By Colombo Telegraph –
President Mahinda Rajapaksa is determined to appoint a new Chief Justice and a new Prime Minister in the New Year the Colombo Telegraph reliably learnt.
Considering the Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne’s physical incapacity to report to office, President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expecting his resignation. Last week government spin doctors officially sent Jayaratne’s photographs to media which show his inability to attend office. The photographs were taken by a cameraman attached to the Sri Lanka Embassy in Washington, DC . The move drew a howl of protests from the Prime Minister’s family who said it did not do well for the Government and was in bad taste.
“A cabinet reshuffle is going to happen early in the New Year because once the Prime Minister resigns, the cabinet will be dissolved until the President names a new Prime Minister and cabinet of ministers”, a source close to Rajapaksa told Colombo Telegraph.
Political analysts say Supreme Court notices served on members of the Parliamentary Select Committee have united the Government and the opposition. In one voice, they have concurred that Parliament is supreme. It is likely that the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, which was accepted by the Speaker, will result in the her being found guilty by 7-4 votes in the PSC.
Although the Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, asked the Speaker to follow Anura Bandaranaike he wanted Parliament to give more time to Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. He told the Speaker “You should act according to the ruling given earlier by Hon. Anura Bandaranaike. We should also send these details to the courts. Someone has said that the process (regarding the impeachment motion) will end on December 8. That is a wrong concept. There are 14 allegations in the Impeachment motion and we should give at least one day per allegation and therefore it cannot be completed on the 8th. We should remember that there are other serious issues for the public such as education-sector problems, and balance of income and expenditure. Therefore, they do not expect a crisis between the judiciary and the parliament. Our stand is that we should remain with the stance taken by Hon. Anura Bandaranaike. If necessary, Mr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, in the capacity of the President of the Bar Association could further explain this. Our stand is that the late Anura Bandaranaike’s decision stands. There is no question about the petitions being filed in Courts. But, do not challenge our powers or do not issue notice on us. Continue to hear the cases and give the judgments. The privileges and powers of Parliament and its members should be protected by the Speaker. We do not want to lose democracy. We want to safeguard democracy. Also there should be protection for the independence of the judiciary.”
The President of the Bar Association, Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, made no objection. JVP members kept mum on the issue. TNA MP, M.A. Sumanthiran argued the MPs should honour the notice served on them by the Supreme Court.