka”.

      Germane……….Definition of germane : Germane means relevant; it fits in. If you are giving a speech on dog training, stick to the germane , canine stuff. Topics that would not be …




  • 0

    Sri Lanka has mockery justice system and the MR regime can twist and turn the way they want

  • 0

    Looks like Sharma and his sidekick Uku are trying to hide a pumpkin in a plate of rice.

    As if the decision to hold the CHOGM meeting in Sri Lanka which is under the rule of a dictatorial and criminal government is not bad enough it is shameful that the British Commonwealth of nations, a large organisation composed of many liberal, democratic and modern nations, is unable to find decent upstanding men and women to be their leaders and spokespersons.

    Sharma and Uku have brought shame and disgrace to the organisation and the countries that agreed to hold the meeting in Sri Lanka have also acted in an abominable manner.

  • 0

    It is time some one takes Sharma to task. He too is becoming a dictator. There is a strong possibility he was bribed by the Sri Lankan government as they usually do to get away with issues. Sharma has failed in his job and its time a no confidence motion is passed against him by the member states. This should be the first order of the day during the next Commonwealth session. Canada should lead this process.

  • 0

    “The Commonwealth Spokesman said it would be injurious to the discretion, and ultimately the effectiveness of the Secretary-General if information of this kind were to be released…” The injury to CHOGM
    is far more important. As to its “effectiveness” it has always been a question mark. The most charitable description is that it is nothing more than an old boys Club for wining and dining. Sharma has done little to change that image during his tenure. On the contrary he has brought his office to controversy more than once. He cannot always cover his nakedness with sophistry.


  • 0


    Sri Lanka was not on CMAG agenda though you try to create such an impression. Canada raised matters related to Sri Lanka which is their right.

    I can’t remember you raising such a big ha..hoo about the way Darusman committee was appointed to provide Navi Pillay and USA an opening and the Darusman panel’s suppression of sources of evidence on which the panel arrived at their conclusions far more detrimental to Sri Lanka.

    In the ‘CJ’ case, the courts and the legislature decided to clash over the matter putting the country’s consitutional framework at risk. If CT desires to support one side to the dispute, it is their prerogative. However readers need to know both (or all) sides of the story.

  • 0

    This is what happens when an absolute Hambanthota Villege Kelawedda crook comes into power.

    Medamulana the biggest world famous Cunning Foxes and crooks Paradise in the world will give trouble to everybody that comes in contact with them and where ever it goes……..Nothing but trouble.

    Sharma should know what happens when one sleeps with dogs…….sure to get ticks next day.

    God save you and your juob CW SG sharma.

  • 0

    Both look like royal crooks. They have been well looked after by MR Samagama to do the dirty work for them. They should be tied to a block cart to pull it instead of the buffaloes.Both not at all fit to serve Commonwealth

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