20 September, 2020

Blog

Justice Must Be Seen To Be Done

By National Peace Council

The Government has tabled a motion in Parliament to impeach the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake that sets out 14 charges against her, including some relating to her personal finances.   Government spokesmen have assured that the motion is not motivated by any displeasure caused by such judgments and that it is based on alleged acts of misconduct by the Chief Justice. However, it is significant that the Supreme Court has recently given several judgments against the State including one that has upheld the devolved power of provincial councils, which is necessary for inter-ethnic power sharing.   It is also significant that there have been several other instances of gross misconduct by members of the government that have involved criminal acts and loss of public funds that have gone without proper investigation and without punishment.  This has given rise to speculation that the Executive and Judicial arms of government have been on collision course.

Chief Justice Bandaranayake

It is extraordinary in a democratic society for a chief justice to be faced with charges of the kind that have been published that are said to merit impeachment. The UN Declaration on the Judiciary states that “Everyone shall have the right to be tried by ordinary courts or tribunals using established legal procedures. Tribunals that do not use the duly established procedures of the legal process shall not be created to displace the jurisdiction belonging to the ordinary courts or judicial tribunals. In accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, members of the judiciary are like other citizens entitled to freedom of expression, belief, association and assembly; provided, however, that in exercising such rights, judges shall always conduct themselves in such a manner as to preserve the dignity of their office and the impartiality and independence of the judiciary.”

Justice it is said must not only be done but also be seen to be done. The government has made assurances that due process will be followed.  The Speaker will now form a Parliamentary Select Committee to investigate the charges against the chief justice.  It is important that the initiation of such inquiries will not be based on political grounds but will be done with independence and impartiality.  The impeachment resolution is signed by the members of the government party coalition in Parliament. There will be a Select Committee where members of both sides of Parliament would be represented that will go into the merits of the impeachment. We hope that the Chairman of the Select Committee will be drawn from the Opposition with equal representation from both sides of Parliament.

The National Peace Council believes that those who are holding public office need to behave in a manner that will not bring disrepute to them or to the positions they hold.  The Chief Justice has asserted that she has always acted in keeping with the hallowed traditions of an Independent Judiciary and that she is prepared to face any impeachment motion brought against her.  Accordingly she needs to be given every opportunity to defend herself before the Parliamentary Select Committee, which we hope would be fearless, independent, impartial and transparent in its deliberations in the interest of respect for the rule of law and democratic governance in Sri Lanka.

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    Main charge as stated by the President is that she has become too big for her boots. So better give her a bigger pair.

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      Quite right and here is another piece of drivel by Jehan Perera who uses such careful language to not being disrepute to himself and produce inanities!

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      Safa giving a bigger pair is not the answer. According to MR chopping off the excess to fit the boot is the answer. If not like in the Cinderella’s, MR will try to see whose feet will fit in. Currently MR has called Moron Peris to try it out and failing only he will seek another. I think Moron is more than willing. Believe me, he will shape his feet to fit the boots.

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    The charges published,viewed dispassionately, are very serious.
    Any citizen against whom these are framed,will be jailed,if these are proved in a court of law.

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    If this national peace council is the one that Jehan Perera and Saravanamuttu Paikiasothi are running can they explain how the Madam CJ did not know what one comes to know as a first-year law student?

    If she wrote a pro-devolution (pro-federal) essay on Saravanamuttu’s journal she should have recused from hearing the Divineguma Case. All this 20 bank accounts and other incidents cited make her a joke if she continues in her job.

    I have no doubt that MahindaR tried to bait her with jobs to her husband etc. But politicians escape from trouble making another a fall guy. So all of a sudden her husband has become a crook to a saint president. If she had any respect for law and her job she should have got the husband to resign from all govt jobs. Instead she approved his getting jobs thrown at him by a shrewd president. Why in the world she did not use her sister in Australia to have a Swiss Bank Account? This is why she is so stupid or arrogant. It was like Sarath Fonseka getting his US Dollars in a relative’s safety deposit box instead of keeping it under a bed of a relative’s house!

    National peace council, Friday Forum crowd, UNP talkers , JVP talkers and so many legal luminaries exhibited the erosion of the thing called INTEGRITY by acting in a funny manner with regard to this impeachment case.

    How can an ex-CJ accepts a job as president’s legal adviser? How can Sarath Silva say that he saved Mahinda R from helping Humbantota case? Did he follow facts and law or took revenge from Chandrika?

    Why did Chandrika appoint Shiranne as aSC judge when she had no court house experience? Why is that GL Peris who must behind lot of these deals now acting a s born again saint as if Shirane is to be removed due to her own bad acts, and not as an act of revenge by MR?

    Sri Lankan average person is not dum. They know this game going on in Colombo among the English-speaking crowd.

    After making her naked in public how can now there is any chance for any compromise?? May be she should migrate to Australia or join UNP-Sarath Fonseka-JVP politics…

    CJ’s behavior cited in the charge sheet shows reckless, stupid and shameless acts by her. This is an example of how even the highest of the highest in Sri Lanka has become so corrupt.

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      C.Wijey, Take my word. At least CJ has opportunity to migrate to Australia or where ever she prefers to go when she want. But the day will come you and your big boss gon Mara and the donkey ministerial clan will never be able even cross the Palk strait.or remember nanthikandal lagoon…. and will end up in Vanathamulla “Goo Bokkuwa”…..sewage pit. Jayaweva.

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    Rajapaksa family clan dictatorship is now complete.

    A tamed media, including Sunday Leader. A rubber stamp parliament, where UPFA members are spineless. The 18th amendment with unlimited powers to MR.

    Soon we will have a puppet CJ and a supreme court.

    The dicator has gone completely mad.

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      It has to be people like Hon. Mohan rising up to be the Acting CJ –
      all within the Democratic constitution we enjoy!

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    WE DO NOT HAVE A PARLIAMENT. WE HAVE A “CIRCUS” OF TRAPEZE ARTISTS SWINGING FROM SIDE TO SIDE. OTHERS TIGHT ROPE WALKING.THE CLOWNS TOO ARE THERE; WEERAWANSA AND OF COURSE OUR ONE AND ONLY MERVYN. THEN MOST OF OTHERS ARE ATHLETES, WHO HAVE DONE THE “HOP STEP AND JUMP” AND “LONG
    JUMP” FROM THE UNP TO UPFA.
    SRI LANKA IS THE “BIGGEST SHOW ON EARTH” BY THE RAJAPAKSES.

    LETS WAIT FOR THE DEBATE AND WHAT IS TO FOLLOW.

    “SUBHA ANAGATHEYAK”

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    Are the 117 odd people who signed the impeachment with 14 charges
    (the accusers) also going to “Judge” her, that is endorse the
    verdict of the PSC themselves? Is this permitted in the Rules?
    The past SL impeachments were not voted on by the M.PP I believe?

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      No, the speaker appoints a select committee of seven members comprising 4 from govt. and 3 from opposition who are NOT part of this 117 who signed the motion. But the CJ and the select committee could question them (117) REASONS for bringing in the motion against her AND THOSE CHARGES SHOULD BE VALID ACCORDING TO THE CONSTITUTION. According to some information I have most of the 117 did not even know the charges and have signed purely on MR’s pressure on a blank sheet of paper before submitting to the parliament. So let’s see the outcome.

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    NPC thinking that devolving of power to provincial councils is a must for inter-ethnic power sharing is the same stand as TNA, the acknowledged proxy of LTTE. But that is something majority Sri Lankan are concerned about.

    Even in such circumstances, what is significant here is not the recent judgment(s) against the state by SC, but whether CJ has been conducting her (personal and financial) affairs above board in a lily white manner to deliver such judgments impartially.

    Just because alleged criminality and misconduct of thugs and rouges in the government were not investigated and punished, are you suggesting that CJ also be allowed to follow suit.

    That is absurd for at least we the public have come to know criminal acts by government ministers and members of the parliament. Sure, the public had done a blunder by electing them in the first place; but at least we get a chance to get rid of the culprits every six years and sometimes earlier. That’s not the case with the CJ; is it?

    The public hadn’t elected the CJ nor does she need public approval to stay put in her job regardless her conduct. Indeed, if not for impeachment charges public would never have known that their CJ has been carrying on her misdemeanors if not crimes on the sly. And she would have gone on like that for fourteen years; yet public has no way to send her home.

    So, never mind the UN Declaration on the Judiciary state; “Tribunals that do not use the duly established procedures of the legal process shall not be created to displace the jurisdiction belonging to the ordinary courts or judicial tribunals”, the Constitution of the United States or the epitome of democracy grants the Congress the power to impeach “the President, the Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States.” Now civil officers includes judges and the chief justice.

    And Article III of the Constitution of the US says that judges may remain in office “during good behavior”. And that means badly behaved judges will be impeached. And, Article 1 gives the Congress the sole power of impeachment and the Senate the sole power to try such impeachments. So, together with the Congress and Senate may remove a judge for bad behavior via impeachment and conviction for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” And, misdemeanor means action which is slightly bad or breaks a rule but not a crime.

    Now, the Congress has impeached 14 federal judges and the Senate has convicted six of them to date. So, who says what is good for the goose is not good for gander. The government is only following the procedure for impeachment of Judges as laid down in Sri Lanka Constitution.

    If that is so, statement in this article; “It is extraordinary in a democratic society for a chief justice to be faced with charges of the kind that have been published that are said to merit impeachment”, is bias and cannot be valid.
    Leela

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    Leela:

    You are like the Ostrich with your head buried in…Can you not see what is going on in terms of law, justice etc….

    I know you want to support this initiative just because that way you think the Tamils will be eliminated….

    But madam what is happening is that MR is using the Koitya threat to now beginning to bite a slice of the Sinhala backside too.

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      An ostrich indeed! Why did MR appoint CJ’s hubby to those posts? Was it not to keep a noose around CJ’s neck? Leela this is not as complicated as rocket science to determine the credibilities of all parties concerned. So on the premise that what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander let their be other independent commissions to inquire into the whole gamut of violations including those excesses of MR himself. Would Leela support this with the same fervor as she writes for the impeachment? Whom is Leela trying to deceive?

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    When Nishantha Wickramasinghe was found with having Million of rupees in foreign currency and also having a gold Rolex worth another couple of million rupees, they are legal no one is there to question how he has obtain this money.When Sarana Gunawardana was caught taking bribes in Rs,Millions there is no one to question him.(This was reported in the news papers)When Sudarman Radaliyagoda having warrants issued by the courts is openly behaving in public there is no one to arrest him.How the law applies in this country to the ordinary citizen and the cronies of this despotic regime, the list will be endless.In this situation can the CJ expect justice from this despotic regime.I have my doubts.

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      nilan, jamal, Lion,
      JRJ had formulated an authoritative constitution and an infighting ridden electoral system thinking, it would keep him and the UNP in office for ever. The UNP is losing continually for 18 years now is a different story. What I am trying to say is; even with such a constitution and five sixth majorities in parliament, JRJ practiced all the dirty tactics in his so-called five star democracy to rule the country.

      MR may have learned some of his tactics from JRJ. And everyone knows that MR is a cunning politician who offers favors to keep people on his side. If he hadn’t done such things, his 2007 budget would have been defeated and that would be the end of the war and Pirapakaran may be bombing our buses, trains and public places even to date.

      For one thing, we should understand that politicians can be scorned, ridiculed and mocked by even cartoonists every day and day after for their faults and failings. We all criticize them left right and center.

      But unlike for politicians we fear judges. We do not say a word against judges for we are afraid of ordeals in case Justice picks us on contempt of court. No one dares draw cartoons to tease upon judges or their judgments however wrong it may appear. Indeed it’s a risky thing to criticize a court judgement even by a minister as SB learned it the hard way.

      There is another point, if we do not like Politicians; we get a chance to get rid of them in every six years and sometimes earlier. We can send even the President home in every six years; last time we got a chance for that in just four years.

      Unlike politicians though, public has no way to remove Judges however bad they were. Therefore, judges must stand far above politicians. And CJ should not just act lily white delivering judgments but must be seen to have behaved lily white in her personal affairs as well.

      If she had not let her husband accept jobs he is not qualified through favors, and not allowed her sister to buy an apartment owned by a company embroiled in a case she was the presiding judge, and not had twenty odd bank accounts and etc, there wouldn’t be a case is there?
      Leela

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    One of the signnataries to the Impeachment motion whi accompanied Minister Wanniarachchi to hand over the motion to the Speaker said in public that the reason for the impeachment is her judgement on Divineguma. Yesterday Minister Alahapperuma says that her judgements have no bearing on the impeachment motion. Whom to believe? It is very difficult for the government to say that this is not a political move.
    I do not fully agree with Leela on the situation in the U.S. Although most candidates come forward as party candidates once elected the party does not have a control over a Congressman/woman (House) or a Senator. There are no decisions by party as to how one should or should not vote in the House or the Senate. They act independently according to their conscious and /or according to what the electors want. (House members have to seek elections every two years and they have to be alert to the wishes if the electors) They are in a position to judge for themselves what is right and what is right. That is why that democracy works even when the Executive, the House and the Senate are not with the same party. Select committee decisions and House/Senate voting is not on party lines but on individual choice. We can expect justice in the U.S. impeachment. But in Sri Lanka, every member has to toe party line, and not for what is right or against what is wrong. When the select Committee is with seven from the government side and four from the opposition what justice could you expect. It is absurd to compare impeachment in the U.S. and in Sri Lanka.
    Mind you in the U.S. you say 14 judges have been impeached. For how long? Only 14 in 236 years. In the U.S. a Supreme Court Judge is appointed for life, that is for him not to look for some other job after retirement and compromise justice. Even if he resigns he will have to continue to receive a Supreme Court Judge’s salary. What Our former CJ who accepted a position of Adviser to the President. How ethical or moral is that?

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      Pandit,
      Leave out impeachment; I do not compare even politics in Sri Lanka to that of the US. I understand that congress may bring impeachment motions but it is the senate that try the accused. Then again, if Sri Lanka President follows norms of the US, he wouldn’t even last half his term in spite of his two third majorities in parliament.

      And that’s why JRJ made use of the US and the French constitution to formulate his one. MR is a cunning politician. Can we blame him (MR) for using it to his advantage.
      Leela

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        Leelawardene, the Constitution and it’s powers are there to govern the country for the larger benifit of the masses and not to be used for personal benifit of MR and his family. The fault is not the Constitution but MR, for using it to his advantage only. See the 2013 Budget. Duty on Racing Cars reduced and the Duty on Infant Milk Foods increased. Leelo, no wonder MR screws you for your name as he is completely drunk on alcohol and power.

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          “Duty on Racing Cars reduced” Wrong gamini, the President proposed it to be duty free. Don’t you think it is the duty of the Opposition to question, Why?

          By the way, You can read my reply to your serious accusation on my manners and etiquette here:
          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/breaking-news-here-is-the-full-charge-sheet-against-chief-justice/
          I am anxiously waiting for your answer.
          Leela

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          It cost less than a cup of Starbucks coffee to use the highway.

          Since the locals unable to afford it and the new cheap racing cars you will find more dead dogs on the highway and the ChiCom would gladly buy the skins.

          Export via annihilation of the weakest is called Ahimsa by rajapakistan.

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          Leelawardene, do you seriously think that merely because the Opposition questions, why Racing cars are to be allowed duty free, MR is going to reverse it? Why is it only the business of the Opposition? Do you not realise the folly?

          As for the charges levelled against the CJ, did you read the explanations cited by her Lawyers? Besides the objections raised reference two MPs namely Rajitha Senaratne and Wimal Weerawansa, who have been named for the panel?

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        Leeloo chicki chicki;)

        The undervalued rupee robs the house maids and sewing girls. It’s called ganuge redha ussala paksaya rajapakistan

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          correction: not rupee but Dollar.

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          Over valued Dollar at 130 is the disgrace.

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    This the GOLDEN KEY DEPOSITORS CURSE THAT HAS HIT CJ . SHE TRIED TO MONKEY WITH 10,000 FAMILIES LIVES AND SEE WHAT HAS HAPPENED . OTHERS WHO ARE INVOLVED BE CAREFUL OF THE GK DEPOSITORS CURSE INCLUDING THE SCAVENGER LAWYERS WHO PRAY ON PEOPLES MISERY !!!

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      Do you mean the fellow who actually benefitted from golden key? LET ALL OUR CURSES BE ON HIM

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    Raja paraya will appoint another crook for this post to gain his political favors.

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    This goes to show old people MUST retire. Peris and Peris who drafted the impeachment motion have done such a poor job . They have not eve researched the facts. With age brain cells die but with these two their grey matter is non existent . What ever they have they are sitting on it. Mohan made a hash of the golden key case. What a pair of buffalos

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    Being Sri Lankans we must be proud to have a CJ like Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake. First of all the Government should have thought that she is an academic and a female. Being a responsible Government, either CJ is right or wrong it should have acted responsibly before the so-called allegations were brought against her before Parliament. The Government has done an irreparable damage to the image of the CJ by bringing so-called allegations in haste to the notice of the general public of the country. Those Charges brought against her seem to be personal; the concerned officials of the Government could have talked to her personally and inquired her of those allegations before jumping in to a conclusion in bringing an impeachment against her in the Parliament. The Government media has stepped up attacking the CJ the manner in which she had committed a series of heinous crimes. This act is not wholesome and worthy to a democratic Government and the Government will have to pay heavy price for the sins it commits-PIYAL RANJITH WEERATUNGA.

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      Piyal,
      You are naive; you do not know that the President had indeed invited JSC for a meeting when problems deemed to have arisen. You seems not know the way that the secretary to JSC reacted to that invitation?

      In concurrence with members (CJ and two other judges) of the JSC, its secretary had send an open letter to news papers to tell the public that JSC refused to meet the President and the need for two of the three arms of Sri Lanka power structure to stay apart. Perhaps it’s a pill (thalathell rolled guli) by desperate NGOs.

      Is that the way responsible people should act? NO; when the elected President of the country and a popular one at that with two third majorities in Parliament invited JSC for a meeting, they should have gone and met him and told him whatever they wanted to say to his face. But they should never have ridiculed him writing criticism and denigration to press and belittling him. If it was good for CJ to meet President before her husband was compelled to resign why not afterwards?

      Right or wrong, now there is a clear list of charges against the CJ and also a select committee to inquire into it and judge it. And, she should answer the allegations appropriately when she is summoned. It seems she prefers to answers the allegations through letters of her attorneys to journals. It says; CJ is not sure which bank account has how much or where.

      Anyway, that’s not the way we answer if we are accused at her court? Surely, there cannot be a special way for her and CJ should know that. I think CJ has over estimated herself and is going berserk. She seems to think letters by her son and attorneys to press direct would make her popular. If she thinks she can do a Pakistan here and rid of Rajapakse like Musharraf she is sadly mistaken.
      Leela

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    Well we have no reluctance about considering these charges if the gov has acted sincerely in other matters.We know how Rakapakse clan handled KP issue.We know how they set free a criminal like Duminda Silva.We know how they brushed under the carpet hedging deal.There are many more and therefore we know the reason behind this motion is not suddenly discovered corruption.If they think we are buffaloas eating grass to accept their proclaimed attempt of cleaning judiciary we can only laugh from our back sides.it is doubtful whether the CJ will be given fair trial therefore we must urge her to stand by herself and to realize there are many more who don’t willing to buy into Rakapakse “Pacha”which has been a real curse for our country.We hope and pray whatever means you will be able to clear your name Madame and don’t forget millions are standing behind you against the regime.

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    The governing system of a democratic country comprises of three main branches. The executive, the legislature and the Judiciary are altogether governing a democratic country. But in Sri Lanka these three different branches have been given three different levels of administrative powers in its constitution. They are in three different levels in the constitution. The executive is the top most level in the administrative system and the rest two branches remain below the executive branch. Therefore the heads of these three branches should have a better commitment one another to govern the country without any hassle. If these three branches do not co-operate each other the stability of the country will collapse and the country would be in peril and the international hidden elements would certainly exploit the situation to make their hidden agenda a reality. Then these three heads would be responsible for such an eventuality. The Judiciary and the legislature should show flexibility towards the executive in handling sensitive and crucial issues of the country and the executive should be extended their fullest cooperation in governing the country. After three long decades of bloody war this country has been put on right track and since then country has been progressing towards prosperity and the country has to achieve many a goal in its development aspect. The CJ is an academic. She seems to be strict and stick to theories of law when giving Judgments to the bills put forward by the Government. We kindly appeal to the CJ to be practical and cooperate in handling sensitive issues which decide the fate and the future of the country.

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    do you know why these bloody politicians who support MR do not go against. The answer is simple . They all are corrupted they all have robbed our money. MR is the most corrupted leader in sri lanka. who ever goes against him will suffer the same consequences of CJ. Everyone who are going shopping for the government should know. Under this dog regime only the law of the jungle prevails.

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    Abuse of power by public servants is not tolerated by good, honest, decent’ right thinking citizens’ in a democratic’ law abiding society.

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