4 December, 2020

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Lawyers Urge The Government To Cease Attack On Judiciary: Urge Public To Standby CJ and the JSC

By Colombo Telegraph

“We consider it as an attack on the independence of the Judiciary and on the Rule of Law. Having regard to the importance of the independence of the Judiciary we unreservedly call upon the government to cease this onslaught on the Judiciary.” says Lawyers for Democracy(LfD).

Chief Justice Bandaranayake

Issuing a statement LfD Convener, Lal Wijenayaka says “we further express our fullest confidence in the Chief Justice and the JSC and the Judiciary in general. We hope that the public will stand by the Judiciary at this hour of need. We urge that all public conscience citizens to come forward to protect the last bastion of Democracy and Justice.”

We reproduce LfD statement in full;

The Lawyers’ for Democracy are concerned about the ongoing unprecedented mudslinging campaign and all forms of attacks against the Judiciary. This has far reaching and repercussions on the rule of law.

We are shocked to hear of the contents of the parliamentary debate where there were baseless attacks on the JSC and we are further disturbed at the fact that the parliament has been mislead on the appointment of the Secretary of the JSC.
There is a general apprehension that an impeachment motion is being contemplated targeting the Chief Justice with a view to intimidating her on her judicial pronouncements.

We consider it as an attack on the independence of the Judiciary and on the Rule of Law. Having regard to the importance of the independence of the Judiciary we unreservedly call upon the government to cease this onslaught on the Judiciary.
We further express our fullest confidence in the Chief Justice and the JSC and the Judiciary in general. We hope that the public will stand by the Judiciary at this hour of need. We urge that all public conscience citizens to come forward to protect the last bastion of Democracy and Justice.

 

*‘Lawyers of Democracy (LfD) is a representative body of legal practitioners throughout the island. Conveners include Lal Wijenayaka, Chandrapala Kumarage, K.S. Ratnavale, J.C. Weliamuna, Sudath Netthisinghe,  Sudarshana Gunawardana and Lakshan Dias. It was established on 10th December 2009.

lal.wijenayake@gmail.com- Tel-077-781 2010

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    “Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream”. The politicians’ one and only concern being coming into power or remain in power, they are naturally biased. Therefore, they should not be allowed to interfere with the administration of justice. The independence and integrity of the judiciary should be kept intact.
    Currently the general public is not aware of these threats to the Judiciary. As the state and private media is controlled it will not be able to abide by their moral responsibility, to make the public aware of these dangers to the people’s sovereignty. Thus, a concerted effort has to be taken by other agents to awaken the public to commit themselves to safeguard the independence of the judiciary.

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      Reverend Father Iddamalgoda,
      You may not know we both are from the same village and family friend a long long ago. I must say I agree with you fully that ‘The independence and integrity of the judiciary should be kept intact.’ But there appears a confusion here Reverend Father.

      I am sure you have noticed that most commentators here have changed their earlier stance of ‘CJ must resign’ to ‘save CJ’ on the pretext of saving the independence of the Judiciary. To my layman’s knowledge, defending the judiciary and defending the chief justice whose husband is accused of embezzlement are two different things.

      When the story of the sale of a chunk of TFC shares to NSB at an exorbitant price came to light first, very many of us demanded through various comments and channels that NSB chairman, CJ’s husband and CJ should resign pending inquiry. In this and other blogs, some detractors of MR had gone so far as to accuse MR as the man behind the entire transaction.

      Soon transaction was cancelled and money returned but CJ’s husband hanged on to his job. It took a while for him to resign. But CJ wife stay put giving credibility to the innocence of her husband.

      It is in such a circumstance that the rumor mill and LEN like blogs start disseminating that CJ’s husband was just a puppet. And the real man behind the swindle is MR. And, CJ’s husband only acted on instructions of Cabaral, who in turn was instructed by MR. All done for Duminda’s brother to sell his CF shares to NSB at exorbitant price earn a fortune and pay Duminda’s medical bills.

      Now, if those rumors are true, there is a good chance for opposition to nail MR. When CJ’s husband was produced at court, LfD should have exposed the entire story or ‘the sting’ in open court; but nothing of the sort had been mentioned. Why?

      Whether one agrees with Nadeson below or not; if CJ is honorable as Mano below says, CJ should never have allowed her husband to accept NSB job in the first place. I tend to agree with both of them.

      For one thing, as things are now, there is no difference between ‘save CJ’ slogan and ‘save Judiciary’, especially when those who demanded ‘CJ must resign’ abandon it and jump in to ‘save Judiciary’ band wagon. Even stupidest of the stupid see all such opportunists want is ‘change Regime’.
      Leela

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        Is it not simple intelligence that they were all together in the game. Once the operation unexpectedly failed the running dogs in the operation are nailed and the master goes unscathed and continues to reign supreme thinking of the next operation.

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          Muslim,
          Saying ‘they were all together’ is of no use. It’s no different to doings of the rumor mill that I mentioned earlier. Write and demand LfD and those turncoats to come up with the truth. This is ‘the GOD’ given opportunity to you to pin Rajapakse cabal.
          Leela

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    We must be thankful to Lawyers for Democracy for raising this issue and educating us. What is the Bar Association doing? Is Wijedasa Rajapakse playing a double game? The Bar Association is spineless. They must take the lead in protecting the judiciary.

    CJ’s husband should never have accepeted the position in the first instance. CJ gave the OK for the 18th Amendment. Till these latest happenings, CJ and the Court were going out of the way to protect the Government in fundamental rights cases.

    But now that the judiciary is under attack, we need to defend the independence of the judiciary. We cannot say “good for you, because you were protecting the regime”. If the CJ is impeached,all the judges from the Supreme Court downwards will be scared. No judge is going to hold against the Government thereafter. And who will become CJ? Mohan Peries will. The man who ruined the Attorney General’s Department, the man who is now an advisor to the MR regime. Mohan Peries will make the judiciary subservient to MR. We must not allow this to happen.

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    Rev. Father, the country is fast sliding into a dictatorship thanks to an ineffectual main opposition led by a political eunuch. In a democracy,it is the main political opposition that should spearhead opinion making in the country and lend moral support to civil society campaigns agitating for democratic rights and good governance. Even the judiciary at this juncture requires the moral support of the main opposition, intellectuals and the masses to assert itself. The political eunuch has not realized still that his political career is now on a downward trajectory. People including opinion makers should resort to all democratic and cultured means to make him come to terms with this reality. The MR regime juggernaut will roll on regardless, until a strong leader takes over the helm of the main opposition.

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    The present Chief Justice herself a political appointment. She bypassed several others to get the post. She has no experience in court work. She only an academic similar to Profesor G.L. Peiris. She has teaching experience only. She has never appeared for a client within the courts. Therefore it is advisable to appoint a person with experience of litigation. Nadesan.

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      You mean a person like Mohan Peris? Of course yes. We must urge that Mohan peris be appointed. When CJ is impeached, it will be message to the other Supreme Court and Court of Appeal judges that they also cannot play the fool with our great leader and helmsman MR. Those judges will shit in their trousers. And lower court judges will start purging. All judges will be under the control of our great MR. Then Mohan Peris will become CJ. Like how he made the Attorney General’s Department subservient to our great MR, he will also make the Sri Lankan judiciary subservient to the great MR. Then our judiciary will be the wonder judiciary of Asia. You are great M. Nadesan! We must ask greta leader MR to appoint you as an advisor. He needs people like you. But why hide under a Tamil name, Sir. Surely, you are not Tamil? Tamils cannot come out with bright ideas like these. Most Sinhalese also cannot. A few can. You are one of them. Oh! How fortunate we are to have people like you.

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      Mr. Nadesan, If MR who has only 5 O/L passes and could not pass Arithmetic could become a lawyer thanks to Felix who allowed MPs without basic qualifications to enter Law College, then why cannot Shirani B become a judge. True she did not practice. But she taught law, therefore knew about latest legal developments, got a Ph D from London University and was Associate Professor. You must judge her by her judgements. All her judgements may not be great (which judge did not deliver bad judgenents?) but no lawyer says she is not a good judge.

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      I am one of the many lawyers who opposed Shirani Bandaranayake’s appointment. (Sorry, I am not using my own name. I am sorry to say I don’t have the guts to do so.) But in time, she turned out to be a very good judge. Many lawyers appeared against her in the fundamental rights cases filed against her appointment. But to her credit, she never did anything to displease or offend them.

      She had the courage to dissent from Sarath Silva. During his 10 year period as CJ, there were only 2 judgements dissenting from his judgements. Both are by Shirani. Also, in the JSC, she and Justice Weerasuriya disagreed with Sarath Silva and resigned. That shows her calibre. Today, I openly say that I was wrong in opposing her appointment. Navin Perera is 100% correct. Mohan Peris will make the judiciary subservient to MR.

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    The last thing the uneducated uncultured rascals want is independent honest judges?

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    Cheapskate politicos have insatiable appetites for (a) wealth and (b) recognition.
    As for the former, they will continue to feather their nests. Legally, through obscene rewards (salaries, allowances, car permits, foreign jaunts etc) through the Institutions of Government. Parliament will pass all proposals unanimously – as we have few with consciences that will revolt against pillaging the public purse. As for the latter – something may be possible. In the slender hope that a movement by even a few honourable Sri Lankans to boycott all and every tamasha designed to glorify some politician, may hopeflly snowball into a powerful strategy.
    While many recognize the horror and future peril of the present trends, what is lacking is answers to “what can be done?”

    • 0
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      I think this is a good idea. All decent people should boycott any event involving the two politicians who were involved in this slander in parliment.

  • 0
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    It is utterly disgraceful and shameful for politicians to malign and slander the CJ and JSC secretary in this manner, taking advantage of parlimentary immunity. Really shows the depths to which this country has sunk. Better move parliment to Mariakade.
    Judiciary should learn a lesson from all this and hold the scales of justice evenly for the benefit of all citizens of this country.

  • 0
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    Oh my God! MR has brought this country to the lowest levels possible by attacking the Judiciary. It is only a person like him, with such little education, who would display such crude and uncouth behavior. He should be ashamed to have got his minions to table an anonymous letter slandering the CJ in Parliament.

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    M. Nadesan – Current CJ similar to GLP – meaning excellence in jurisprudence??? Beg to differ. Have heard from good lawyers Dr Bandaranaike has good legal acumen – but that is only one side of the story. Nobody is blaming her for not being a practising lawyer. Her problem is she found herself unduly identified with the ruling clique in many sensitive judgements involving valuable assets of the Nation. She crossed the line when she allowed her husband to accept high Govt positions to which he was totally unqualified. The public took this to mean there was some sort of Quid Pro Quo between the Rajapakses and our CJ. That is totally unacceptable.

    Senguttuvan

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