5 December, 2020

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Parliamentary Select Committee Exposed!

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr Laksiri Fernando

The timing of the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice coinciding with the Supreme Court verdict on the Divineguma Bill raised serious doubts about the political motives behind the move. By that time hurriedly framed bribery charges against the husband of the CJ have already been initiated. Perhaps with the intension of pressurising her to resign that the President asked her to come with the other members of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) for a discussion. She rightly refused.

The independence of the judiciary has been a sore point for the Rajapaksa regime for some time. This independence could not be prostituted even by giving the CJ’s husband some political appointments. She had determined to keep her husband’s affairs quite separate from her professional obligations. After all she is not only a judge but also a legal academic with international recognition. She can easily become a professor of law in any international university.

I remember her when I was briefly the Director of the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI) in 1995. When the then President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, proposed what came to be known as the Package, the SLFI organized a seminar on devolution and invited Dr Shirani Bandaranayake to deliver a paper on the legal side of the subject. She did it excellently and professionally. There were no political overtones. The seminar took place on the 19th of August and the proceedings were published with all other papers. Perhaps this was the paper cited in the case against her when she was appointed a Supreme Court Judge in 1996. This is also the paper I believe that the impeachment charge 10 attributed as a CPA publication!

I have met her few times during the seminar and after, particularly in the process of editing the papers and she was not a ‘nona’ or a ‘baba’ as some of the PSC members have apparently abused her yesterday. She was dignified, to the point and extremely civilized. When she was appointed a SC judge, I was delighted although I was not in the country by that time, primarily because she was the first woman judge in Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court.

The real reason behind the move to remove her became revealed when the President said she was ‘too big for her shoes’ (tharamata vada iddimila). It is a personal remark and a personal dislike. Perhaps the President regretted her appointment made only a year ago like he regretted many appointments like that of Tilak Karunarathne as the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

She was acting independently. She also has 12 more years to go. That is the worry unashamedly said. She is also a woman. The mindset of the 18th Amendment and the independence of the judiciary were not going along well. In quite an unprecedented public statement, the JSC also had to reveal the pressures and the threats coming towards the judiciary from unnamed high executives. Then the Secretary to the JSC, Manjula Tilakeratne, was mercilessly attacked broad day light and still no one has been arrested for the crime.

The PSC was a farce from the beginning although the opposition members understandably had to sit in the process. They however should have done better to safeguard the rights of the Chief Justice. Their actual role will be revealed soon while the role of the gangsters on behalf of the government is already exposed. There are no rules of procedure for the PSC; they are not interest in them. No ample time was given for the CJ to answer the charges; they are not interested in hearing them either. Suddenly they have given thousands of papers yesterday asking the CJ to answer them by afternoon of today.

The PSC is now exposed of its crooked justice.

It is at this juncture that the CJ and her legal advisors have left the PSC in protest. I believe they left the place in protest and that means that they could again go and counter the charges if they wish. Protest is necessary. Exposing the blatant injustice by other means is also necessary. It is reliably revealed that the ‘verdict’ is already prepared. This is a mockery of justice. The proceedings are a farce. But the ‘verdict’ should not be allowed to go by default in my opinion. But the best judge should be the CJ herself and not anyone of us on whether to continue with the PSC or not.

The whole procedure has been shameless. I don’t see anything wrong in the CJ or anybody else managing their finances effectively keeping the best interests of the family, children and the old age. Everyone has a right to do so within the existing legal limits. I completely believe that she has revealed all her assets properly. What we can see now is the abuse of her personal financial information, breaching privacy, in a manner to prejudice the general public against her. Money is always a matter that can prejudice innocent people. What appeared in the last Sunday Observer is one case of example.

The Speaker has completely disregarded the requests of the Supreme Court to postpone the impeachment proceedings until petitions on constitutionality are heard and interpretation given. The scant respect for the judiciary by the government is again shown. The government apparently wants to complete the saga in a mighty hurry. The reason is obvious. The government is rapidly losing its popularity and an independent judiciary is a thorn in their sinful flesh.

What I can do from a distance is to wish all blessings of the triple gem to the CJ. Bon Courage! People will soon vindicate that you were just and right.

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    All in Parliament Government Group including The Speaker are Puppets. Government members in the Select committee are working according to a special agenda given by the Maha(Gon)Raja.

  • 0
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    PSC is legit under the Constitution, the same way as the CJ ‘s decision on the Divineguma Bill.

    Now you reckon one is not.

  • 0
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    No doubt the CJ and her excellent legal team will take the steps neccesary to counter the thuggery and mockery of justice.

    • 0
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      Safa,
      You miss the point.
      PSC may be ‘legit’ but the way it conducted the proceedings/’trial’ was not.
      Basic tenets of legal proceedings were deliberately ignored.

  • 0
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    Citizens of Lanka will sink the Kangaroo Court of the Rajapass Brothers in the Diyawanna Oya and close down the parliament of knaves, thugs, criminals, thieves and fools and dead leftist Geriatrics that are at the beck and call of the most uneducated, greedy and abominable executive in Lanka history!
    Long live Shiranee Banadaranayane and the Judiciary of Sri Lanka!
    Time for Rajapassa to get out!

  • 0
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    So we are supposed to forget about all imprieties of the CJ based on Dr Fernando knew her in 1995 when she presented an excellent paper on devolution?

    where did you leave your brains, Dr Fernando?

    Karu

  • 0
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    Chamal Rajapassa is an uneducated moron who does not know the first thing about NATURAL JUSTICE or DUE PROCESS.
    He is Speaker of the Diya-wenna parliament of uneducated thugs and criminals in Banana Republic by virtue of being a sibling of the most corrupt Executive – so how on earth can the PSC be anything but a Kangaroo Court?!
    The professions, teaches, students, trade unions and workers are ready for regime change and to get rid of the corrupt Rajapassa Bros and sons!
    Let the Lanka Spring blossom from the winter of our discontent!

    • 0
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      Dodo,marvellous analysis.When these news are aired around the world we have to hide our faces with shame.We sound a set of fools from fools island

  • 0
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    The Chief Justice should sue the PSC for breach of privacy and reputation damage..

  • 0
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    Anther example of the blatant interference of the Executive in the Judicial Process and rule of Law.

    The President has called the Chief Justice’s lawyers Neelakandan & Neelakandan and had stated that the Chief Justice must resign.

    He had said he read the impeachment motion only at that moment and had said the allegations are not adequate to bring in an impeachment motion. However, as an investigation process has already commenced there is no possibility to go back on it and had asked the lawyers to request the Chief Justice to resign.

    If the Chief Justice decides to resign measures could be taken to withdraw the cases against her and her husband the President had told CJ’s lawyers.

    • 0
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      Our President is a “lawyer ” who does not know that a

      person is innocent until proven guilty. It is reported that
      he himself says that allegations are not adequate to bring in an
      impeachment motion.So CJ cant be guilty.
      So why should the CJ resign?

      • 0
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        President and his sons became lawyers by purchasing law degrees

  • 0
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    Yes I agree fully with Dr Laksiri Fernando. This is a mockery of justice. Sri Lanka rapidly falling into a dictatorship. However, it would be too late when people realize it. In any other country, the opposition would have rallied people against it but not in Sri Lanka. It is because our politicians do not believe in democracy.

  • 0
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    No words for us to appriciate your effort to educate genral public in Sri Lanka.Keep it up.Our Academics, University Students and Trade Unions are in deep slubmer. I do not know when they will awake and see this unreasonable cruel and arbitrary actions of Stupid uneducated Rajapaksa.

  • 0
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    Even a child knows what this Govt is upto, its like Goerge Bush saying either you are with us or with terrorist.

    CJ is neutral Govt is provoking & vilifying her to revolt & clear her name.

    Keep up the fight CJ & her associates do not succumb to pressure.

    Somebody has to teach this rogue regime a lesson.

  • 0
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    This couragious lady is an asset to Srilanka. Her never failing smile shows that she is a lady made out of steel. Rajapaksa trying his best to rail road the legal system. I do not think when there are peopole like Shirani Bandaranayake, Laksiri Fernando, it will be that easy for rajapaksata do that. Budunge saranai to couragious people like you.

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