By Colombo Telegraph –
“People do not accept the new appointment as being valid. That is why they describe this as a de facto appointment. There are two legal terms – de facto and de jure – which means ‘only in fact’ and ‘only in law.’ The former Chief Justice has a legal claim to still being the legal CJ as the Appeal Court and the Supreme Court have both ruled in her favour. But Dr. Bandaranayake is not de facto. She is not the CJ. She is out. She was removed by the President. Her removal is questionable and so she has a legal claim.” says former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva.
“However, the appointment of Mohan Peiris as the CJ is also questionable. But President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed him. This is a fact. When a person has a right to appoint a person, this does not mean all his appointments are legal. When the PSC findings are considered illegal, the rest of the decisions and the activities based on the PSC become illegal including its findings. That’s why the validity of the new CJ’s appointment is questionable.” he further said.
“This is a very serious situation though the government appears not to understand. The international image is very important for foreign investment. We can’t be a pariah State. Some countries such as China or Russia can be more repressive than Sri Lanka, but they are powerful enough to ignore international pressure. We are dependent on the international community for trade, aid and other support. We have to be very careful about our international relations. We received GSP Plus from Europe and additional concessions during President Kumaratunga’s tenure. In 2010, Sri Lanka lost the GSP Plus facility and Ajith Nivard Cabraal said we do not need it, which was not a wise statement. This has affected our exports and employment in the Free Trade Zones (FTZs). The situation will be aggravated due to these negative developments. All the trade benefits we won during the last few years will be lost due to silly issues. We can have a very good human rights record as we do not have a war or Southern violence. The problem is, the government creates problems and solves them in a self-styled matter.” he said when asked the possible repercussions at the international level.”
“I personally told the President to exercise some kind of caution and not to rush with the process of removal. There was a possibility of reaching a settlement. I recommended an acting appointment be made. They did just the opposite. This is the de facto situation.” Silva said.
“Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake’s impeachment process was initiated by the President. Although 117 MPs signed the impeachment motion, they were not the architects of the process. That’s the reality. They did so because the President wanted them to do so. I have nothing to gain or lose. So I am very straightforward in expressing my views.” former Chief Justice Silva further said.
For the Ceylon Today full interview click here