27 October, 2020

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Making Commonwealth Values A Reality

By Gabriela Knaul

Gabriela Knaul

Gabriela Knaul

Making Commonwealth values a reality: the rule of law and independence of the legal profession

Presentation of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers – Gabriela Knaul

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to begin this brief presentation by expressing my sincere gratitude to the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute and the International Commission of Jurists for inviting me to participate to this press conference. I am honoured to have the opportunity to share some thoughts on how to promote the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary and the legal profession.

As you well know, the independence of the judiciary finds its origin in the principle of the separation of powers, according to which the State is divided into branches – the legislature, the executive and the judiciary – each with separate and independent powers and areas of responsibility so that the powers of one branch are not in conflict with the powers associated with the other branches.  This separation of powers enables a system of mutual checks and balances aimed at ensuring the integrity of the roles of each branch and at preventing abuses of power to the detriment of a free society.

The judiciary plays an essential part in this system. It serves as an essential safeguard against breaches to the law committed by the other branches of the State, in particular the executive power, and plays an important role in ensuring that the law applies equally to everyone. Institutional independence requires the judiciary to be institutionally separated from the other branches of power, and to be autonomous and independent in its functioning and in the decision of internal matters.

Yet, the role of the judiciary goes beyond the system of checks and balances. Indeed, as the implementation of all rights ultimately depends upon the proper administration of justice, the judiciary also plays a significant function in guaranteeing the delivery of justice, in controlling the constitutionality of laws and their compliance with internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms. A competent, independent and impartial judiciary is, thus, essential if judicial actors are to fulfill their role in upholding the rule of law.

Excellencies,

The rule of law is a comprehensive concept that includes crucial elements of the mandate of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers.

The rule of law is also at the heart of the principles promoted by the United Nations. As formulated in 2004 by the United Nations Secretary General, the rule of law can be defined as “a principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the State itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently adjudicated, and which are consistent with international human rights norms and standards. It requires, as well, measures to ensure adherence to the principles of supremacy of law, equality before the law, accountability to the law, fairness in the application of the law, separation of powers, participation in decision-making, legal certainty, avoidance of arbitrariness and procedural and legal transparency.”[1]

I believe the major prerequisite to establishing the rule of law lies in building and strengthening confidence in the justice system. Fighting impunity and ensuring accountability by bringing to justice the perpetrators of human rights violations is a paramount step in this direction. Hence, judicial independence, which must be guaranteed by the State at the highest possible level, and possibly enshrined in the Constitution, is an essential precondition to the rule of law.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The importance of judicial independence is expressed in Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It is also emphasized in many regional instruments, such as Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 8 of the American Convention on Human Rights and Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

The requirements for an independent judiciary are also detailed in other international and regional documents, such as the Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary, endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1985, and the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct, adopted in The Hague in 2002.

Let me take this opportunity to highlight the great contribution made by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the legal profession of the Commonwealth represented by the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association, the Commonwealth Lawyers Association and the Commonwealth Legal Education Association, to the adoption of the Latimer House Guidelines for the Commonwealth on Parliamentary Supremacy and Judicial Independence, and the endorsement of the Commonwealth Principles on the Accountability of and the Relationship between the Three Branches of Government. The Latimer House Principles represent a good example of a document that can be implemented to strengthen the fundamental principle of separation of powers in the Member States of the Commonwealth.

Excellencies,

Through my work as United Nations Special Rapporteur I have analyzed several aspects related to the structure and functioning of the judicial system and of the legal profession and their impact on the enjoyment of human rights. This encompassed looking at a very wide range of issues, such as corruption, fair and equal access to legal proceedings, the financial autonomy and independence of the judiciary, training and education of judicial actors, the appointment and removal of judges, the independence of the legal profession, among others.

As can be verified from the communications reports of Special Procedures, my mandate has witnessed different cases of improper external interference and attacks against the judiciary, but also cases of lack of respect between the three main actors of the justice system – judges, lawyers and prosecutors – regarding the respective role that each has to play in complying with international standards.

All States encounter challenges when it comes to upholding the rule of law and guaranteeing the independence of the judiciary, but States which have gone through crises are confronted with further difficulties when it comes to grasping the fundamental concepts and values that form the foundation of democracy.

Particularly in times of crisis, States should pay the utmost vigilance to ensure the maintenance of a number of principles enshrined in international instruments and upheld by my mandate, such as the separation of powers, the effective administration of justice, the right to a fair trial by an independent and impartial tribunal, the security of tenure of judges, and the protection of judges and legal professionals from threats, pressure or interference.

In this sense, I commend the Commonwealth for the adoption, in March 2013, of the Commonwealth Charter, which is aimed at promoting the objectives of democracy and human rights, good governance and progress through technical assistance, capacity building and practical cooperation in promoting development of Member States.

This Charter is particularly important as it demonstrates that, in order to ensure stability, democracy, the rule of law and the separation of powers must be upheld through measures that promote human rights, solidify state institutions, fight corruption and ensure accountability.

In this view, I believe cooperation among States and international organizations is crucial to help States exchange information and best practices so that they can jointly face challenges to democracy and find solutions to promote and protect human rights. Dialogue, interaction and collaboration between different stakeholders, including between the judicial actors themselves, is also essential to ensure the full respect for democratic principles and the rule of law.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is important to bear in mind that all the actors of the judicial system have a significant weight of responsibility and importance in enforcing the rule of law and in vouching that all activities of the judiciary are developed with transparency, property and justice. Like judges, prosecutors and lawyers are also vital agents of the administration and delivery of justice and, as such, should respect and protect human dignity and human rights, thus contributing to ensuring the smooth functioning of the justice system.

The importance of ensuring the independence of judges lies in both its individual and institutional aspects. In this light, due regard should be paid to the impartiality of judges, the strengthening of structures and procedures within the justice system, and a fair and transparent administration of justice provided with adequate resources. The United Nations Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary establish the essential elements that States should put in place for shaping a truly independent and effective justice system.

I would like to further stress that, while lawyers are not expected to be impartial in the same way as judges, they must be as free from external pressures and interferences as judges are. When guarantees are not in place to enable lawyers to discharge their duties in an independent manner, the door is open to all sorts of pressure and interference, whether from private or public actors, who seek to have an impact on or control over judicial proceedings. Thus, if the rule of law and the justice system are to truly function, it is paramount to develop the independence of lawyers.

To this effect, the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, adopted in 1990 by the 8th United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, ascertain that lawyers are essential agents of the administration of justice. The Basic Principles furthermore state that, in protecting the rights of their clients and in promoting the cause of justice, lawyers shall seek to uphold human rights and fundamental freedoms recognized by national and international law, and shall at all times act freely and diligently in accordance with the law and recognized standards and ethics of the legal profession.

It is relevant to underscore, in this context, that lawyers, like all other citizens, are entitled to freedom of expression and association, in particular, they have the right to take part in public discussions concerning the law, the administration of justice, and the protection and promotion of human rights, without suffering professional restrictions.

Through my mandate I have acknowledged worrisome cases of recurrent threats and interferences in the work of legal professionals. Besides threats and undue pressure, lawyers are frequently identified with their clients or their clients’ causes as a result of discharging their functions. In order to avoid these practices and guarantee that legal professionals are able to perform their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference, authorities must place the independence of lawyers and bar associations at the center of the constitutional and legal goals. In this regard, I call that due respect be ensured to the incorporation of the provisions of the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers into domestic legislation and practice.

I would like to express my serious concerns about acts of reprisals against judges, prosecutors, lawyers and other actors of the judicial system who cooperate, or seek to cooperate, with UN and regional human rights mechanism, including by implementing decisions taken by those mechanisms.

Reprisals against judicial actors and legal professionals are a kind of attack to their institutional and functional independence. Reprisals must be investigated, prosecuted and perpetrators punished as a means to guarantee the independence of judges and magistrates and the free exercise of the legal profession.

Excellencies,

Let me conclude by ascertaining that while many challenges still lie ahead for the concretization of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, we must all acknowledge that the independence of the judiciary and the free exercise of the legal profession are key elements for the achievement of these values.

By understanding the role of the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary and their respective weight of responsibility, I believe that efforts can be joined for the promotion and protection of human rights and for the continuous strengthening of democracy and the rule of law.

Thank you for your attention.


[1] UN. Doc. S/2004/616, para. 6.

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    The time has come for a comprehensive, measured and results-based EVALUATION of the Commonwealth of Nations performance in the past 2 decades. No organization is above EVALUATION and results measurement. Given the track record of this outfit a TRANSPARENT EVALUATION of the organization and its RESULTS is required.
    If it is proved as it no doubt will be, that this British Colonial old boys club for third world Dictators really promotes the “Common Poverty of Nations” and inequality and leaves a massive CARBON FOOTPRINT with NO measurable benefits to the peoples of these countries with regard to promoting EQUITABLE growth, development and democracy this WHITE ELEPHANT British Colonial Outfit should be SHUT DOWN.
    All Sri Lankans know that the CHOGM circus to celebrate Prince Charles 65th Birthday party in his post-colony, for which the Rajapakse military dictatorship has purchased fleets of Mercedes Benz cars and super luxury buses with massive kick backs will further beggar and indebt this already highly indebted country. The CHOGM circus will also boost the Rajapakse DEEP STATE and military dictatorship with its FACADE OF DEMOCRACY and further damage democracy and the Rule of Law in Sri Lanka.
    It is also clear to Sri Lankans that the Common Poverty of Nations is the more appropriate name for the Commonwealth Circus – a British Colonial relic. At this time in Sri Lanka it is clear that the Commonwealth is not just irrelevant and obsolete, it is positively DANGEROUS to the PUBLIC GOOD in the Global South. DEMOCRACY, GOOD GOVERNANCE AND RULE OF LAW which it claims to be its “core values” are constantly and consistently violated and undermined by this British colonial outfit’s support for third world dictators.
    The Common Poverty of Nations is an organization that promotes MILITARIZATION covertly, while boosting Asian and African Military Dictators (like Mahinda Rajapakse whose regime is accused of war crimes), to whom Britain sells arms and intelligence technologies during CHOGM Business Forums, while preaching human rights and rule of law!
    2. The fact is, all the SPIN generated at the Common Poverty of Nations (CHOGM) will not fool foreign investors – as indicated by the miniscule FDI figures for Sri Lanka. Foreign investors look for good governance, honest regulators and regulatory institutions and economic stability to invest in the REAL ECONOMY that produces real as opposed to fictional growth. Foreign investors except for Casino Kings are not even looking at Sri Lanka because the CORRUPT and UNEDUCATED Rajapakese brothers are a bunch of looters of public and private wealth and they know it. Rajapassa is running desperately behind the likes of Packer.

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      Indeed, the time has come to hold ACCOUNTABLE the Commonwealth of Nations to the the people it claims to benefit.
      Accountability in the Development Industry is measured through transparent EVALUATIONS, for which clear Benchmarks, logical frameworks, development goals and targets that are measurable in terms of process and outcomes are set for projects and programs.
      As it is, the list of Commonwealth projects is endless and vague and immeasurable and show a caveliar attitude towards EVALUATION AND ACCOUNTABILITY.
      From poverty reduction to democracy, good governance, human rights, gender equality, and a more equitable sharing of the benefits of globalisation the Commonwealth’s concerns reads like a LAUNDRY LIST. The Commonwealth website lists its areas of work as: Democracy, Economics, Education, Gender, Governance, Human Rights, Law, Small States, Sport, Sustainability, and Youth. There are no measurable or quantifiable or qualitative outcomes, and the results as evident in the CHOGM circus in Sri Lanka is that Commonwealth projects, programs and conference are a HUGE WASTE of funds that impoverishes countries, promote corruption, and enables RENT-SEEKING by politico-business elites.
      The practice and process and visible outcomes of this organization at this time appear to be that that it promotes the opposite of its purported values. In short, the Commonwealth seems to promote the “Common poverty of nations”, SPIN and a poverty of theory in the countries the global south, as well as, corruption, crony capitalism and BAD GOVERNANCE.

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      Is not the debt to GDP ratio today has come down to 70% from over 100% when MR took over the country in 2005. Did not Rajapakses eradicated the separatists that terrorised the country for over thirty years in less than four years. Do not the projects they have commenced and completed while the war raged on provide us with electricity for 24 hours whereas all over south asia it is cut for at least eight hours. Not bad for an ‘uneducated’ eh.

      Democracy in this country may not be equal to that of the US where their patriotic act could put citizens behind bars or secret service that listen to phone calls of everyone. We should be happy that there is no war and we could go out hoping to come back in one piece. We have also have a true multi-party democracy and freedom to write like this. Its another matter that the opposition is in disarray.

      In such a situation, not every project can be done for the satisfaction of everyone or every vision could get the approval of everyone. What matters is, Rajapakses has brought happiness and satisfaction to most people in this country. And that is democracy. Otherwise how could he win elections?

      But I agree that Rajapakses have a lot of shortcomings. That I suppose is a necessary part and parcel of the third world democratic politics. A benefit that is tagged to so-called democracy. For one thing, people know that the available alternative will be worse. If you want proof, just read what is happening in Libya. I am happy to proceed the way we are doing now.

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        Banda

        the big bigot

        I told you to read a few research papers on Irrigation and I expect you to ignore them. If haven’t well you don’t have to hide your ignorance behind your wife’s temple charity.

        Read the following papers and educate yourself bit more so that we can discuss the matter in an informed manner:

        Intersocietal Transfer of Hydraulic Technoogy in Precolonial South Asia: Some Reflections Based on a Preliminary Investigation

        By R A L H Gunawardana

        Cistern Sluices and Piston Sluices
        Some observations on the Types of Sluices and Methods of Water Distribution in Precolonial Sri Lanka

        By R A L H Gunawardana

        Total Power or Shared Power?
        A study of the Hydraulic State and Its Transformations in SRi Lanka From Third Century to Ninth Century AD.

        By R A L H Gunawardana

        Social Function and Political Power
        A Case Study of State Formation in Irrigation Society

        By R A L H Gunawardana

        Hydraulic Engineering in Ancient Sri Lanka
        The Cistern Sluice

        By R A L H Gunawardana

        Irrigation and Hydraulic Society in Early Medieval Ceylon

        By R A L H Gunawardana

        In case if you are not familiar, Historian Prof R A L H Gunawardana was a world renowned medievalist.

        Read all those research papers only then we can talk about irrigation and sluices in an sensible manner.

        Also useful book:

        Ancient irrigation technology : sluice technology in Tamil Nadu
        By Professor Rajan, K. (Karai)
        Department of History
        School of Social Sciences & International Studies

        Publication info: 1st ed. ; Thanjavur : Heritage India Trust, 2008.

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            Tadpole (゜゜)~ what is happening in Libya.(゜゜)~Tadpole

            That is exactly where your posterior is leading the nation to- just keep up the good work.

            If I come to power the first thing to be accomplished would be to

            destroy all statues (As in Glasnost) from 1948 starting with the

            `fascist banda’s” that catalysed today’s widely discussed

            nauseating violation of human rights- going to `monkey court`very soon

            after the IAF carpet bombing.|bats ~゜・_・゜~ bats ~゜・_・゜~|

            Gota “Gooo”ta “Booo”ts. ;)

            Ö Ö Ö 0:3  

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      I vividly remember Mahathir Mohamed, former PM of Malaysia, stating that he was looking for the wealth that is common. The evaluation, which you suggest as very important, should therefore begin with the monetary value of the wealth that is common to all member countries. I am pretty sure that the monetary value divided by total population of member states would reveal that per capita share is worthless for the member countries to spend hell of a lot of money for the general Meeting of the Old Boys’ Club.

      Whatever said and done, Prez MR will be the winner after the event because Colombo, Battaramulla and Galle Fort were beautified and people will start enjoying the beautification in the mornings and in the evenings. Sri Lankan Cabinet Ministers will star enjoying new Mercedes Benz cars. Gross Domestic Happiness is the best indicator of development.

      To strengthen bi-lateral relations Indian PM will visit Sri Lanka later to meet the new Chairman of the Old Boys’ Club to give fullest support of India and to request that “let bygones be bygones”. Prez MR will request Canadian PM Harper to use some of CIDA Funds, if any, to put up a memorial for LTTE cadres who lost their lives in defense of Harper’s political party. Channel 4 journos will enjoy “night life” in Colombo and will tell Jaffna Boys, “influenced” by Canada, India and Tamil Diaspora, to make Jaffna a city like Colombo for them to make a fair assessment of HR in Sri Lanka in their next documentary film.

      All will live happily after 2014 elections in Canada, India and Sri Lanka and the issue whether there is a wealth that is common will be forgotten until next General Meeting of the Old Boys’ Club.

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        professional ,

        “To strengthen bi-lateral relations Indian PM will visit Sri Lanka later to meet the new Chairman of the Old Boys’ Club to give fullest support of India and to request that “let bygones be bygones”. “

        i don’t think so ,taking in to the consideration of timing , Indian general election is around the corner and MMS will not get involved in suicidal missions. as TN stiff resistance is getting tougher by the day who ever comes to power in 2014 will be compelled to listened to TN politicians, so strengthening bi-lateral relations with SL is a very distance probability.

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      The streets of central Colombo are empty of people – except for an overwhelming police and military presence – two days before the CHOGM circus.
      Civilians are staying off the roads having been informed of various road closures, while schools and universities were shut down for the CHOGM circus that promises DEMOCRACY and the Rule of Law. There is a ban on protests. What we see is the STATE OF EXCEPTION (AGAMBEN) of the SOVEREIGN DICTATOR instead!
      It seems the Commonwealth Heads of State despite the claim that its core values are Democracy and Human Rights, fear the PEOPLE and CIVILIANS of Sri Lanka. Yesterday, I took my little grand daughter to Galle Face where we go to watch sunset and eat ice cream. The usually vibrant green – full of kids, youth and adults and vendors and kite flyers, a space for CIVIL SOCIETY was closed and guarded by the police – no cars could park. But we heard of lip service being payed to “civil society” at a Forum far away in Hikkaduwa where statements and reams of recommendations were generated for the CHOGM People’s Forum!

      The deserted streets of Central Colombo is far more telling evidence that CHOGM and the Commonwealth of Clowns only serves to further reduce DEMOCRATIC space and VOICE in this Banana Republic military dictatorship of Mahinda Rajapakse and his brothers who have spent billions on a useless show. While Jaffna will protest when Prince Charles visists, Sinhalaya Modayas are scared and follow their dictator’s orders in the absence of any political opposition that has been killed by the other DICTATOR – Ranil Wickramasinghe of the UNP.
      Voila the Debacle of Asia!

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      Tadpole (゜゜)~further damage democracy and the Ruleof Law in Sri Lanka. (゜゜)~

      It is an insult to our citizens to question whether they are rational beings or not, and blasphemy against religion to suppose it cannot stand the test of truth and reason- Thomas Jefferson

      We have only got closer to proving that the Mahawamse is but poppycock.

      Starting with the Northern Wei Dynasty in 493 AD The Longmen Grottoes Housing tens of thousands of statues of Gautama and his disciples, There are as many as 100,000 statues within the 1,400 caves, ranging from an 1 inch (25 mm) to 57 feet (17 m) in height. as well as over sixty Buddhist pagodas. Situated in a scenic natural environment, the caves were dug from a 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) stretch of cliff running along both banks of the river.

      The Terracotta Army or the “Terracotta Warriors and Horses”, The figures, dating from around the late 3rd century BC. Current estimates are that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried in the pits nearby Qin Shi Huang’s mausoleum.

      Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched?

      The Japanese are faking Mahawamse for the Hinayana Buddhist after its WW2 girly experience with Thailand and the dosh giving to darling Lanka.

      Hinayana Buddhist Thailand the only country that has never been ruled by foreigners gave the Japanese free passage to kill their neighbours during WW2. Many a Northern Ceylonese in the British Army fought at Rangoon and died for the cause of freedom from fascist.

      Seen the photos of gore at Nanjing where the Japanese bayoneted Chinese babies and lifted it up saying they were dirty and inferior. Only Sinhala Buddhist Pedophiles darling darling Japanese bend over when they greet and kiss the Sinhala Buddhist pedophiles with dosh. Why soo?

      Strange: Japan has never formally acknowledged its military aggression. Nor has the Japanese nation publicly apologized for its crimes against humanity. Yes, the Japanese butchered millions of unarmed Asian men, women, and children. But the Japanese also butchered hundreds of thousands of military and civilian personnel who were not of Asian descent.-

      Monkey court and trade embargo or bombed by IAF.

      I ‘ve a Big Un that’s Sinhala Buddhist pedophiles and Japanese envy.

      Lankets playing ping pong that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils.
      Mugabe loves you O:-) :* :*
      star ☆彡^5 star ☆彡

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    Now that MR is in the chair, will the rule of law be given any consideration? Commonwelath without the rule of law and independent judiciary will be an association of despots and dictators. Already BBS is protesting over a speech made by the malaysian delegate at the peoples forum. Maybe Gandasara should be allowed to address peoples forum on behalf of the govt of Sri Lanka.

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      I second that Safa ! Then he’ll be Gon Gandasara ! The whole of Sri Lanka is suffering for what some ultra Buddhist nationalists did !
      As I have stated several times before, there Must be a SEPERATION OF TEMPLE & STATE IN SRI LANKA !

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    HERE ARE SOME OF THE BRITISH – COMMON WEALTH VALIES

    Britain have stolen from all over the world.

    “David Cameron has rejected suggestions Britain should return a giant diamond the country forced India to hand over during the colonial era.

    The Koh-i-Noor – which is the world’s largest diamond – was was presented to Queen Victoria in 1850 and was later mounted into her crown, along with 2,000 other diamonds. It is the crown the Duchess of Cambridge will wear should Prince William become King.

    But following his visit to the site of the Amritsar massacre in India, the Prime Minister ruled out the return of the gem as a further mark of atonement for Britain’s imperial past. According to The Sun, he quite simply declared: “They’re not having that back.””

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      Misinformation from Sevela Jin & Tonic Sena

      Gibraltar was a gift by the king of Spain – goodwill for the present and future.

      Similarly the Kohinoor from Baharath.

      Kings don’t send their clothes to the raddhas/lanundry.

      Hong Kong was leased out to the British for 99 years therefore it was returned.

      Long live Good old Blighty.

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      Hey JimSofty ….

      You are sadly taking about values of some stones in 1850… How many “Gabriela Knuals” were living in the world in 1850… How the ruling men treated those Gabriel Knuals or Hilary Clinton’s lived at that time…
      At a time when ruling men didn’t have enough intelligence to understand the real gems like Gabrial or equity or equal rights of all genders, how do you expect them to understand values or ownerships of any stones like diamonds ….

      I know Jima, you can’t understand what I say here. At listen listen to this lady again and try to learn something… And stop destroying this small country and it’s people
      Anura

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    I have shown just one Value of the British Common wealth.

    Even to date you people come and try to cheat us thinking still those countries are stupid idiots.

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      tadpole(゜゜)~ Even to date you people come and try to cheat us thinking still those countries are stupid idiots. (゜゜)~tadpole

      Tatte Motte Sevela Jin &tonic Sena, (’-’*)

      You have a heart ache just throw out the chintz that you have and have never been capable of administering.

      The UK were invited by the Dutch East India Company to administer. In 1948 UK was blitzed by the Germans in the great European war WW2. Churchill was tired, Roosevelt was dead, Truman was new. In the aftermath of the conflict, tensions with the Soviet Union increased,(steady in roads to Germany) marking the start of the Cold War. Therefore the creation of Pakistan east and west to place the nuke against Russia- independent Lanka was an accident in convenience.

      Northern Ceylonese joined the British forces and fought for HM even at Rangoon against the fascist Japanese while the Southern Ceylonese worked behind the lines to help the Japanese and hid in Tamil Nadu.

      Let’s bring the nation once again under Baharat so that all citizens be treated as equal. Let IAF draw a no fly zone over Lanka and bomb it Libyan style to protect the citizens from the dictator.

      Gota “Gooo”ta “Booo”ts

      Mugabe loves you Lankets

      O:-) :* :*

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      Jimbo…..you are frothing away. But you should be posing questions to the successive governments of Sri Lanka for continuing to suck up to the old colonial masters’ post-colonial trick called the Commonwealth. WE should have got out as soon as we could have – 50-60 years ago – instead of perpetuating this charade. Blame it on our politicians who turn into brown sahibs at the first opportunity.

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      I am sure they are correct in their thinking – don’t you think Softy ? Take you for an example.

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        No need to take anything comes out from Jimmie^s stinky mouth – he seems to be in a mental crisis – typical to transexuals. We have to see it in that way. Else, not easy to find any good reasons for his bunkum.

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      JIM,
      HOW ON EARTH CAN THEY COME TO ANY OTHER CONCLUSION EXCEPT FOR [ I QUOTE YOU] “thinking still those countries are stupid idiots.”

      TUT TUT! HOW COME THEY VOTE FOR THE SCUM OF SOCIETY ?

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    Dear Gabriela Knaul,

    Need to give a Commonwealth Values Report Card, and Rank each country.

    Those at the bottom will be ashamed or will not care.

    Gibe ratings of first Class, Second Class, Third Class, Fourth Class and Finally those at the bottom, the Commonwealth Devils Class.

    Of curse those in the Devils class are going to be criminals.

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    GABRIELLA SAYS :

    “Reprisals against judicial actors and legal professionals are a kind of attack to their institutional and functional independence. Reprisals must be investigated, prosecuted and perpetrators punished as a means to guarantee the independence of judges and magistrates and the free exercise of the legal profession.”

    SO WHO’S GOING TO LIVE LONG ENOUGH AFTER OPENING A PROBE, LET ALONE GETTING TO THE PROSECUTION STAGE ?
    IN SRI LANKA’S COURTS ?
    IN CASE YOU’VE NOT HEARD, OUR CJ WAS REMOVED BECAUSE SHE ASSERTED THAT UNDER THE CONSTITUTION THE DIVINEGUMA BILL WAS ULTRAVIRES THE CONSTITUTION.

    AND MR DETERMINED THAT SHE WAS AN ULTRA VIRUS AND PROMPTLY SENT INTO QUARANTINE.

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    Where was this held please?

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    The new Chair of Common wealth values is the godfather of SinHellists (BBS/JHU/SR/BR) with Zionist ideology. They are all one form or another violating human rights, rule of law, independent judiciary with sugar coated speeches. Common wealth nations down in the pits and values have turned into ‘who’ is the most corrupt to swindle the national wealth.

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    JIM SOFTY, A Sinhala Man. CHOGAM in tamil is SOGAM is SAD.

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      Who cares this SOKHAM,
      Forget about the Bills to be paid after the Carnival by Us, the Stupid people of Sri lanka .

      We celebrate the Carnival SHOW GON,
      and see the imported Fire works at nights.

      Kaapalla, Beepalla, JOLY Karapalla.
      Chande Deepu Modayo api bill gevapalla.

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    I wish to urge all Sri Lankan people irrespective of race, language, religion, status to unite to respect the real values of the independence of rule of law and justice system in our small Nation. Why do we need a Nation? Why do we need a government? Why do we need law and order system? Why do we need a justice system? We don’t need these systems and institutions if that is to give some powers to destroy the purpose of the system. The purpose of this system to provide equal right to each of the citizen to enjoy the benefits of the system according to the principles of human values.
    Sri Lanka would be a better Nation if we had a proper system. The collapse of the above mentioned institutions and system did not start now. We, people allowed the system to deteriorate long long time back. We, people ignored the the deterioration of the system because we were divided in the name of religion, race, language and status. For example, when Sinhala only act was brought we thought it is good for our people (mean Sinhala) and allowed even to kill people and to break the law and justice system to favor those killers. Little by Little we allowed the system to collapse. Who benefited from this deterioration? Is it Sinhala masses? No, it benefited only to a group of Families to enjoy the power. We couldn’t stop that when it happened to our Sinhala brothers and sisters in 1970 or in 1989. We couldn’t stop that when a sinhala journalist killed or abducted? Thousands and thousands of beheaded bodies and skulls were rolled in the streets and dipped in the mass graves. We couldn’t stop or able to ask for justice. Why? We couldn’t ask for justice when the chief justice was taken out from the job? Why? Why? Because we are divided and we are selfish. We think justice is only for me and not for my neighbor. Is it right? It is up to the conscience of yours!

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    Thank you Gabriela Knaul for that fine speech. In Sri Lanka too we hear such speeches. During the CHOGM you may hear many of our erudite speakers acclaim these same values. Our problem in Sri Lanka is that all these good words remain mere words. You only need to listen to our Prof. G.L.Peiris, a professor of law no less, and a man of a million words, words, words,and you will get the gist of what I mean.

    We do have legislated separation of powers between the executive, legislature and the judiciary but what happens when a powerful executive subjugates the other branches and merges them under one authority? That is what has happened in Sri Lanka. How did this happen? When the Executive received overwhelming support of the citizenry at the elections it used it’s power to get it’s own men elected to the legislature thereby winning their loyalty. Many were bought in the bazaar. When you have the legislature in your pocket it is simple for an unscrupulous executive to enact legislation in his favour. Thereafter the Judiciary is an easy target.

    The high principles enunciated by the Commonwealth are well and good. But how do we achieve these? To my mind there are some ingredients that are essential, and they are difficult to obtain.
    You need to have men who are committed to the rule of law, men who respect justice and fair play, men of integrity, men who are incorruptible. We cannot find such men. We have to make do with what we have by tying them up with binding laws that cannot be changed by any branch of the government and not by a majority vote.

    Now we all know that is a difficult ask. So what can the Commonwealth do for Sri Lanka and reverse our road to despotic rule? I suggest that the Separation of Powers is made mandatory for all countries in the Commonwealth with the threat of expulsion for non compliance. The principles and the signal pointers to such separation of powers need to be identified and enunciated. Now that Sri Lanka is poised to take the Chair, this may be the best time.

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    Ajith,

    “We think justice is only for me and not for my neighbor. Is it right?”

    At least if what you say is true there would be some redeeming quality in this arrogant dictatorship that suavely distorts the constitution and the basic spirit of the principles of democracy to arrogantly impose its will– AND MIND YOU AJITH, THE WILL OF JUST FOUR BROTHERS !!! ON AN ENTIRE NATION ! AND THAT IS ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH THE THREATS OF LIGHTNING FAST REPRISALS IN THE FORM OF VIOLENCE AND DEATH.

    I SUPPOSE THAT WHEN YOU SAY “JUSTICE IF ONLY FOR ME” WHAT YOU REALLY MEAN IS NOT ‘JUSTICE” PER SE BUT THE BENDING AND CONTORTING OF THE LAW FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL THE GOVERNMENT’S YES MEN….AND THAT INCLUDES THOSE WHO SWARM AROUND THE COUNTRY UNLEASHING RAW RACISM AND RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM, THOSE KILLING GOVERNMENT’S PERCEIVED ENEMIES.

    LET ME PUT IT VERY SIMPLY HERE: THERE IS NO JUSTICE OF THE MOST INFINITESIMAL DEGREE IN THIS COUNTRY FOR ANYONE. THERE IS ONLY PARTIALITY.

    ASK BHARATHA lUCKSHMAN AND HIS FAMILY IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE ME. ASK SUSANTHIKA JAYASINGHE. ASK ARJUNA RANATHUNGA. ASK THE HAPLESS DISSENTERS OF WELIVERIYA.ASK THE ARMY DESERTERS. ASK SIRASA TV, LASANTHA, MANDANA OR SHAUKETALY, AK IQBAL ATHAS OR EKNELIGODA, AK SIVARAM AND TISSANAYAGAM, ASK KEITH NOYAHR OR FREDERIKA JANSZ, ASK LALITH ALAHAKOON, ASK THE UNPer WHO DEMONSTRATED AGAINST RANIL IN MATARA, ASK THE MILLIONS WHO ARE TOO SCARED TO OPEN THEIR MOUTHS, AK ANYONE WHO HAS A BACKBONE, ASK THE BASL MEMBERS,ASK THE COLOMBO TELEGRAPH PEOPLE WHY THEY ARE FORCED TO DO WHHT THAT NINCOMPOOP RANIL WICKREMESINGHA SHOULD BE DOING.,ASK SARATH FONSEKA WHY HE HAS NO PENSION TODAY DESPITE LAYING HIS LIFE ON THE LINE FOR THE COUNTRY, AK SHIRANI BANDARANAIKE WHY SHE HAS BEEN DEFAMED, ABUSED AND DRAGGED THROUGH THE SLIME OF AN ARROGANT DICTATORSHIP BECAUSE SHE TRIED TO REASSERT HER DIGNITY AND ACT ACCORDING TO HER CONSCIENCE;ASK LAL WICKREMETUNGA WHY HE I NOT PURSUING AN INVESTIGATION INTO HIS BROTHER’S KILLING;ASK BHARATHA LAKSHMAN’S DAUGHTER WHY SHE NOW HAS NOTHING TO SAY ABOUT HER FATHER’S ALLEGED KILLER SITTING IN PARLIAMENT. ASK RUKMAN SENANAYAKE WHY HE THREW IN THE TOWEL IN DISGUST AND WALKED AWAY FROM SIRI KOTHA.ASK SAJITH PREMADASA ABOUT WHAT AILS THE NATION.

    IF THEY KILLED ISAIPRIYA DAYS BEFORE PRABHAKARAN’S DAUGHTER WAS KILLED, THEN , HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHEN THAT LITTLE GIRL WAS KILLED ? NO? THINK ABOUT IT! I HAVE STILL TO HEAR OF ANYONE WHO HAS DONE SO.O THE MATHS ON IT AND YOU WILL COME UP WITH CONCLUSIONS THAT WILL SHOW YOU THAT WE ARE NOT UP AGAINST A SIMPLISTIC CASE OF DIVISION AND SELFISHNESS. OH NO! WE ARE UP AGAINST SOMETHING BEFORE WHICH FRANKSTEIN PALES INTO ABSURD INSIGNIFICANCE.

    THE EVIDENCE IS OVERWHELMING BUT THIS IS NOT A PLATFORM ON WHICH THERE I ENOUGH SPACE FOR IT ALL.

    EVEN DIVIDED AND SELFISH WE COULD HAVE STILL STOPPED THE INCIDENTS YOU HAVE ENUMERATED HAD WE ONLY CARED ENOUGH.

    SO AT THE CORE OF THE CRISIS IS THE FACT THAT WE HAVE AN INCREDIBLE LETHARGY THAT KEEPS US COWERING IN OUR COWARDLY SHELLS

    THE NATION NOT RULED BY LAW OR JUSTICE BUT BY THE THREAT OF IMMEDIATE ARMY OR POLICE BRUTALITY, OR BY WHITE VANS AND BY SERVICE DEFECTORS TURNED MASKED MOTORCYCLE KILLERS.

    VIEWED IN THE CONTEXT OF THE MANNER IN WHICH YOU PUT IT,YES, THAT’S WHAT VERY MANY FEEL ABOUT JUSTICE. BUT NO, WE’RE NOT JUST DIVIDED AND SELFISH…IT GOES DEEPER THAN THAT FOR THE MAJORITY OF OUR POPULATION. MAJORITARIANISM, AND STATE SPONSORSHIP FOR IT THAT ISSUES FROM SELF-SEEKING CRIMINALS IN POLITICS, HAVE COALESCED INTO A MASSIVE EVIL FORCE THAT, LIKE A MASSIVE EARTHQUAKE HAS OPENED UP THE GULF THAT HAS AN INSATIABLE LUST FOR HUMAN LIFE.

    LIKE TECTONIC PLATES THAT REFUSE TO RETURN TO THEIR ORIGINAL POSITIONS, THE CHASM OF POLITICALLY DRIVEN RACIAL AND RELIGIOUS HATRED IS KEPT OPEN, THE FLAMES OF THAT HATRED MAINTAINED AT BOILING POINT TO FUEL THE CONTINUING SUPPORT OF THE COMMON MASSES THAT ENSURES CONTINUITY IN POWER FOR THIS FAMILY DICTATORSHIP.

    I FEEL THAT WE’RE PERHAPS TRAVELLING PARALLEL ROADS TOWARDS THE SAME DESTINATION OF EQUALITY AND JUSTICE. BUT PERHAPS YOU MIGHT AGREE WITH ME THAT THE DIMENSIONS OF THIS CRISIS IN CIVILIZATION, THIS REIGN OF TERROR, THE SUFFOCATING FOG OF MURDER WITH IMPUNITY ARE MANIFESTATION OF MUCH MORE THAN THERE BEING A MERE ‘DIVISION’ IN SOCIETY.

    THIS SAME CRISIS EXPLODED IN RIVERS OF BLOOD BREACHING THE BANKS OF CIVILIZATION IN A BLOODBATH THAT WIPED OUT THE NAZIS.

    HITLER NEVER IN HIS WILDEST DREAMS EXPECTED THE MAGNITUDE OF WORLD OPINION THAT SENT THE ALLIES IN ENDLESS WAVES OF AIR, SEA AND MILITARY MIGHT TO ANNIHILATE HIM AND HIS NAZI FORCES.

    BUT IT WAS DONE.

    I FEAR THAT HISTORY ALWAYS REPEATS ITSELF.

    YOU CAN’T TAKE AWAY A PEOPLES’ DIGNITY AND SENSE OF PERSONAL HONOUR AND EXPECT THEM TO NOT REBEL VIOLENTLY AGAINST SERFDOM FOR LONG.

    PURE WATERS OF FREEDOM WILL FLOOD THIS NATION BEFORE LONG. BUT UNFORTUNATELY, AS THE HEBREW PROVERB HAS IT ” YOU CAN’T HAVE RAIN WITHOUT THE THUNDER AND LIGHTNING;

    EVEN IF WE ARE NOT DIVIDED. EVEN IF WE ARE NOT SELFISH, WE STILL HAVE A MONSTROUS EVIL TO DEAL WITH. AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY JUST DOES NOT GIVE A DAMN ABOUT IT BECAUSE THEY’RE ALL CONCERNED WITH THEIR VESTED POLITICAL INTERESTS.

    ONE HOPES THAT YOUR LITTLE COMMENT WILL BE A CATALYST THAT WILL DRAW SOME TANGIBLE RESPONSE FROM SOMEWHERE.

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      WINTON DE VALLIERE, Your anger is infectious!

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    Ajth;

    “to respect the real values of the independence of rule of law and justice system in our small Nation”.

    Do not worry about the “rule of law and justice system”.

    Now It is In “safe hands”. not under the Ministry of Justice,

    But Under the Ministry of Defence.

    So we have given the SWARD to The Mad, Crackpot Monkey.

    Time to time we see the Clowns play with Justice system.

    SO WHO IS CHEATING WHO??????>.

    WHO ARE THE SELFISH LOT???????.

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