19 November, 2018

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Is Ranil Preventing Removal Of Mohan Pieris?

Reports are emerging that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is standing in the way of removing de facto Chief Justice Mohan Pieris from office Colombo Telegraph reliably learns.

Opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe listens to journalists during a National Council coalition party news conference in ColomboSenior lawyers, including Bar Association President Upul Jayasuriya are heavily lobbying Wickremesinghe to sign off on the removal, but Colombo Telegraph learns the Prime Minister is on the backfoot on the issue.

Sources say this could be linked to Wickremesinghe’s dislike of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake whose reinstatement is part of the President Maithripala Sirisena‘s promises.

However since it is part of the 100 day pledge Wickremesinghe may not have an option, Colombo Telegraph learns.

Pieris’ reign as head of the judiciary is even more tenuous after he was found at Temple Trees in the early morning hours of January 9th, when the Sirisena camp has alleged and details continue to emerge that the defeated President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother Gotabaya and several others were plotting to use force to stay in power.

Colombo Telegraph learns that Pieris along with former Constituional Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris were strongly advocating the position that President Rajapaksa was constitutionally empowered to declare emergency, anull the election and stay out the rest of his six year term in office.

Under the circumstances senior lawyers argue that it is no longer possible for de facto CJ Pieris to continue in office and must at least step down until the coup investigation is complete.

Colombo Telegraph has been unable to reach Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for comment.

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Latest comments

  • 13
    47

    Prime Minister RW,

    Why should you get involve and take the responsibility for the grave errors committed by the Bar Association that paved the way for the removal of the CJ.

    Ask the Bar Association to fly a kite, Let the Hon’ Chief Justice to continue office until and unless removed from office constitutionally.

    You have to abide by what you promised to the people – the ‘GOOD GOVERNANCE’ nothing less nothing more.

    • 13
      4

      RW may well be a decent man compared to the guy we just packed off to Tangalle the other day.

      However, RW loves backroom deal-making & horse-trading. Transparency is not his Forte. He has a terribly naive faith in anything that is Western.

      These are drawbacks that have sealed his fate so far.

      Cheers!

    • 5
      3

      @ Waidyaratne – Who told you he is Honorable – by foot. You must crooked snake like him to praise him.

  • 30
    2

    This is not at all a news of ”shock or excitement” ….But the real things are ahead…. one such thing is that no Rajapakses shall be arrested till the end of parliamentary election. …and …you will see the real faces of our democrazy soon !!!

  • 49
    3

    I think we all must act responsibly and avoid being a bull in a china shop. What is the evidence that RW is standing in the way of removing the CJ? This is idle talk. Let us not tarnish the image of a person unnecessarily. Thank God! He came on the television and asked the people not to take the law into their hands. He has instituted a good culture. If you have complaints, firstly lodge a complaint with the Police, CID or the Bribery Commission as the case may be. Let them investigate and if there is commission of an offence let them prosecute and if it is upheld by courts then let there be a conviction and sentence. THAT IS THE RULE OF LAW AND THAT IS GOOD GOVERNANCE.

    Let us take the issue of appointing Shirani B. as CJ from a point of good governance in keeping with the promises of President Sirisena. Then:

    Firstly there has to be a vacancy in the office of the CJ. Let us not hark by saying that Shirani B. was removed illegally and therefore the appointment of the incumbent is illegal and so forth. The fact remains that the Parliament has passed an address of removal and the President removed her. (Note carefully that under JR constitution the judicial power of the people is vested with the Parliament and implemented through a system of courts.)

    Secondly the Parliament must retract its address of removal. It would have been easy to do the same had the opposition members of the select committee at that time wrote a dissenting report breaking the arguments of the majority report and therefore the present parliament can uphold the dissenting view. (Again no point saying that the Select Committee was issued with a writ and that was illegally quashed on appeal.) It would be extremely unwise of President Sirisena to re-appoint her without the withdrawal of the address of removal because that may be added on the impeachable offences against the President.

    In the mean time all the cases against Shirani B. must be concluded. If they are withdrawn then that is evidence of sweeping something under the carpet. In my opinion they must be heard and they must be concluded in Shirani B.’s favour.

    What happened to the former regime? In short it was drunk with power. The legal fraternity too must not think that it can do what it wants. To say the least to implicate RW without a semblance of evidence.

    • 20
      2

      A very well balanced comment. Thank you.
      When denials are coming hot and fast on tangible excesses, why should conjecture
      be given any sort of consideration?
      There is always a process that needs to be followed in good governance. We Sri Lankans seem to have got used to “riding rough shod” over such legal procedures, thanks to past “performances”!

    • 6
      1

      Many thanks. Keeps us all grounded.

    • 0
      0

      Would you be kind enough to enlighten us as to the legal procedure regarding this matter.

  • 20
    12

    Ranil has still not learned a lesson as to why he never became the president,the reason being that he tries to be too smart and people don’t like a smart ass.They want a down to earth character to lead them.At least now he should change his ways and try to less devious.If he has agreed with maithri that Shirani is to be brought back then he can’t have his likes and dislikes aired now.He should have done it at that time.

    The article says “However since it is part of the 100 day pledge”.

    Try to be straightforward from now on Mr.Wickremasinghe.Don’t make the mistakes that mahinda made,saying something and doing something else.

  • 35
    1

    I think Ranil is between a rock and a hard place!

    Shirani Bandaranayake is not an innocent victim by any measurement. She chose to sacrifice the integrity of her post for personal benefit and her husbands nefarious activities are well documented.

    Mohan Silva did not deserve the job but I challenge anyone to name a single Sri Lankan who would have refused the job?

    This is where Ranil is…the known devil or the other devil!!!! For him, both stink and therefore why hurry to change. An obligated Mohan Silva is better than a Bandaranayake who has a false sense of her importance. Note her comment refusing to endorse Sirisena ( claiming neutrality as CJ) but sent a congratulatory message upon him winning ( No neutrality needed then??). We do not need a person with a warped sense of principles as CJ no matter how much a victim she may have been. You play with fire, expect to get burnt…

    • 18
      1

      I am no lawyer but the arrest of a CJ on criminal charges voids his position without the need for an impeachment. If so there is no need to go back to Shirani B. even though her impeachment was shambolic. If one wants to stick to procedure and not create bad precedent then let the impeachment stand and appoint Justice Sri Pavan as the new C.J. Which is worse letting Mohan Peiris carry on or not voiding a bad impeachment. Both these characters Mohan Peiris and Shirani Bandaranayake are not suitable for the job. They were political appointments. It is time to move on.

    • 3
      1

      Upul – very good analysis

  • 10
    3

    This is typical RW behaviour. I am not surprised at all. In politics there are instances where sticking to rules or decency only end up blowing up in ones face. I hope that he being one of the witnesses to the presence of the CJ at Temple trees himself he gets on with whatever needs doing to get rid of this scoundrel. For one thing Mohan P. has no shame to cling on to his post. He has not even issued a denial of what he is accused of doing on the night of the elections. Ideally all those said to be present advocating for a coup need to be arrested. Waiting for investigations to be concluded is a joke. The evidence is staring at you in the face what more investigating do you need. Are the AG and the SG not to be believed? Is their evidence not enough to convict the culprits in a court of law? How about the IGP? Is he not credible? What in the world are you waiting for?

    • 0
      1

      This not typical RW actions, He is trying to woo the Buddhism voters for the general election and ensure that UNPers will get majority seats.

      But after the General Elections, the UNPers will play very roughly on coup, corruption by MR and Co then prosecute them.

  • 4
    0

    Under the present constitution (with 18th Amendment) isn’t the appointment of CJ is in the hands of the Executive President??
    If H.E. the president at that time did not accept the parliamentary resolution to remove CJ 43 she should have been holding the post even now. Cannot the current president reverse previous president’s decision??
    If somebody knowledgable can explain it would be appreciated.

    • 2
      1

      Kithsiri, I fully agree with you. There are credible witnesses like the IGP and AG who have already confirmed what these scoundrel mongrels tried to do by usurping the right of the citizens. The whole bunch of shits must be first locked up and then further investigations conducted. MP to be arrested and the most senior judge Bhavan appointed. SB is no saint either, remember that the despot was the chief witness at her daughters wedding when SB was the chief justice and her husband has been linked with many conflicts of interest. Problem with the new government is that they have been sleeping for the past twenty years and Ranil will have to step out of this deep slumber and display urgency and make quick decisions. Of course he must not make the mistake of not consulting the knowledgeable guys who are available and are expert.

  • 10
    0

    The only sensible thing to do is to ask the current CJ to step down
    until such time the police investigations are over on the alleged
    coup and based on the report, he could be asked, either to continue or resign and mean time, appoint the next senior most experienced judge in an actg. capacity and appoint him as CJ if the current CJ found guilty in the investigation

    It is very undemocratic to bring in impeached CJ Ms. Shirani
    Bandaranayaike to the position as she was too a political appointee,
    appointed over many senior judges and faulted in her some of her judgements, taking the side of the govt.in power and her husband is also under investigation for some wrong doing. Let the investigators speak and not the Bar council. The PM is very correct on his stand as it is not “good Governess” to sack a person without proof and install one in his place, already proved guilty by the former govt. right or wrong. H.E. Sirisena’s integrity will be judged by the people on the stand he will take in this matter despite heavy pressure from the top

    Are we terribly short of experienced judges in this country ? also
    wish to know whether a CJ should always be a political appointee
    or selected on merits ? Justice Gratien must be turning in his grave.

    • 3
      1

      LankaWatch – Your points are valid and that is the way to go forward. The same argument goes to General Sarath Fonseka too. He has been proven guilty by the previous regime. Now the present Government can’t undo conviction by using Presidential Powers. SF could be given an opportunity for a re-trial to prove his innocence!

      What do you say??

  • 3
    1

    It is now part of history that Ranil as the leader of the opposition failed to pull his weight against the move to impeach CJ Shirani Bandaranayake. He talked of the supremacy of Parliament when it had been reduced to a rubber stamp of the Executive President.It is an indisputable fact MR largely derived strength and encouragement to embark on dictatorial measures from the apathy and weakness of Ranil Wickremesinghe as the opposition leader! Ranil was in a deep slumber whenever some injustice was done to an individual or a civil society grouping or a religious or an ethnic community in the country under the MR regime. Instead of fighting tooth and nail against the 18th Amendment when it was presented in Parliament he ran away with the party’s parliamentary group allowing a a clear coast for its passage. This man has done immense damage to the polity both through inaction as the opposition leader and reducing the party he leads to a shambles when the people in the country looked up to it as the alternative to an oppressive and corrupt regime – when people expected it to block a would-be Hitler’s bold march towards a consummate dictatorship.Many believed that Ranil had turned a new chapter in his political life when he agreed to back Maithri as the common opposition candidate. But it looks that he has not reformed himself – learnt a lesson from his past mistakes! He made his blue-eyed boy Akila as the Education minister. Now he has parked his other favorite boy’s brother at Lake House as its chairman. He overlooked that hard working party MP Buddhika Pathirana when recommending party MPs for Ministerial portfolios. If Ranil tries to put a spoke in the wheel of the effort to remove the incumbent CJ, we hope he will be made to learn the bitterest lesson in his political career!

  • 3
    0

    Appointing Judges of the SC.in the old days was based on a rigorous system of screening. Hon:Shirani B.was appointed straight from the University:No problem.Justice H.N.G.Fernando son of Justice V.M.Fernando and father of Justice Mark Fernando,was in the Legal draftsmans dept before getting on to the SC.IN THE 60S.Both Hon.Neville Samarakoon and Hon.S.Sharvananda were busy practioners when they were appointed to the Bench. From the day Sarath N.Silva mounted the Bench there has been chaos.Since the present SC is also under a cloud,especially after their verdict on the THIRD TERM for MR.appointing someone as CJ FROM OUTSIDE the present SC.[Say from the unofficial Bar] could do less damage to the SC!

  • 1
    1

    I wonder if the present C.J. is a left hander cos Ranil [Edited out]

  • 0
    1

    Ranil will try his best to protect him.

  • 3
    1

    IF THE DIGNITY OF THE JUDICIARY IS TO RESTORED AND PEOPLES’ CONFIDENCE IN IT IS TO BE REGAINED WHILE MOHAN PEIRIS SHOULD BE REMOVED SHIRANI SHOULD NOT BE REAPPOINTED AS IT IS WELL KNOWN THAT BOTH OF THEM HAVE FALTERED IN THEIR FUNCTIONS AT SOME TIME OR ANOTHER.

    • 1
      0

      You may be right.

      Mohan Peris and Dr. SB should both be away from being CJs of part of current regime.

      And this means not that Injustice made to Dr.SB should not be investigated. She should be given all rights including to move on as usual but not in the capacity of CJ. The way it started – MR and Dr. SB had good days at the beginning even to get 18AMD passed the man abused DrSB. With all respect if our authroities could make it a distinction being alert to their conscience based on the Exp and education, nothing would have happened to regret today. If anyone made a mistake should go through the consequences.

    • 0
      2

      Whilst it is well known that MP is known crook who misused that position, Dr. SB is not and not political. Hence she deserves to be in that chair. On the other anybody can make mistakes as human beings. But having crooked man as the CJ is an unpardonable error, that effects the justice.

  • 0
    0

    Both My3 and Ranil are for fair play.Corruptions and
    other malpractices of past regime are flooding in.
    The future CJ will have to be a non controversial
    character so that the verdicts are acceptable to all
    parties.The promise of My3 of justice to all and the
    election promise of re installing ShiraniB are colliding
    here.The only option is a third choice or ShiraniB can
    not sit for political cases in case she’s re installed.

    • 1
      0

      JVP will not agree with reappointment of Dr SB either.

      h

      • 1
        0

        Job is much easier then!JVP involvement makes life
        easier for My3 and Ranil.Mohan is now gone already!

  • 3
    0

    The Office of the CJ came to disrepute during the time of Sarath Silva. For my purpose it is not necessary to re-hearse the reasons for it as they are well known to those who have objectively followed the decline in standards and professionalism that is normally required of those who hold that office.
    Although I do not know who the present CJ is and what credentials he holds in order to hold that Office, bearing in mind that it was an appointment made by the previous administration, it is very likely that there was political motivation surrounding the appointment.
    Be that as it may I suggest that it is wrong for the BASL to agitate for his removal – as an Association of lawyers it has no such remit. If ,indeed, he is not fit for purpose then there is a procedure for his removal and that procedure should be invoked if deemed necessary.
    If, and when, a vacancy arises in that Office the Head of State should appoint the senior most Pusine Justice to that Office irrespective of unnecessary considerations.
    What should not happen is to re-instate even for a day the previous female Pusine Justice to that Office.
    She should never have been appointed to the Supreme Court as a judge in the first place, academics make incompetent judges.
    Similar to Sarath Silva, she has brought that Office to public ridicule without Sarath Silva’s intellect, she is damaged
    goods and no useful purpose would be achieved by a re-instatement.

  • 4
    2

    RANIL WILL DO WHAT HAS TO BE DONE IN THE PROPER LEGAL WAY.HE HAS FACED THROUGHOUT THE YEARS EVERY POSSIBLE INSULT AND ALLEGATIONS AND HAS BEEN ABLE TO STAND UPTO THEM WITHOUT FEAR.LET THEM GET ON WITH THE PROGRAMME AND DELIVER WHAT IS ESSENTIAL TO BE DONE FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN SRI LANKA.WE ARE A DIFFICULT PEOPLE TO GOVERN.PLEASE LET THE GOVERNMENT GET ON WITH THEIR WORK AND STOP PLACING UNNECESSARY FENCES TO STOP THEM.

  • 1
    0

    As reported if all the Supreme Court Judges meekly signed the opinion that enabled MR to contest a third term, then all these supine Judges of the Supreme Court should be removed not only the CJ and a new set of decent honest Judges should be appointed to Supreme Court in place. The appointment of Judges should be done by the Legal fraternity and not by the Political body, the Legislature or the Executive.

  • 2
    3

    Never trusted this man Ranil. I know of his personal involvement in the Batalanda affair. He should be in prison.

    It is a shame he had to be involved in removing even a greater parasite called Rajapaksa. Nevertheless Ranil will not be good for this country.

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