22 May, 2022


Introduce The Bill Of Rights Pledged In The Mahinda Chinthana

By Kamal Nissanka

Kamal Nissanka

The Liberal Party is deeply concerned about the recent assault on Mr. Manjula Thilakarathna, Secretary of the Judicial Service Commission. While the background of the crude perpetrators of the incident at Mount Lavinia on Sunday 7th October 2012 is as yet unknown, the fact that it follows on what seems confrontation between the executive and the judiciary makes it even more imperative for government to swiftly investigate the matter and bring the offenders to justice.

The recent statement issued by Mr. Tilakarathne reflects what seems to be an ongoing cold war between the executive branch and the judicial branch of the state. It followed on an incident in Mannar in which the police seem to have prima facie evidence of an attempt by the executive branch to influence the judiciary. This is unacceptable and government must make clear that the decisions of the judiciary are independent and cannot be meddled with.

The Liberal Party however also believes that the Judiciary too must be disciplined in terms of the laws, and accountable to the public. In particular it must scrupulously adhere to the laws passed by the legislature, with provision not to overturn them, but to recommend changes if these laws are in conflict with the Constitution or with Fundamental Rights. In this regard we urge the legislature to provide for retrospective review of legislation, and also to swiftly introduce the Bill of Rights pledged in the manifesto of the President in 2005. We also urge the Judiciary to lay down guidelines to its members on sentencing policy and monitoring of corrective institutions as is required now but rarely accomplished. Such guidelines must be made available to the public.

Reform of the Judiciary is long overdue but this must be done through consultation, and the Judiciary should be requested to take the lead in the process. Reform cannot be undertaken by the Executive in the present context, but strengthening of the Legislature, and consultative processes in this regard, will help with ensuring reforms based on principle, not on particular situations and hostilities.

Meanwhile, and especially so as to restore the confidence in governmental processes that is essential, we urge all relevant authorities to ensure a quick and result oriented investigation to bring the perpetrators of the attack on Mr Tilakaratne before the law, and take appropriate action to prevent such incidents in future. We believe it is also important that investigations into outstanding cases which have brought suspicion on government, such as the murder of Lasantha Wickramatunga, must be quickly and positively concluded.

The party believes in the concepts of separation of powers, the rule of law and independence of judiciary. The current Sri Lankan Constitution, which is concerned more with process rather than principle, is a recipe for destroying such concepts. We urge principled reform of the Constitution, that would strengthen all relevant institutions and promote good governance based on consultation rather than intimidation.

*Kamal Nissanka – Secretary General, Liberal party of Sri Lanka

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Latest comments

  • 0

    Kamal Nissanka – Secretary General, Liberal party of Sri Lanka:

    What a grandiose title for a little pro-Rajapaksa Pandancabal of which the best known member is that cross between a donkey and a horse, Rajiva Wijesinha.
    Why don’t you clowns simply set up your tents at Temple Trees as does that Capuchin Monkey of an MP of yours and simply live off the scraps from MR’s table?
    That way at least you can stop irritating/boring us all to death on Colombo Telegraph!

  • 0

    Dear eureka,Pacha Epa,
    Thanks for these revealations of the true situation.
    These have been bared many times before too.
    But will the UNHRC take note, or beleive ambassador Aryasinghe.

    The judiciary pronounces its opinion on intended legislation referred to it for conformity with the constitution. It cannot be a slave to the executive.

  • 0

    The Government appointed a commitee to draft a new constitutional Bill of Rights to replace the existing fundamental rights chapter. The report and the draft Bill of Rights was presented to the Government nearky 3 years ago. Nothing has been heard since. Rajiva Wijesinghe, leader of the Liberal Party was the Secretary to the Ministry of Human Rights at that time. Now he is an MP. Why cannot he get the report at least published? Of course, the MR regime is not interested and so, Rajeeva may be worried about his position. Mr Nissanka should speak to his leader instead of fooling the people. You speak as if you know nothing about the report and draft Bill of Rights.

  • 0

    I don’t know why these parties – Liberal party, communist party, LSSP, NFF, SLMC, CWC, ACMC and others aligned to Rajapaksa’s government- exist. They all slavishly follow Rajapaksa’s diktat in order to enjoy the power and perks. These spineless opportunists have sold the founding principles of their parties for the thirty pieces of silver Rajapaksa has thrown their way. They have cheated the dedicated followers of their parties and no wonder nowadays they only manage to muster only a fraction of the votes they used to get in the days when they remained true to their principles. Now they only help to pass the undemocratic laws Rajapaksa brings to parliament in order to entrench himself and his family in power.

  • 0

    people talk about independence of judiciary. if so how they shall behave in to be an example to the country. now the recent disagreement started with a statement made by the JSC secretary which appeared in media. who gave this statement and is it desirable for the JSC sec to give publicity to an official correspondence with the Sec to President. he is an high official in the country. his position shall not be under mind. also is it the first time the President call for meetings with Judges. Judges themselves have asked for meetings to discuss their problems in the past.on the other hand what is the other incident about the interference which is in gossip talks. that goes to the conduct of another senior judge who was interdicted for some non payment of a loan to one or more banks. my position is these judges also should behave beyond suspicion. are they so. if you talk to any Attorney at law they come out with complains against many except few. some do not like appealing against their judgments.
    in law the rule “audi altaram partem” is the base. that is to say ” Both sides shall be hears fairly and justly”. therefore before we make allegations against any one we must have concrete evidence based on first evidence. shall not based on hearsay on gossips.

  • 0


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