Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa abruptly ended a press conference yesterday when journalists questioned about the removal of former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake through a hastened impeachment process.
At the press conference where the former President talked about the “lopsided” law enforcement process of the current government, a journalist asked how the former Chief Justice Bandaranayake was removed within three days, under the previous administration.
“Everything was done according to the Constitution,” Rajapaksa responded curtly, indicating he did not wish to take further questions on the matter.
However, the journalist kept asking questions about the process, especially about the inordinate haste with which the former Chief Justice was removed.
Without responding to the question, Rajapaksa asked which media organization the journalist was representing. The journalist said he was working for the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC), the former President accused him of carrying out a “contract'”. JO MP Wimal Weerawansa too joined in blaming the reporter without answering the question about Shirani Bandaranayake’s removal.
At this point, several other journalists too asked questions from the former President about the flawed impeachment process, prompting Rajapaksa to call it off abruptly.
He hurriedly left the press conference saying the proceedings were over, while journalists were still asking questions.
Meanwhile, the journalists from the state TV station and Sirasa complained to the former President that they were obstructed at the entrance by the organizers of the press conference.
The journalists said they were harassed by the organizers saying the state television and Sirasa were not invited.