21 September, 2020

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Many Sides Of Partiality Of Mohan Pieris

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr Laksiri Fernando

Apart from being an illegal appointment to the post of Chief Justice, Mohan Pieris undoubtedly is a controversial character in many respects. His business connections and government appointments are well known and contrary to the independence and integrity expected by that highest position in the judiciary. He was the Chief Legal Advisor to the Cabinet. He himself is personification of ‘conflict of interest’ par excellence. The following is an article I wrote about his views on the ethnic question and reconciliation which was published in the Asian Tribune on 16 June 2012, seven months ago.

I wish the readers to pay attention to what he said about the ‘lawyers, constitutional jurisprudence and the Tamil community’ quoted in my paragraph 14 below. This is what I quoted:

“The whole problem with the Tamil community is that they have too many lawyers there. They just talk law. They are enjoying themselves talking constitutional jurisprudence.”

When he said that he was just the former Attorney General, but now he is supposed to be the Chief Justice. Look at his attitude about constitutional jurisprudence, lawyers and the Tamil community. His full interview appeared in the Asian Tribune under the title “Mohan Pieris: On the urgency of reconciliation for lasting peace” on 12 June 2012.

Dangerous Pronouncements of Mohan Pieris on ‘Reconciliation’

Dr Laksiri Fernando

When the Asian Tribune, probably the Editor KT Rajasingham himself, raised the important issue of ‘confidence’ as a possible barrier for the TNA and the UNP to so far nominate their representatives to the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), Mohan Pieris, in an interview on 12 June 2012, characterized it as “being selfish,” and lambasted saying “What is confidence? They are enjoying all the perks of their offices they hold. They enjoy all the material benefits every other government members enjoy. What is this confidence they talk of?”

Mohan Pieris is not only a former Attorney General of the country who recently lost his credibility by saying one thing to the UN Committee on Torture (CAT) on the disappearance of Prageeth Ekneligoda and then refuting it cheekily before the Homagama Magistrate, but also the Chairman of the Inter Agency Commission to Implement the Interim Recommendations of the Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). In addition he is also a Special Advisor to the Cabinet of Ministers.

To such an important person on reconciliation, ‘confidence’ or ‘confidence building’ in the reconciliation process equals to ‘perks’ and ‘material benefits,’ perhaps revealing his own mindset on matters that are well prominent nowadays in Sri Lanka. Thus he cannot understand why the TNA or the UNP cannot have confidence in the government, when they enjoy the official benefits of MPs, as if these benefits are given to them by the benevolence or as ‘bribes’ of the government. What is implied is the ownership of power and wealth within a small group of people, masquerading as Government, and the need for others to serve them with ‘confidence.’

When the interviewer commented on the TNA position that “they are not going to come as far as I am aware,” the answer was “well..well..well…then the Government will have to do the next best thing.” Mohan Pieris also spelled out this ‘next best thing’ saying that “there are other right thinking people in the Tamil community who will join with us and will come with a formula which we think is the next best.” It is perhaps in this context that he mentioned about the ‘perks’ and ‘material benefits’ that can generate confidence among some ‘dummies’ instead of the TNA.

Pieris also talked about ‘clapping’ and ‘Tango.’ “It takes two to Tango. You need two hands to clap,” he boldly said. But instead of a real Partner to Tango, as he revealed, the government is going to have a dummy as the second best. Why? The answer came when the Asian Tribune asked “why can’t the government try to persuade the TNA?”

First it was sheer arrogance saying, “You can take a horse to water, but you can’t get it to drink.” Then it was utter impatience when the need of ‘government again talking to the TNA’ was suggested. The answer was “What is there to talk…We are just talking, talking and talking.” This was the attitude of such an important person from the government side on ‘talks’ as part of a reconciliation process or political negotiations.

Pieris was somewhat taken aback when the “UNP also not joining the PSC” was suggested. “So that is because none has the country at heart” was the answer. He was not talking about a ‘second best’ in this instance. Instead, he was waving the ‘patriotic’ card.

When the Rajapaksa associates first brought the issue of ‘patriotism,’ many people who wanted to be critical of the government, including myself, were somewhat puzzled thinking whether they (we) were doing something wrong, because we all love the country. But now it has become an utter joke simply because of the scale of abuse, vendetta, plunder and deceit going on in the name of patriotism.

In the interview, Pieris very clearly refuted the possibility of reconciling with the TNA. That should be noted by everyone at home and abroad. “I can only reconcile with someone who wants to reconcile,” he categorically said. Perhaps he was ignorant of the political implications of the simile that he brought into the discussion. He said, “it is no different to – may be a family break up.” He should know better than anyone else the marriage law regarding separation or divorce when there is a family breakup. I am sure however he is ignorant of the theoretical literature on the subject of self-determination that equates political separation to family breakups.

There is no wonder why Mr R. Sampanthan was talking about the impossibility of having a ‘solution even within a united Sri Lanka’ at the ITAK convention in Batticaloa, if he has encountered utterances like Mohan Pieris’ during the “quantum of dialogue” with the government that Pieris referred to during the interview. Still I would persuade Mr Sampanthan to otherwise.

It was utter nonsense that Pieris talked about referring to amity among communities in the Galle Face Green! Almost like a senile ‘post-modernist,’ he said “in the evening you see the community living in peace. They are talking, laughing and enjoying themselves. There is no Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims or Burghers over there.” Then he said “Nothing,” like what he said about “Ekneligoda’s whereabouts” before the Maharagama Magistrate: “only God who knows.”

Perhaps this type of self-deception must be going on in the inner circles of the Rajapaksa associates. It is entirely true that the ordinary Sinhalese, the Tamils and the Muslims have ever lived in peace and still wants to live in peace and amity. Then who is igniting communal ill feeling and violence like what we recently saw in Dilithura, Dambulla or Dehiwala?

At least we know for sure that Rev. Inamaluwe Sumangala who led the attacks on the Dambulla Mosque was a President’s delegate to Myanmar in June 2009 just after the end of the war and perhaps he learned those tactics from there (listen to ITN News on YouTube, 18 June 2009). It is equally known that many recent attacks on Muslim religious places, including the Dehiwala Musjid attack on 25 May 2012, were led by the JHU monks, a constituent partner of the Rajapaksa administration.

Most dangerous or vicious were Pieris’ comments on the TNA leadership and Mr Sampanthan. When the interviewer asked why doesn’t the government “talk to the TNA leader Sampanthan on all these issues,” the sarcastic answer was “in that case we will add another round of talks…The whole problem with the Tamil community is that they have too many lawyers there. They just talk law. They are enjoying themselves talking constitutional jurisprudence.” Mind you, these answers came not from an ordinary politician, but from a former Attorney General.

This is not what I exactly thought vicious, but his comments about the future of the TNA leadership. He said, “Sooner or later the present TNA and the whole existing political outfits will be no more due to natural causes (my emphasis).” Pieris didn’t explain what these natural causes might be but repeated even at the very end of the interview that “the present TNA and others will be no more due to natural causes (again my emphasis).”

I have met Mr Sampanthan several times and he is an extremely a gentlemanly and a pleasant person whatever the political differences that we may have. I call him ‘Mr’ because of his seniority and with respect. We all know that he is old with several health problems.

The world needs an explanation from Mohan Pieris what he meant by “natural causes.” What we know about him is his entanglement with disappearances in Sri Lanka, especially of Prageeth Ekneligoda. If he is involved with ‘natural causes’ as well, then he should explain them without dragging this time God into the whole affair.

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    A sharp and honest assessment of a legal rogue who is our Chief Justice now. God save us.

    • 0
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      Quisling Chief Justice (QCJ)!
      ,
      Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

    • 0
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      He is really not our Chief Justice, remember Fazeela? He is the illegal one.

      • 0
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        HE HAS TAKEN THE SWARD.
        NOW, WE WILL SEE, HOW HE IS GOING TO MANIPULATE THE LAW.
        I MEAN HOW LOW.

        WHEN WE ASK HIM,

        “WHERE IS HON CHIEF JUSTICE SHIRANI BANDARANAYAKA?”.

        DEFINITELY, HE WILL SAY.” ONLY GOD KNOWS”.

    • 0
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      The dogs bark but the caravan moved on!The dirty Anti Government Forces have started their campaign against the New Chief Justice. They will only support him if he falls out with the Government. This is the same way they treated the Ex CJ. When the Ex CJ were appointed these traitors wanted to report her to the Bribery Commissioner but when she fell out with the Government she became a Martyr. It was the same with the Ex General when he was appointed as head if the Army these Jackals said he is not fit to lead the Salvation Army but when he fell out with the a government he became the greatest Hero of all time. These anti government forces will throw mud at the Government at every available opportunity. However this great Government will not fall. The moon does not heed the barking of dogs! Mahinda is the greatest leader we had since post independence .

      • 0
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        3 times hooray well done.. now get on with nation building…take examples from Singapore.. sue anyone utter a single wrong word. where is those Haper guy and tamilian Pillai?

  • 0
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    Prof.Laksiri,

    Thanks for the insight into the Quisling CJ, you have provided. I had always advocated the TNA. Enter the PSC process to discuss and find solutions to the Tamil problem, because it was both an opportunity resolve problems and an opportunity to expose the malfeasance of the government. The CJ episode has removed the proverbial fig leaf that was the government stance. The QCJ has exposed the reason why the government was playing for time on the Tamil issue and shelved the APRC proposals.

    Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

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      Dr Rajasingham,

      If we had any hope that some solution for the Tamil and the ‘minority question,’ at least for the time being, might emerge from this regime, it is all gone. I have observed your moderate views and still urge you to pursue them. It is easy for anyone to go to the extremes, but that is not the way. After the demise of the LTTE, there is much possibility that moderate sections of the Sinhala community having a better understanding of the Tamil question. This forum is indicative of that trend. However, this regime or its major partners are fanning extreme Sinhala chauvinism as you would realize. Only way out for the country is better unity among oppositional forces within all communities. More dialogue, more writings, translations into Sinhala and Tamil, and united organizations at different levels are some steps that we can initiate. There can be more suggestions. A website solely devoted to Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim unity might be necessary if resourceful young people could initiate. I personally like you to write substantive articles on these or other issues without confining yourself for making comments. This is not at all a criticism but a friendly suggestion. I don’t think I know you personally, but always appreciated your pointed comments.

      Laksiri

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        Prof. Laksiri ,

        Thanks for your encouraging comments. Age, has made me reluctant to write complete articles/blogs, centred on one theme. The comments section provides me the outlet to express my point of view on issues that are of concern to me yet. I am likely stop doing this too, sooner that I would like to.

        We need men like you to hold the light for the people at a time like this.

        With best regards,

        Dr. R.N

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      what solution are you talking about? Tamils were brought to Sri Lanka by British so we have no objection they went back to Australia, Canada or any Anglo Saxon countries… of course all the rest should try to go to England minus Scotland (soon to be) about TNA they were with LTTE, now they conspiring with West to discredit Sri Lanka.. tow tongue terrorist loving traitor.. they are lucky to be in Sri Lanka, Tamils must learn one thing they can not have best of both worlds and continuously conspiring and spreading lies of Sri Lanka.. We like guest but they should not overstay the hospitality..

  • 0
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    A CJ needs to be impartial, blind to politics and deaf to politicians. This scoundrel obviously has deeply ingrained political biases and views. It is only such corrupt people who will prosper and profit under this dictatorial regime.

    It seems that Sri Lanka has now fallen from the pan of a quasi dictatorship into the fire of legalised dictatorship.

  • 0
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    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    “Quisling Chief Justice (QCJ)!”

    The late Anton Balasingam (Voice of the Nation, LTTE’s ideologue) used such language to describe opponents.

    I wonder whether you too have a residual Tamil nationalism kicking to come out of your under belly.

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      Native Vedda,

      Whatever rhetoric Balasingham may have used, the facts in this instance support the terminology I have used. I have a very strong sense of identity as a Tamil Sri Lankan Human. It cannot be called Tamil nationalism of any sort kicking to come out of my under belly, as it is based on the accident of my birth and subsquently leaning to understand its universatality in thought and approach. Further, one of the rare instances in which Anton Balasingham was utterly truthful was when he said , ” Yes, we are terrorists”.
      Dr.R.N

      • 0
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        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        Thank you for your assurance.

  • 0
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    Please don’t insult this man. He is appointed to do a job of work for Rajapakse. He is a master of the game with a proven character and he will do it best. And with this appointment the independence and integrity of the Judiciary is lost. Well done Bar Association for the job well done, with expression of your agreement to work with this cheat.

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    CJ Dr.Shiranee Bandaranayake could not have impeached by MARA, if UNP would have stand strong.

    Mr. Attanayake, you and your boss RW have hijacked UNP party. You talk only after lettihg the wolf to eat the chicken. Why you and Ranil did not attend CJ appeal’s court hearing, and also did not allow UNP 2 PSC’s to attend it. While Ranil did not allow Sajith to speak for CJ in parliament debate…..now RW plan to take action against him for taking TNA time. What a hyypocrit.

    What Ranil said about parliament is Supreme when it has the most corrupt crooks, Murderers, thugs, rapists and Kappan karayas representing people in Sri Lanka.. Who is Anura Bandaranayake….the 10th grade drop out to analyse Constitution.

    You are good at giving talk shows in AC rooms while RW tours abroad with 87 million Parliament Pin Padi. If RW likes to Tour abroad without serving people, why he not talk to his friend MARA and ask for a Diplomatic Posting. It’s better to be honest and do what he like most than deceiving both UNP supporters and deceiving his own self.

    How come RW got 4500 votes against his rival’s 500 during last UNP party head vote count. It still baffle all of us UNPers about this mystry high vote for RW.

    I did not see either you or Ranil participating or giving any releaf parcels to Flood victims., while all other senior UNP’s did so.

    Don’t play double game….get back to business and start meeting people in the villages and help them to survive like what JVP do.

    Boycott Parliament….no point going to parliament when there is no constitution and since MR is a dictator. Anymore discussions with MARA won’t help…..other than MARA highjack all of you.

    Plan to chase him by goingt to villages and by meeting people. Only mud slinging against MARA won’t help…..but only a part of the strategy.

    Good Luck.

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      It is time for the UNP to wake up: Ranil is not a suitable person to challenge MARA. The ideal person would have late Premadasa. Ranil does not have the guts or will to challenge MARA. We need a leader with guts and will power to challenge MARA. Will there will be change in the attitute of the UNP. If UNP fails this time to kick out MARA and his siblings UNP will be digging its own grave. Wake up U N P do not behave like an sombie.

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    ” TNA and others will be no more due to natural causes”

    Who or what gave him the gumption to utter these words?

    He certainly speaks the language of his criminal masters, the Rajapaksa brothers – Mahinda and Gota. To openly voice an opinion like this, especially from a former attorney general and now a puppet CJ, is indicative of what could be expected under his stewardship of the judiciary. More importantly, those sinister words show intolerance towards those who fail to agree to his master’s diktats. As prof Fernando implies Mohan Pieris is probably part of the inner circle in the regime involved with the deaths and disappearnces of the regime’s enemies. I hope someone comes forward to eliminate the despot and his associates and free the country from their misrule.

  • 0
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    It’s really alarming the way this unfortunate situation has developed. To take a balanced view, based on publicly available, irrefutable and anecdotal evidence, neither Dr Shirani B nor Mr Mohan P would qualify to be appointed CJ under normal rules of good governance, but it is patently clear that the way Dr B was summarily dismissed was totally mishandled. I am not sure how wide-spread any resistance to this new appointment will be from the relative legal bi=odies that have correctly stood by Dr B during this saga, nor whether it can be sustainable and make a real difference, but this whole incident is reeking of rotten governance. A look at the international news would suggest that several large players (not conspirators, I hasten to add!) are considering various options open to them.

    Just like Netanyahu has been labelled recently, the people who run this government are tactical geniuses, but it is also clear that they may well end up being strategic fools.

  • 0
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    Mohan Peiris has proved that he is a stooge who will do what the uneducated DICTATOR and the family wants.
    man.Will the learned judges lawyers with a conscience agree to work with a man like that.Gentleman to the core S.L.Gunasekere said that he will not recognise and appear before him,if others too follow then he will have to go

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      How can you say a former LIBRARY ASSISTANT of a University an uneducated person?

      People learn at school,in the society and while practicing his profession or in the underworld. We have to accept that all professionals are not qualified to be politicians and all politicians are not qualified to be professionals. In the case of Prez MR, he got the opportunity to qualify as a lawyer and became a lawyer.

      Sri Lanka is not Bhutan and education is not a criteria for a citizen of Sri Lanka to become a politician. What kind of education the candidate has received or where he has received his education do not matter. What is required at present is the ability to get nominated and to win the election. Dr. Meralovin Silva is the best example. He had received his education in the underworld and the people of Gampaha District, which produces the largest number of educated voters annually, voted for him.

      • 0
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        i appericiate your comments.

        BECAUSE I LOVE THAT AND IT IS FEATHER ON MY CAP,
        AS I AM FROM UNDER WORLD, SUPPORTED BY VVIPS AND THEIR CLANS.

  • 0
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    Unprecedented criticism of a CJ of Sri Lanka and Executive must heed to the voice of the people.

  • 0
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    Why bother! There will be no more Parliamentary Elections. Mr can pass a bil to extend the life of parliament for another term, with his two thirds majority, hold a referendum to confirm it, and they will carry on! RW will be the permanent Leader of the Opposition with all his perks!! ‘ Until natural causes’ takes its toll!

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    The dirty Anti Government Forces have started their campaign against the New Chief Justice. They will only support him if he falls out with the Government. This is the same way they treated the Ex CJ. When the Ex CJ were appointed these traitors wanted to report her to the Bribery Commissioner but when she fell out with the Government she became a Martyr. It was the same with the Ex General when he was appointed as head if the Army these Jackals said he is not fit to lead the Salvation Army but when he fell out with the a government he became the greatest Hero of all time. These anti government forces will throw mud at the Government at every available opportunity. However this great Government will not fall. The moon does not heed the barking if dogs!

  • 0
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    This is a bias article on all sense to please the anti government lobysts. Mohan Pieris has more legal experience and qualification than Shirani Bandaranike in every sense. A acadamician from Colombo Campus who got elevated to Supreme Court during Chandrika Kurmarathunge days for the sake of Bandaranaike name. Remember the commotion made by the opposition in 1997 on this appointment. Shrani Bandaranaike has never done any work in the courts. Several Supreme Court judges protested on her appointment. One can see how cheeky she is trying to hold Bandaranike name though she is no Bandaranike. Even married to a Kariyawasam she is still going by her maiden name.
    Shirani Bandaranike has so far not presented any evidence against the allegations to clear her name. She only has made a comotion about the procedure adopted. She should know any one walking away or absented from court will be judged ex-parte. Where is that provision for a common man to walk away from courts when he finds the verdict may be unfvourable. Shirani Bandaranaike is a hoax at its best.

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