By Colombo Telegraph –
‘Pissu geni’ (mad woman), ‘baby’, ‘baby nona’ (baby mistress) and several other derogatory terms were used to address Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake by Ministers Dilan Perera and Wimal Weerawansa during Parliamentary Select Committee proceedings on Thursday, Colombo Telegraph learns.
Perera and Weerawansa who from the first were tasked with humiliating the Chief Justice at the Committee sittings were not checked even once by the Select Committee Chairman Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, sources said.
Furthermore, when Romesh De Silva PC who is leading Bandaranayake’s legal team was making submissions on Thursday, he alluded to the fact that even Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden had been given the opportunity to explain themselves. Interrupting the Senior Lawyer, Perera sniped “This Eve of course has many many Adams,” sources said. The statement shocked lawyers and Opposition MPs on the committee.
The following is the sequence of events at Thursday’s PSC sitting, before Bandaranayake and her lawyers walked out in protest:
1. PSC convened at 2.30 pm today. The Chairman without consulting other Members overruled the objection of bias raised against two Members. Opposition Members dissented.
2. Romesh de Silva PC (Counsel for CJ) then raised the issue of the Procedure. No specific and legitimate procedure was adopted. Instead, documents (approximately 1000 pages) were handed over the CJ requiring her to respond by 7th afternoon. No list of documents or witnesses were given.
3. CJ was told that there would be no oral evidence and therefore no cross examination would be permitted.
4. When the issue of rules of natural justice was raised, the Government members responded that this is not a court and that rules of natural justice is applicable for the people and not for the representatives of the people.
5. Several Members of the Government referred to various allegations, not based on the charges. When the Counsel pointed out that those allegations are not part of the charges, they took the view that the Committee can go beyond the allegations.
6. Two Members of the Committee particularly ridiculed the Chief Justice with totally unacceptable remarks (Pissu Geni; Nadagam Natanawa etc). Counsel was also subject to hostility. Member of the Opposition requested the Chair to control the proceedings and ensure that Chief Justice and Counsel are treated with dignity but Chair did not make any attempt to prevent further humiliation.
7. When the PSC was unable to ensure any acceptable procedure for inquiry and continued with the violation of Rules of Natural justice and in particular the Chief Justice and Counsel was subjected to intimidation, the Chief Justice and her Counsel walked out of the PSC