In an unprecedented deviation from decades of legal tradition in this country the de facto Chief Justice Mohan Pieris has invited his political backers to an event otherwise reserved for serving judges Colombo Telegraph learns from judicial sources.
For over a century Chief Justices have invited only serving judges and their spouses to the Annual Judges conference and dinner. This unbroken tradition was flouted by the de facto Chief Justice who owes a debt of gratitude to Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and a selected cabal of cronies for the machinations to place him in his current position in violation of the constitution of Sri Lanka.
At this year’s annual judges dinner hosted by the de facto Chief Justice Mohan Pieris on 14th December at his official residence there were three unusual guests, handpicked and invited by Pieris himself. When the cocktail commenced, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Central Bank Central Bank Governor, Ajith Nivad Cabraal arrived followed by Palitha Fernando, the Attorney General. It is well known that Mohan Pieris, Ajith Nivard and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa form an unofficial cabal that meets often at the Central Bank to decide on judicial matters. Mohan Pieris is in fact the handpicked appointee of Gotabaya Rajapaksa. In addition Mohan Pieris and Nivard Cabraal share many nefarious business interests. It is reported that when Gotabaya Rajapaksa arrived with hundreds of security guards and vehicles, the judges and their vehicles had to be moved out.
Although Mohan Pieris took great pains to introduce some of the judges to his ‘handlers’ many of the judges present avoided such interactions both in anger and embarrassment, Sources told the Colombo Telegraph.
Several judges informed the Colombo Telegraph that they were shocked by the invitations extended to the Defence Secretary and the Central Bank Governor. They expressed their dismay at de facto Chief Justice Pieris flouting judicial tradition and practice which have been in place to ensure the independence of the judiciary, especially from the reach of the executive.