3 August, 2021

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Impeachment And Future Actions – A Liberal View

By Kamal Nissanka

Kamal Nissanka

Sri Lanka is facing a grave crisis as a result of intolerance. Once the Supreme Court the sole authority that possesses the right of interpretation of constitutional provisions had delivered its interpretation on the impeachment of the Chief Justice, the executive and the legislators who had taken oath to protect and safeguard the constitution must uphold the interpretation though it may be a bitter medicine.

Liberals all over the world are keen on upholding three major areas of vital importance in any democratic society namely, independence of judiciary, and rule of law and separation of powers.

So in the present imbroglio liberals cannot see any other option other than obeying to the Supreme Court determination of the constitutionality of Standing Orders in parliament regarding impeachment of superior court judges. Of course Supreme Court decision has made recommendations as to what options are available to the legislature.

If the charges framed against the chief justice were brought on political grounds as a result of the judgments of Town and Country Planning Bill (Amendment) and Divineguma Bill that obstructed the political path of the government, the present judgment on the impeachment resolution might create more deeper vengeance towards the judges of Supreme Court and as well as for those   in Court of Appeal. Are you legislators going to impeach all judges?

Therefore it seems that the executive as well as the legislature are in a deeper crisis now. In the present context they cannot believe, trust or rely on in any judge in the Superior Courts. Even if a judge is appeared to be a loyal  to the executive, once appointed as Chief Justice he/she might turn against some of the policies of government as our experience with  Mr. Sarath Nanda Silva manifests.(He was initially loyal to both President Chandrika Kumaratunga and President  Mahinda Rajapaksa)

Bringing an alien stooge to the Supreme Court as Chief Justice after kicking out the incumbent by unlawful forces of intolerance will create a further crisis as international pressure would gather in due course.

Of course superior court judges are not saints or demigods, they are also human beings. They may have their incapacities, misbehaviors and dictatorial tendencies and that is why there is a methodology in advanced democracies to impeach them based on all accepted legal principles and norms.

Now we know that the appointment of a chief justice is also as grave as impeaching a chief justice.  The sovereignty is vested in the people and the people’s executive power is exercised by the President. The President should exercise his executive power in a transparent manner in appointing superior court judges. When a mission of Human Rights Institute of International Bar Association with members in 183 countries visited Sri Lanka on the 29th August 2001 on a fact finding mission, it recommended that

“Appointments of judges by the President without an independent process of assessment should cease. All judges should be appointed by an independent process of assessment, based on merit, with names being forwarded to the President or Minister of justice for final appointment.”(Report of the International Bar Association 2001-Sri Lanka: Failing to Protect the Rule of Law and The independence of judiciary, -page 37)

Therefore at this crisis best option is to make proper legislation (a parliamentary act) to impeach the superior court judges and high officials if need arises. What will be the outcome of a debate in the parliament on impeachment? The main questions will be whether standing orders are law or not law, and whether PSE proceedings and findings are lawful or unlawful? As Supreme Court is vested with the sole jurisdiction to determine questions of interpretation and as it has already determined the matter in issue and therefore the debate in the parliament will be a waste of time from the stand point of a law abiding person. All subsequent anti judgment actions and utterances by the legislature, by any single legislator or by any citizen are unlawful.

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Latest comments

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    with regard to the propriety of impeachment process some people with hatred towards President had express thier view that the process is not lawful. The present derection given by the Supreme court is none other than the opinion of such people.

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    Exactly! Please take this issue to the international level as well where we have the best chance of nailing this regime!

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    Some officials are not concerned about the law and order situation in the country as long as Chief Justice is removed to cover up their irregularities from the Supreme Courts. It is very unfortunate individuals with vested interests brought up an impeachment while UN is setting up a Working Group to consider recommendations of the review Panel. Impeachment is already having international consequences. Several countries issued statements at the United Nations Human rights Commission concerned with interference to the Judiciary. Those individuals are not worried about the President and the country as long as their sinister objectives are achieved.

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    We are all actors as the Bard said,we come perform different roles and fade away.The country has to go on and the this generation owes a big duty to leave a country not in disarray but with law and order and respect for authority fo intact.
    The President who had also worn a black coat and is well aware of the need for good order unlike synthetic doctors has to fade away where the name will be respected.

    Rise above pettiness and save the country.

  • 0
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    No one cares for former CJ Sarath N.Silva, who has no principle at all. It is very clear that the power of interpreting any Statute vests with the Supreme Court and not with any other institutions. Parliament can only make laws, but that does not make Parliament is supreme. It is the constitution that is supreme. The interpretation of the Constitution is a matter for the Supreme Court and not with the Parliament. There is a difference when people’s sovereignty is vested with the Parliament and that of protection of such people’s sovereignty is entirely with the Supreme Court as Upper Guardian of the very same people. Parliamentarians should not twist and mislead the people in order to protect their own faults (corruptions). The manner in which the entire country is being militarized is not a helathy sign for the preservation of democracy in Sri Lanka. If Parliament deliberately continues with this impeachment despite the the Court;s verdict, then one ponders whether Parliamentary Privileges are being abused, utilizing miltary means as the President is the head of the Armed Forces. Will a blood-bath in the country witness the erosion of democracy. Is MR trying to be another Gadaffi of Libya (as he had already mentioned that he is prepared to give asylum to Gadaffi). What has MR and the Parliament lost in dropping the issue of impechment of CJ. Defying the Orders of the Court tantamounts to contempt of Court. Defying the Standing Orders will not amount to contempt of Court as Standing Orders are not law. As there are a great number of corrupted incidents (import of formalin worth Rs.2,000 million, eavsion of taxes for 19 lamborigini cars, etc at a tiem when people are suffering), have emerged, MR will not act like Assaad of Syria. There are signs that monies deposited in the Golden Key are been utilized in the purchase of shares in establishments like Appollo Hospital, etc. It won’t be a surprise if the Sri Lankan Rupees also gets inflated and leading to poverty and misery because of the malignant economic policy. Let there be some reconciliation between the Parliament and the Judiciary with the assistance of religious dignitaries. Will the future actions of MR be disastrous to the entire country. May God save the country.

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    There is a correction. It should be read as ‘MR will tend to act like Assaad of Syriya.’

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    As pointed out the appointment of judges too is an important process. The 18A gives the president a free hand to appoint any rascal or sycophant to the position of CJ. 18A is a big blunder that has cleared the path for this type of manipulation.

    According to 18A the following appointments are made by the president and if he wishes he may call for observations form 5 persons of which only two are from the opposition.

    1.The Election Commission. 2. The Public Service Commission. 3. The National Police Commission. 4. The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka. 5. The Permanent Commission to Investisate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption. 6. The Finance Commission. 7. The Delimitation Commission. 8.The Chief Justice and the Judges of the Supreme Court. 9.The President and the Judges ofthe Court of Appeal.10. The Members of the Judicial Service Commission, other than the Chairman.11 The Attomey – General. 12. The Auditor – General. 13. The Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman).14. The Secretary – General of Parliament.

    18A also states

    “(7) No person appointed to be the Chairman or member of a Commission referred to in Schedule I of this Article or any of the persons
    appointed to the posts referred to in Part I and Part II of Schedule II to this Article shall be removed,otherwise than in the manner provided for in the Constitution or in any law enacted for such
    pupose. Where no such provision is made, such person shall be removed by the President.”.

    So 18A bestows on the president the power to appoint or remove above persons even without any valid reason or law. So it is clear that 18A in inimical with other provisions of the constitution and runs counter to all principles of justice and human rights. This serious flaw needs to be removed immediately before it creates further havoc.

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    The shit we are in as a country is galling. A bloated executive, a puppet legislature with main opposition in connivance with government excesses and being enfeebled by its own madness,rampant corruption,impunity in the face of callous lawlessness,political murders,nepotism at its height, independence of judiciary being threatened, scum of the earth having their own way are the symptomatic order of the day.

  • 0
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    This is what happened when the Hambantota Medamulana Mada Kariya Came to Colombo and used the politeness and tespect of the people to make his loot.

    He already started his waterloo from Kelaniya on Saturday…….and very soon will be faded and gone for good.

    Better give the country to British to Administer……..Don’t know if they like to take the sh.t buck..t and the left over bones after eating the flesh by Political jackass..

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    After considering all the options available, I felt the only opportunity available for CJ is to HOLD ONTO THE SEAT AND NEVER GIVE UP UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES OR UNDER ANY THREATS.

    THIS SHE HAS TO DO NOT FOR HER SELF, BUT FOR THE SAKE OF THE PEOPLE AND THE COUNTRY.

    NEVER TO BE FEARED FOR MARA OR ROWDY WIMAL OR ANY OTHER JACKASS THREATS.

    MARA’S DOWNFALL HAS ALREADY STARTED….AND CJ WITH THE HELP OF JUDICIARY AND OUR SUPPORT AND WITH THE HELP OF GOD……WILL COME AS A WINNER.

    THIS IS MY PRAYER.

    ALSO CALL IN FOR INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO INTERVENE.

    HAPPY 2013.

  • 0
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    Hello Jayantha.

    What do you know about this CJ. did you know anything ab out her beofore this. Who appointed her to that seat? people of this country of the Prasident who has been appointed by the People. Dont be a hypocrite. if you dont know the constitution of this country , read it first.

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    The Sinhala anti government forces are active again. CJ is doomed and will never be able to maintain her status after allegations proved or not. Why are the Sinhala Pundits and anti government diaspora trying to undermine this government that liberated the country from the terrorists. Isn’t it true that the anti government forces were prepared to handover one third of the country to the Tigers on a platter in the name of peace? What’s so big about CJ ? What are the so called morals and ethics and perceived injustice these pundits are talking about now? Where were these traitors when the Tigers and the JVP were killing civilians and executing them after their Kangaroo Court Hearings? Why all these fuss now about CJ. If the Legislature and the President do not want her, it’s time for her to go. Who is this CJ after all? When Mahinda appointed her as CJ all these anti Government Forces were against her appointment. The UNP even wanted her to be reported to the Bribary Commissioner. Now why the turn around ? Even the Tamil Diaspora have joined these pundits for all these forces have their own axes to grind. The traitors do not mind giving half the country to the separatists but they are very concerned about the ethics and procedures relating to impeachment. As Prabakaran once said the Singhalese have very short memories. Sudu Akka

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      Hello Sudu Akka,

      This is your Thamby again why are you bringing the poor Tamils into this as all the Tamils have been killed by your beloved Leader MR and buried in Vanni.
      Prabakaran may have said that Singhalese have short memories and how wrong he was as you have no memory at all and you are repeating yourself and may be you are mad. You need treatment

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