3 October, 2023


Chief Justice, SC Judges Lean On Magistrates At Controversial JSC Meeting

Magistrates from all parts of the island were left reeling on Friday (13) after the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka and three other Supreme Court judges urged them to rule in favour of the police to curb and ban protests and public gatherings in light of the Covid-19 situation.

Instructions to “use their common sense” to stop demonstrations from Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya and Justices Buvanekha Aluvihare, L.T.B. Dehideniya and Mahinda Samayawardena shocked the magistrates, Colombo Telegraph learns.

The Supreme Court Justices urged the lower court judges to use Sections 98 and 106 of the Criminal Procedure Code to curb protests and gatherings because of the pandemic situation, in a major breach of judicial protocol and a direct assault on the independence of the courts of first instance.

The magistrates were initially threatened into attending the seminar on judicial proceedings during the Covid-19 situation by the Judicial Service Commission as Colombo Telegraph reported earlier. The JSC Secretary Sanjeewa threatened magistrates into attending Friday’s meeting at the Judges Institute, saying their future promotions to the High Court, salary increments and foreign training opportunities.

Magistrates in attendance have told local media speaking anonymously that it was the first time in their judicial careers that they had been given instructions on how to rule in cases that come before them, instead of being allowed to exercise their discretion.

During the meeting, Magistrates were briefed by several health officials, none of whom explained how allowing protests to go ahead were increasing infections.

Magistrates said it was clear at the outset of the seminar that it was aimed solely at pressuring the lower court judges to siding with police officers when they came before their courts seeking orders to ban protests and demonstrations.

Magistrates have ruled abstractly on these requests by police in the recent past, allowing some protests to go ahead while banning others. As if to reinforce the impression that it was the protests that resulted in rising infections rather than the Government’s abysmal handling of the public health crisis, Minister Kanchana Wijesekera tallied the number of protests around the country by various sectors and political factions, arriving at the figure of 847 – a damning indictment against his Government.

The pressure on the magistrates comes amid a huge spike in coronavirus infections and deaths from the virus, even as the Government continues to stick to its guns refusing to put restrictions in place to prevent indoor gatherings and overcrowding public transport. Two weeks ago, the Government reopened all government offices and ended remote working for public servants, just as infections began to spike. Hospitals are inundated and frontline workers are succumbing to the virus, while President Gotabaya Rajapaksa turns a blind eye – callously telling all those over 60 years to “get PCR tests” because there was no way he was going to impose a lockdown to curb the spread of the virus. In a move that defies all logic, the Government has decided to impose curfew between the hours of 10PM and 4AM to “manage” Covid-19. From Tuesday (17) all weddings in the country will be banned, with social media users wondering which influential politician or corporate mogul has offspring getting wed over the next few days. (By Janakie Mediwake)

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Latest comments

  • 33

    How shameful the CJ and these Judges have become!
    They will hang their heads in shame before posterity and their children one day.
    If magistrates are not allowed to use their judgement, why not put a robot on the bench.

    (Son and grandson of proud and principled members of the judiciary)

    • 17


      A good idea to install a Robot [ Robert[ BOB] ] on the Bench. It is only then we will have rulings overruling the Supreme Court.

      • 6

        Any student of history worth his salt ……… would know …… these things end only when one thing happens.

        These things end ……… only when the cause of the problem is eliminated.

        Rajapakse family is the problem …….. nothing will change until they are exterminated.

        Why did they exterminate the entire family of the Tsar of Russia? Ask any Lankan Leftist …… Kumar, SJ, Vasu, Tissa, …….. they will come up with all the pristine reasons and the excuses together. But then, try to apply it to their own side of politics ……. then the excuses do a summersault :))

        Why did Gota exterminate the entire Prabakaran family …….. including his 12 year old child?

        To kaput the LTTE ……….. the LTTE was Prabakaran and Prabakaran was the LTTE.

        Gota knows the answer ……… only this time his answer should be applied to Gota and his entire Rajapakse clan.

        • 4


          Native, I’m already a pacifist ……… no need to convert a convert.

          Look at all what people write in fine language ………. Intellectualism/education/fine-language …….. is only good at finding excuses to console ourselves.

          Thank Buddha ……. I sat at the back of the class inattentive and drumming my “education” away …….. Native, did you always sit in the front row?

          But before anyone think I ended up like EE ……….. for the record …….. I got the best results in my school. :)) ……. and the head of the school went ballistic …… to have his favourites pipped at the post by a rascal

          But it’s good to have ones radar a little askew ……. different from Native and the maddening crowd …….

    • 9

      eeakdavi: “why not put a robot on the bench”. Excellent! I am sure, you would have either read the mindset of the President GR or have become an “Inner Circle Advisor”. Either way, it is an excellent proposition. This “Seminar” by the JSC was a “TEST RUN” to experiment whether that “Robotic” technology could be achieved with a set of “Designed” Human Beings. Don’t forget, Sri Lanka – the most “Innovative” Miracle of Asia now stepping into the competition for International status. Hail Thee GR! – The Live Robot in “Human Form”.

  • 23

    Ranaviru Nandasena is digging mass graves for rule of law in Sri Lanka, because now he is determined to win the war against the rule of law. Remember he won the war without rules!

    He is on his way to bring white vans, etc. into service. His experience in handling suspected JVP cadres, innocent Tamils and journalists will come in handy soon.

    Rule of the jungle is well suited to the rulers of Sri Lanka.

  • 21

    People are to stay indoors between 10 pm and 4 am to allow white vans to root out the viruses that are sparking anti-Rajapaksa pandemonium all over the island.

    • 7

      Ajay Sundara Devan: “stay indoors between 10 pm to 4 am”. Our President taking into account the rapid increase in “Deaths” (already going beyond 6000) has put in place a “Grand Policy” directive to “Increase” the population. The present Minister of Sports has been assigned as the “Monitoring Minister” of the “Project”. Don’t you see how our President is “Pro_Active” and “Forward-Looking”- “Saubagye Dekma” (Towards Prosperity and Splender)

  • 17

    ……….The Govt: has decided to impose curfew between the hours of 10PM. and 4AM to manage Covid-19……………………

    What I like about this Govt: is their sense of Humour.!

    • 12

      I think that this 10pm to 4am curfew is on the advice of (un)sound advisors surrounding the VVIP. He has quite a few of these clowns who advised the abrupt chemical fertilizer ban etc.
      Their thinking is that it was originally said that this virus is transmitted by bats and if people are not exposed from 10 to 4, (the time bats fly about) the virus cannot be spread.
      It is that simple. Brilliant.

  • 3

    I have no doubt at all that imposing curfew between the hours of 10PM and 4AM will cut down the spread of the Covid 19 virus and its variants by at least 80%.

  • 13

    Law-abiding countries in the world should immediately impose a travel ban on Sri Lankan Chief Cheap Justice!

  • 14

    As per the oaths taken by all MPs’, it’s their duty to protect the constitution of the country. If so what actions are they going to take against the Chief Cheap Justice who is putting pressure on Junior Judges to give judgements in support of the Police? Take action SJB/JVP/SLFP!

    • 3

      Buddhist1: “Take action SJB/JVP/SLFP”. You have failed with “99%” scoring to be released from Angoda.

    • 1

      Buddhist1: AKD has already asked this in parliament and awaiting answers from Sabry.

  • 11

    I hope that Michelle Bachelet is reading all these things.
    She is a true friend of Lanka and of all Lankans, except of the thousand or so members of the Junta who terrorise everybody here except the COVID virus.

  • 8

    Sri Lanka is under an undeclared military regime,

    The president, a military officer decides every political and civil project/decision.

    • 5

      Doesn’t the Constitution of the country have provisions to safeguard the independence of the judiciary? Why is it that Magistrates too are bending over to robotic submission? Isn’t it time for civil rights leaders and other right thinking citizens to come up with an effective united strategy to halt this down hill slide of the rule of law and autocratic decision making by the leadership?

  • 6

    A curfew between 10pm & 4am? Is it necessary to impose a curfew instead of closing night clubs & prevent gatherings? A ban on weddings & restricting attendance in funeral is fine but if restaurants, shops & shopping malls have no social distancing provisions, will the night curfew alone be effective?

    GR was swift to impose a total curfew continuously for 5 weeks when the pandemic was at its infancy but now, at time of uncontrolled spreading of the virus, he is reluctant to take positive preventative steps. Obviously, there is no consistent policy & the govt. seems to be still fumbling in the dark

  • 5


    When people broke the curfew in search of food previously, the police beat them up & remanded them in over crowded cells. Now, with a night curfew, the police, with the blessings of the judiciary, will have power to lock up ‘protestors’ in the guise of preventing the spreading of the virus. Will ‘law breakers’ in crowded cells help? Or is it to enable the judiciary to look the other way to military & police abuse of the law?

  • 4

    There does not seem to be any thing distinguishing or respectable about today’s judges in Sri Lanka. In appearance they are more like the court peons of old days.

    Today it is the day of commonness in looks , and cheapness in behaviour.

  • 6

    I have no regard for our judiciary after the Ranjan Ramanayke case.

    A elected parliamentarian (unlike Ranil W!) criticized the judges and said they were corrupt.

    The judges are paid with tax payer money and generally are given a good life with cars , houses given with our money. But you cannot criticize them ! ! Are they gods ? Remember Sarath Silva, Mohan Peiris, who were more political and morally corrupt than even parliamentarians?

    Ranjan was sent to jail on a long sentence

    I think the judges are in contempt of the idea of a judiciary.

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