7 April, 2020

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Boycott The New CJ If Incumbent Impeached

By S L Gunasekara

S L Gunasekara

The following letter was written and sent to the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka and to the all members of the Executive Committee by S L Gunasekara on November 28, 2012. – Colombo Telegraph 

By S L Gunasekara –

BY REGISTERED POST

28th  November 2012

Mt.WijayadasaRajapakse PC,

President,

Bar Association of Sri Lanka,

153, Mihindu Mawatha,

Colombo12.

Dear Wijayadasa,

Impeachment Of Chief Justice

As you are presumably aware, I am not and was never an unqualified admirer of the Chief Justice.  Indeed, I was one who publicly opposed her appointment as a Judge of the Supreme Court way back in 1996 and expressed my views forthrightly in a television `talk show’ on TNL.  At the same time I was and continue to be a supporter of the present Government, not because I have any illusions about it’s claims to perfection or competence etc but for the simple reason that I cannot see a credible alternative thereto or any persons/set of persons who is/are in any way suited to take over the reins of power from Mahinda Rajapakse and his government.  That is solely by way of introduction.

Despite the aforesaid I am deeply concerned about the Resolution for the Impeachment of the Chief Justice which is currently being inquired into by a purported Select Committee. My concern is not for the CJ personally – I believe that if she has misconducted herself &/or behaved in a manner unbecoming of the holder of her office she must go or be dismissed. However I am very strongly of the view that she must have a fair trial  and given a fair opportunity if defending herself. As things stand, I have no doubt that she will get neither because now the whole `impeachment process’ has become a political exercise with some despicable clowns who, to our Country’s sorrow and shame, are MPs sinking so unbelievably low as to sign an `impeachment resolution’ that contained no charges leaving it to the `managers’ of the `drama’ to insert what charges they like !!!

I see the Resolution for the Impeachment of the Chief Justice as being one giant step taken by the present government to control the judiciary and/or bring it under its heel and/or destroy its independence.  This fact was firmly confirmed by a statement made by a coterie of ignorant ministers [two of whom were `purchased’ from the UNP in the not too distant past] who held a press conference after the last sitting of the purported Select Committee and are alleged to have said that the judiciary should lay off and/or keep their hands off Parliament.

This to my mind is nonsensical.  The issue with regard to judicial intervention in the impeachment process revolves round the question of whether Standing Order 78A is or is not ultra vires the Constitution. The Standing Orders of Parliament, it must be remembered, do not constitute law. Had they constituted law the Courts would have been powerless to intervene or pass any judgment with regard to the Impeachment process.  At the same time, had the provisions contained in Standing Order 78A (which is the impugned Standing Order) been incorporated in a Bill as a prelude to making such provisions a part of the law of the land, that Bill would have had to be gazetted consequent to which the Bill for the introduction of such law which would have to be submitted to the Supreme Court for a  determination whether it needed to be passed by a 2/3 majority or by a 2/3 majority and approved at  a referendum.  Accordingly, any law providing for the procedure of trying a judge of a Superior Court on a resolution for his/her Impeachment would be subject to judicial review prior to enactment.  Standing Orders however, are essentially internal rules of Parliament governing its debates and they do not have to be scrutinized by the Supreme Court prior to their enactment.

Thus, the warning given by the coterie of ministers to the judiciary to keep their hands off Parliament which was uttered vis-à-vis the several actions pending before the Supreme Court in respect of the vires of Standing Order 78A and hence the appointment of members of the Select Committee was ominous.  It would mean for instance that Parliament would not tolerate any Court declaring to be invalid, a Standing Order which, to take a hypothetical example, decreed that any person who criticizes a Minister or the President should be subject to a death penalty.  This of course is an extreme example but one cannot rule out the occurrence of such an extreme eventuality, particularly in the present day.

These, I believe are matters of which the Bar Association should educate the public.  They should also educate the public about the fact that if the Government succeeds in subduing the judiciary they would be at the receiving end of a stooge judiciary when they are out of power.  It would be stupid for them to presume that they would remain in power for good.  I believe that is  a delusion under which several dictators laboured till they were thrown out.

I have seen a barrage of criticism about the stance taken by the Bar Association in respect of this matter where many have felt that the Bar Association has not taken sufficient meaningful steps to oppose the Impeachment.  I tend to agree with them.

I do not, for a moment mean that the Bar Association should organize strikes or noisy demonstrations such as those staged by some exhibitionists of the Bar by congregating, around the car of the Chief Justice when she was going to Parliament and returning therefrom or that the Bar Association should organize the members of legal profession to engage in such childish acts as breaking coconuts which as we all know brings no results.  Even at the risk of sounding  presumptuous.  I suggest that the Bar Association takes some meaningful steps to oppose this madness of the incumbent government.

My suggestion is that the Bar Association adopts a resolution and/or makes a public pronouncement that it requests all its members to refrain from accepting appointment as Chief Justice in the event of the incumbent Chief Justice being impeached.  Similarly I believe that the Bar Association should call upon all others who are not members of the Bar Association also to decline to accept that post if it was offered to any of them; and also that the Bar Association should call upon all its members and others to boycott and boycott completely, both socially and professionally, any person whoever it may be who accepts appointment as Chief Justice in the event of the Impeachment of the incumbent Chief Justice being effected.  Such boycott should in my considered view go to the extent of refusing sit with such new Chief Justice (if any) on the Bench of the Supreme Court [if a Judge], or to appear before such new Chief Justice (if any) as the case may be. [if an Attorney-at-Law].

I realize that adopting such a course of action would be fraught with danger, particularly to the person who proposes it and those who take the lead in executing it. However, such dangers are as nothing when compared to the dangers to the entire populace of living with a `stooge judiciary’ and hardly anything worthwhile can be achieved without some measure of sacrifice. While devices like instituting actions and organizing/sponsoring demonstrations will only bring publicity, I cannot see them being effective. Indeed such demonstrations could result in counter demonstrations [such as that which we witnessed today -28.11.12] which could only result in the further demeaning of the judiciary and/or the position it holds and/or should hold in the minds of the People.

Having regard to the importance of this matter I wish to copy this letter to all members of the Executive Committee but I have been unable to do so because I am unaware of their names and addresses.  Accordingly, I shall be grateful if you would kindly instruct the office of the BASL to furnish copies hereof to every member of the Executive Committee or to send me urgently, the names and addresses of every member of the Executive Committee so that I may send copies thereof to them.

Thanking you.

Yours sincerely,

S L Gunasekara

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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    well said SL and its hearteneing to know we still have few individuals of your calibre who wants to defend the rule of law of this country.

    Having said this, the executive is too powerful and the uneducated and third class Rajapaksha will start the beginning of the end of this corrupt regime and please do your best to get the leagal profession and folks understand the real danger of this so called impeachment.

    • 0
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      SL is a man of honour and intelligence. Would love to see him in politics holding high office. Rather than the gang f rascals in power now. Sri Lanka has many professinals of his calibre. I fully support the action proposed above by SL.

    • 0
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      do we need a extremist sinhalese nut to say this bit — this truth is very self evident. Even a grade 8 child from Ananda College can figure this out

      This process is wrong. And people like S.L are direct partners of the system for continuous support of this fascist regime.

      • 0
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        Nimal Lewke Bandara:
        You hit the nail on the head. This … is a fraud of the first water and it is really beyond credibility that he is subjecting ANYONE to moral criticism.
        He is no better than Waasideva nanayakkara who opposed the 18th Amendment on principle but voted for it in practice. there is NO FATE THAT IS TOO DIRE FOR THE LIKES OF SLG, THE MERCHANT OF RACIST HATRED.

    • 0
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      And the writer has the uncontrollable urge to “SUPPORT SOMETHING” all the time, which drives him against his own convictions to support the lesser of the evil? Hey – what about not supporting anything when you dont have an amicable option? Wouldn’t that eventually give rise to an option suitable than your action of perpetuating the evil? This is what make people vote for Mervin Silva – you get what you see. And he doesn’t walk the double rails of reason and self-interest. Ignorance of justice is marginally excusable. Negligence of justice is not.

  • 0
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    The Judiciary and Lawyers should take the steps as proposed. Meantime civil society and the opposition have every right to take action by demonsrtating and takeing to the streets. This illegal move by the Govt must be resisted by whatever means available.

  • 0
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    Thank you SL for one of the most practical suggestions made by anyone in this crisis. Once the Judicial system folds up then we might hit the line of no return. It is anybody’s guess how events will follow. Let us all forget political alliances and unite to save the country. SL please give us the lead.

    • 0
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      Jamal:
      This is not a “crisis” and your f……g hero, S. L. Gunasekera is not the solution. As one of those who has ACTIVELY supported this regime that has dispensed with anything resembling justice and decency, he is part of the PROBLEM>

  • 0
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    SL you support government because there was no alternatives?

    Give us a break. This is same like Tamil nuts saying in 2002 that they supported Prabhakaran and LTTE because there was no other alternative for Tamils but LTTE.

    This is pure stupidity. Nothing else. You are responsible because you support this DICTATORSHIP so your recommendations should be placed nothing but in the dustbin.

    Sorry to say this – anybody openly claiming as a government supporter condemning this impeachment process is just a horrible joke..

    I remember when LTTE killed Neelan Thiruchelvan, some Tamil nuts said,

    This is what that LTTE nut told nearly MANY years ago when LTTE brutally assassinated Neelan.

    “As you are presumably aware, I am not and was never an unqualified admirer of Neelan Thiruchelvan. Indeed, I was one who publicly opposed him back in 1980s and expressed my views forthrightly in a Uthayan condemning Neelan. At the same time I was and continue to be a supporter of the LTTE, not because I have any illusions about it’s claims to perfection or competence etc but for the simple reason that I cannot see a credible alternative thereto or any persons/set of persons who is/are in any way suited to take over the reins of power from Velupillai Prabhakaran and his Tamil Tiger movement.”

    Tell me S.L, what is YOUR and HIS difference. You both supported evil due to lack of non-alternative. LTTE took Tamils to graveyard and I am MOST certain that Mahinda and UPFA is taking whole nation to graveyard.

    You have blood in your hands my friend..

    • 0
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      Thank you Nimal. At times we are so blinded by our allegiances, we get mired in arguments that don’t stand up to scrutiny. Despite being the brilliant lawyer he is, he puts forward an untenable argument,in this case patriotism at any cost!

      • 0
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        There is no difference between S.L Gunasekara supporting the evil government and Tamils who supported evil LTTE.

        No alternative does not equal supporting evil.

        He is a part of the problem, not the part of solution. He just puts argument according to mood swings but he continued to support government and enjoy benefits being linked to government while scoring liberal marks at this issue.

        We should be careful of such sharks.

  • 0
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    A LETTER worth reading by all and sundry. The only unfortunate thing in Sri Lanka, there is no media who would dare translate this into Sinhala/Tamil and prominently publish and air it through the “sound waves”. I earnestly request the media to do that.

    I think the Bar Association must seriously consider the proposal made by SL and pass a resolution requesting that it’s members must not accept this post of CJ. That is the way, a “decent” and a “most appropriate” and “effective” way to show the condemnation of the whole process of dealing with the Judiciary by the Government and its “hired” stooges.

    Of coourse the Government will not deter, The “hired stooges”( the so called Professionalas) will give the advice and even “twist” the arms of the Executive to appoint, yet again another “stooge”. That does not matter. Allow that to happen and the General Public of the country will get the message loud and clear. Let that CJ be like the “JUDGE” acting in the “CHALK CIRCLE” – (Hunu-wataye Kathawa). When that happens the public will experience and learn how and what way these idiosyncrasy types could be got rid off. Let the people send the message to the Executive.

    • 0
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      douglas:
      you are uttering absolute PIFFLE. S.L. Gunasekera can and gets published in ANY NEWSPAPER HE WANTS. That is a fact: ask the editors of every group of newspapers in this country.
      S.L.GUNASEKERA IS GUILTY OF SUPPORTING AND PROMOTING THIS CRUEL AND TREACHEROUS GOVERNMENT AND CONTINUES TO DO, EVEN IN HIS MOST RECENT PUBLISHED MATERIAL, HE STATES THAT AS A FACT.
      Let’s not give this humbug protection he neither needs nor asks for!

  • 0
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    “….At the same time I was and continue to be a supporter of the present Government…for the simple reason that I cannot see a credible alternative thereto or any persons who are in any way suited to take over the reins of power from Mahinda Rajapakse and his government”

    What hypocrisy sir. Is it compulsory in law that you should support some government?

    Bullshit

    • 0
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      Imposter again.
      Leela

      • 0
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        Herold (Leela)
        The fact that you want to highlight it shows you are developing a complex.
        I suggest you ignore it.

        Interestingly you wrote..
        colombotelegraph is full of LTTE terrorists, eelam aspirators, anti buddhists, ngo cahoots, pseudo democrats, brigade of green coloured spectacles and red blooded revolutionaries self-professed as ‘educated’.

        I write regular comments there to contest them. Many subscribers do not like me. They not only oppose me but attack me with smear, slur, filth and in every way they could. They even wanted to ban me from ‘their’ site. But the moderator there allow my comments through. Nothing is bared up to now. So, I cannot see why lankaweb should ban views of those who oppose its opinion here.
        Leela

        It is indeed laughable!

  • 0
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    Well said sir. We , are not cardboard Desapremis. We really love our country. We are thankful to you for making a reasonable suggestion .
    There is no absence of alternatives to Mahinda. And Ranil . mariyakade SOPI NONA could do better

    • 0
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      What did he “Say well?” he said a lot of things. And – er.. how do you explain the “Absence of alternatives” in the first place? Any thoughts about who protects Ranil’s position and the leadership?

  • 0
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    I do aggred with Mr SL.Gunasekera and having certain respect of his position on CJ’s and Her Husband serious chargres agianst corrupation had been undermine vital interest of SOVERGNITY AND RULE OF LAW OF JUDICIARY GOVERANCE BY PEOPLE of Sri Lanka.
    On the Peoples point of view or legal point of view the crux of the matter is Foreing intervention is accompaned by insolent and public political penetration in Judicial affairs in Sri lanka.
    The Judicial independance are manifested by politial parties and foreing powers used influance in order to distrot and falsity the WILL OF PEOPLE in order to manipulate ,intimidate and preventing the PRINCIPAL REPRESENTATIVES OF PARLIMANT CHOSEN BY THE PEOPLE FROM REACHING POWER.
    You said in the letter “…imperachment has become political exerise with some despicable clowons..”yes in these invicable forces are collbration with local incorrigiable political clowns ,do not hesitate from employing the worst tools of Judiciary in order to reach vital Political,Economical and Social GOALS INCUDING UNDERMINE ENTIRE LEGAL SYSTEM AND RULE OF LAW IN OUR LAND HAD BEEN SAFEGUARD SINCE 1948 INDEPENDANCE OF CEYLON.
    In between Impreachemnt procudure Parliment and CJ there are many mallicious and inaccurate move and promoated by various vested inferted politiacl CLOWNS gain thier own political power.Of casue CJ serious corrupation alligation need to conducts on transparentry gurrantee due process is progress in accordance to RULE OF LAW.
    We have to accpect, Both sides lack of matutarity of imperachemnt process and conducts less the transparentry process with democratic Rule of Discipline of Our Nation.As Sri Lankan, beliving in the democratic and indepandance judiciary is destiny of our nation we are forced to bow our heads in shame that such things could actully be Judicial and Politiacal perpetrators.

    • 0
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      Foreign intervention

      Western conspiracy

      CJ’s corruption

      Blah blah blah.. Nothing like B.S. Sounds to me more like Jataka stories.

      Tell your conspiracy of western stories to a chinese with a pony tail… We all know CJ’s corruption issue was all set up. Who appointed the husband in the first place? MaRa? This was all planned by MaRa to trap CJ. This is the sad reality.

      We all know how politically manipulating Maha R(J)ara is.

      There is no issue of corruption, there is only issue of Mahinda Rajapakse trapping a gullible and an idiotic Pradeep Kariyawasam and trying to keep CJ as a hostage.

      It did not happen- we all know the reality.

  • 0
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    I do not think the boycott will work.In S.L you find so many lackeys who will sell their own wives. mother for a potage like the 116 who signed the petition and the 7 who had found the CJ guilty.Well if there is noone there is Duminda, Mervel Wimal.You do not necessarily be a lawyer.Lawyers can be created overnight

  • 0
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    I do not think the boycott will work.In S.L you find so many lackeys who will sell their own wives. mother for a potage like the 116 who signed the petition and the 7 who had found the CJ guilty.Well if there is no one there is Duminda, Merven Wimal and the famous lawyer who
    discovered the missing journalist in a foreign country.You do not necessarily be a lawyer.Lawyers can be created overnight

  • 0
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    Can anyone, leave aside SL, talk sense to people who believe and continue to live in “BULLSHIT”? This is the only language (“bullshit”)that has to be used; but I am glad people like SL are not of that type.

    So best is forget and forgive.

  • 0
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    I rarely agree with SL on any matter, particularly the bigoted venom he often spouts in support of an exclusively Sinhala nation. I would like to think this is for ideological reasons, and that SL would not oppose my right to express my opinions freely, even if they directed against him.But I agree with SL this once, albeit with some qualification. Most of us who are not political sycophants would readily see the impeachment process as also a political one with no possibility for the CJ (whether she is, in fact, guilty or not) of receiving a fair trial. Thus, SL’s continued support for the Rajapakse regime somewhat baffles the mind. I also see SL as mistaken in his idealism. Does he truly believe that some members of Bar Ass’n — even if a resolution for its members not to accept a future post as CJ is passed — would not do so?

    There are plenty of bootlickers, and SL would recall that some of those entrusted with educated the legal profession not too long ago welcome one particular candidate sitting for the law college entrance exam with betel, and ensured he had all the resources at his disposal to qualify.

  • 0
    0

    Illuminating letter

  • 0
    0

    SL says ” At the same time I was and continue to be a supporter of the present Government, not because I have any illusions about it’s claims to perfection or competence etc but for the simple reason that I cannot see a credible alternative thereto or any persons/set of persons who is/are in any way suited to take over the reins of power from Mahinda Rajapakse and his government.”

    So you support the corrupt, nepotistic MR and his government simply because you see no alternative?? What a pathetic copout. Have you ever spoken out against his nepotism, blatant corruption, impunity, the ” coterie of ignorant ministers” he has “purchased” and all the other excesses that you cannot pretend to be ignorant of? What of the constitution that he is trying to alter to even exceed the travesty that JRJ foisted on us? Why don’t you speak out on these and more of the injustices that he and his brothers are guilty of?

    I doubt you have forgotten your experiences with the chauvinist JHU, although that bunch, along with Weerawansa and the others “purchased”, are part and parcel of the government you support. Are you a hypocrite, choosing only issues that are closer to your livelihood, or could you be a ‘shining light’ for this country in her hour of need? Sri Lanka needs guys like you to get together to save us from what looks like an abysmal future.

    MAKE UP YOUR MIND!

  • 0
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    SL – Please check this – https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/guarding-the-guardians/ – and let us have your views on ‘justice’ in MR’s Sri Lanka.

    I hope you have the guts to respond, and if so, ‘Esto Perpetua’…

  • 0
    0

    Oh Just Chill…. We’ll forget all about it and the next time we will again “Puka-Uda-Daagena-Chande-Daamu”. Hey really what are your options anyway? Ranil and Karu?? Oh god…..

  • 0
    0

    This fellow no rope to hang.From day one onward undirectly live in foreign power. CJ done the good job to nation. She spend more time to create the law professionals to country. Never sit for money. CBK is correct appointment & she is the first sit the CJ chair with professional education back ground.

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