14 December, 2019

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Jayantha Jayasuriya Who Argued Sirisena Could Continue Until 2021 Likely To Be Next Chief Justice

Jayantha Jayasuriya, the Attorney General who opined that President Maithripala Sirisena could continue in office until 2021 despite the 19th Amendment to the constitution, is currently the front-runner for the position of Chief Justice.

The question of next Chief Justice has come to the fore as Priyasath Depp, the incumbent CJ, is expected to retire from office next month, having served his full termed.

Jayantha Jayasuriya -Attorney General

Sources close to President Sirisena confirmed that he preferred Jayasuriya to take up the position as the Chief Justice. Sirisena is likely to proceed with the appointment upon his return from the United States next week.

Although an Attorney General ascending to the post of Chief Justice is not unprecedented in Sri Lanka, Jayasuriya’s possible appointment is expected to ruffle feathers at the top level of judiciary.

Jayasuriya’s affiliation with Sirisena was grotesquely manifested in the AG’s submission to the Supreme Court when the President sought opinion whether, in terms of Provisions of the Constitution, he had any impediment to continue in the office of President for a period of 6 years from 9th January 2015, the date on which the result of his election to the office of President was declared.

The Attorney General appearing with Additional Solicitor General Murdu Fernando and Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle submitted that the incumbent President was elected by the people for the office to the term of 6 years. It is the sovereignty of the people who exercise their franchise to elect him as President.

“The power emanated from the franchise of the people. The commencement of his office should be considered from the date on which he is elected” Jayasuriya stated, adding that it was the Constitutional structure where the incumbent President was elected.

“The 19th Amendment to the Constitution is operative after the incumbent President was elected for a term of 6 years by the people, ” the AG submitted.

At that point, Jayasuriya’s submission earned ridicule from a large section of the legal fraternity as the 19th Amendment clearly stated its position on the incumbent President.

Despite the AG’s submission, the Supreme Court determined that the incumbent President’s term expired in five years, as per the provisions of the 19th Amendment.

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Latest comments

  • 24
    0

    Our judges seem to be appointed on their servility. A race of people with no personality cannot produce judges . They are just “no class people” trying to get a status they do not have by wearing wigs and colorful robes just like in England ! Very silly and meaningless.

    Sarath Silva made it a joke. Shirani Bandranayke used her position to get a job for her husband as a government bank. Mohan Peiris told the present President” If you appoint me I will give judgments the way you want” We don’t know what he told MR who appointed him.

    So this is our Supreme Court !

    • 2
      0

      Hope Lanka’s dead Civil society NGOs wake up and protest loudly against clown JJ as CJ!
      The equally dead JVP that is playing constitutional games is the parliament of clowns since it has not vote base too!

  • 9
    1

    As long as the rapists, rogues, paga takers, murderers, and others who have violated the laws of the land is locked up, it does not matter who becomes the CJ. Unfortunately in SL postponement of cases is the order of the day. Lets see if this new CJ can change the trend and establish the credibility of SL Judiciary, which today remains questionable even by Sri Lankans, let alone UN.

  • 0
    1

    The question as to whether the term of office of MS is five years or six was argued in courts shows that the robustness of the judiciary is on the mend.
    The appointment of the next CJ SL is likely to be transparent. As to the suitability of the present AG will be debated.
    All these are good signs.

  • 10
    0

    Sir,
    Appointing this man as Chief Justice is hardly a good idea. How about the position of Cheif-Boot-Licker, instead?
    Cheers!

    • 5
      0

      BH.

      How about International Judges.
      Our law and justice system is fully rotten and corrupted.
      A failed state in the making behind Zimbabwe and Somalia Ethiopia.
      Bring in fresh young leaders.

    • 0
      0

      Our justice system is already inundated with B00T-LICKERS. Why add another to be the CHIEF.

  • 0
    0

    19th Amendment encounters technical difficulties. It wiped out the top most post of the country, and left the republic a leader less country, a boat with a broken rudder in stormy weather. At the current situation, President is the chief of the government, final executional authority, even over and above the Supreme Court. Without opponent, it has been agreed that his office can be removed only by referendum. So, about 20 years, abolishing the EP has been impossible for parliamentarian, even with 2/3.19th Amendment blatantly and blindly did that. Nobody knows now if the reinstatement of the president is valid and Lankawe has a legitimate leader or 19th amendment wholly or partially illegal. The continuation clause A 49 is ignoring that the president office was abolished by the 19A. It merely tells “president may continue”. A Hindu man may not come back to his body and live once it was burned after his death. New King would not be able to occupy the precedent’s office, unless a reincarnation, another election, takes place. The continuation clause is not powerful enough to undo the need of the new “Country’s chief’s Office” is validated by the people on a referendum.

    Jayantha in- Jayantha out

    Poojitha going out, Jayasuriya coming in. This is an enormous coup. There is lot gap in reporting, unless it was me who missed it. Colombo Media may want to feed this big mountain only piece by piece. If ever Jayasuriya say 19A is invalid. Ranil will be going home on the same day. The parliament will be outright-ly dissolved. Brother Prince would be employed as the new PM. Mahesh Senanayaka would be burdened with enormous responsibility of protecting the country. Old King’s dream of becoming ever a president by 18A, challenging the 19A, will die there.

  • 2
    0

    Comment Part I. The infirmities of the judiciary and the legal system, particularly in Sri Lanka, are well known. It is stinking. So choosing between this one and that one for the high office, in the name of cleanliness does not arise. The issue here is the next in line for the position of CJ is Mrs. Wanasundara who not only was the Attorney General before the elevation to the bench but very much senior that JJ. Further she has served as the acting CJ several times and so sworn before MY3 as well. When MY3 took office he chose not to be sworn before the CJ of the day. If she is not desirable now, why was she allowed to act as CJ by MY3? This Government is known to violate the seniority of position and later regret for the appointment. The cases in point are firstly the appointment of the IGP. Many regret the choice now and now he is a coup suspect. Then they violated the seniority again in appointing JJ as the AG giving the impression that the next most senior is an MR man for the opinions expressed. What happened? The AG’s department held the same view as before much to the disappointment of many. So did the violation of the seniority gave any positive result? Under Chandrika, Sarath Silva climbed the ladder in this snakes and ladders game. What happened? Did it do any good? I am not for any particular person. If we go through the cupboards of all these people we can find many a skeleton. If the violation of seniority does not make any improvement but result in regrets might as well stick to the seniority.

  • 1
    0

    Comment Part 2. The above article reveals the state of dependence of the judicial and legal system of Sri Lanka to the jackboot of the political masters. In fact the independence of the judiciary, to a large extent, lies with the political will. It is known that when premier Dudley Senanayake once visited Ampara, he was received by the GA of the district but the latter was subsequently told “Now GA, I am going to address a political meeting and you need not come.” This shows the politicians of that era respected the independence of the public service leave alone the judiciary. Making a telephone call to even a magistrate was unthinkable those days. In UK premier May held the view that she could proceed with the BREXIT on the strength of the result of the referendum. It was challenged and the judicial ruling was that an enabling Act of Parliament must be passed. Premier May accepted it in good grace. Here? If one interprets that Article 4 of the Constitution must be read along with Article 3, he would be lambasted for that under the cover of parliamentary privilege. Obviously, in the tussle between MY3 and RW the AG’s department must be “rewarded” by MY3 for their services. It is not the mere reward of JJ that is affected. Catapulting JJ would enable the others to be given the required promotions to maintain that level of rapprochement with the Department as a whole. But will that always work? MY3 will get the shock of his life when he is finally betrayed.

  • 0
    0

    I am of the firm opinion that the incumbent president was elected by the people for a six year period. The sovereignty of the people cannot be taken over by the 2/3 majority of parliamentarian who passed the19th amendment. This argument is very simple because the sovereignty of the people is always superior than parliament. If the19th amendment was passed by a referendum limiting the incumbent presidents term ruling for a 5year term. Therefore I am of the firm opinion that AG is correct what ever his intentions are.

  • 0
    0

    I am of the firm opinion that the incumbent president was elected by the people for a six year period. The sovereignty of the people cannot be taken over by the 2/3 majority of parliamentarian who passed the19th amendment. This argument is very simple because the sovereignty of the people is always superior than parliament. If the19th amendment was passed by a referendum limiting the incumbent presidents term ruling for a 5year term. Then the ruling could be done for 5 year term .Therefore I am of the firm opinion that AG is correct what ever his intentions are.

    • 0
      0

      Parliament came with certain authorities, stem from people’s sovereignty in the same way EP came. When and where a referendum needed is indicated in the constitution, and debated and understood. With their sovereignty people elects the EP and then leaves the matter to day to day administration. Small changes needed in the constitution for trend in life of the country is not overshadow people’s sovereignty. His period can be changed without referendum, but his office cannot be closed as 19A did in changing the period. (Because period was included in the clause that established the Presidency, some may not accept that change too. Because they may argue that too weakens the Presidency)

      Referendum in 50%+ votes while 2/3, by many means can represent much more votes. 19A was proposed to amend the term limit and term length.

      Parliament has the authority to change minor changes in the Presidency with a constitutional amendment. But it cannot change the countries leadership’s basic construction without going back to people. That will invalidate the existence of republic. So repealing S30 and changing the period from 6 to five is not valid. That has to see the Supreme Court, now, and they have to say if the entire 19A goes, because the start of it went wrong or only New King stay on the power for 6 years. If the entire 19A goes, then Ranil goes home and Old Brother Prince becomes the interim PM. It is a death bell for Old King. New King make sure he doesn’t show his head again.

  • 1
    0

    There you go. Didnt I constantly keep expressing my views on the Judiciary system in Lanka. How fortunate Lankans are to have GLP, Sarath, Mohan and now this guy.

  • 1
    0

    Oh by the way just read the news that there is a second accuser in Kavenaugh hearing in US for nomination of supreme court.So there is a parallel story right now taking place in US. The difference is the public hearing and a possibility of politically influenced Kavenaugh being rejected where as Jayantha will go ahead and will be nominated by our president without any hearing or public considerations.

  • 0
    0

    Merit and merit alone must be the way to go.
    By design or coincidence, the ethnicity criterion is met by Jayantha Jayasuriya.
    Look at the disaster that is SriLankan Airlines.

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