1 December, 2020

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Shirani: A Symbol Of Resistance Against State Oppression

By Dharisha Bastians 

Dharisha Bastians

“Democracy demands an opposition party” – Ben Manski, American Lawyer and political activist

The events of 23 November when Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake made her very first appearance before the Parliamentary Select Committee were not lost on the ruling administration. Round one had presented a clear winner and elicited mass sympathy for the lady who had fallen foul of the powers that be.

So when the time came for the country’s most senior judge to answer the summons of the Legislative Committee in the second round, necessary arrangements were presumably put in place. The build-up to Tuesday, 4 December was palpable. A poster campaign was orchestrated throughout the capital Colombo. The well-designed posters screamed “Shame Madam” and featured the scales of justice with Sri Lanka on one side and an apartment complex on the other. A budget three-wheeler parade sporting the same placard on their roofs made their way to Temple Trees, many of them stopping to ask Policemen clearing the road for the demonstration where they were to go next. Even as the black coats mobilise support for the beleaguered Chief Justice, the Government is on its own hectic campaign to discredit her.

Golden Key in the mix

On 13 November, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa held a one-on-one meeting with representatives of the Golden Key depositors in Parliament. At the meeting, during which other senior administration officials were present, Minister Rajapaksa promised that the depositors would be paid in full by April 2013. But there was a condition attached. Some reports about the meeting indicate that the conditions included a requirement that some of the depositors give evidence about the conflict of interest in the Chief Justice presiding over the Golden Key case before the Supreme Court. Golden Key depositors have been losing hope for their deposits for several years now. Undoubtedly, the promise of settlement was a tough carrot to refuse. That’s how the depositors became the first face of the anti-CJ movement in Colombo when they smashed their own share of coconuts and demanded she step down.
So when Tuesday dawned, lawyers and activists said they were not surprised when buses full of people were unloaded outside the gates of the Superior Courts Complex at Hulftsdorp and furnished with placards and posters. Senior lawyers at the courts premises said they had been asked to hoot at the Chief Justice when she passed by. The trouble was, very few of them could identify her. In fact, many of the anti-CJ protestors had no idea why they were outside the courts complex at all, fuelling speculation about the organised nature of the demonstration. It was reminiscent of the ‘spontaneous’ protests against the US-led resolution at the UNHRC in March this year, when hundreds of home-guards from remote provinces were transported to Colombo, gathered outside the Civil Defence Force headquarters in Bambalapitiya and marched to different diplomatic missions in Colombo seen as supportive of the resolution against Sri Lanka.

Proposition demos

The vacuum created by the lack of opposition mobilisation to the move to oust the Chief Justice has created space for the proposition to engage in the process, using means both foul and fair. And in the absence of a credible opposition voice in the struggle to stall the Government’s encroachment upon the Judiciary, the legal fraternity, religious leaders and civil society organisations are stepping up.
On Tuesday, several lawyers effectively laid down the law to the massive contingent of Police personnel stationed outside the Superior Courts Complex just before Chief Justice Bandaranayake left for Parliament. The Police, presumably on instructions were attempting to prevent the media from entering Supreme Court premises. Several lawyers marched up to the gates and informed the Police officers in no uncertain terms that the Courts belonged to the people and not to the Police. “The Police have no right to prevent people entry here,” they charged, escorting journalists in to the premises. Initially Police also attempted to block supporters of activist monk Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha who is leading the charge against the Government’s interference with the courts, from entering the premises, but capitulated once lawyers intervened.

Chief Justice Bandaranayake left the Supreme Court premises amidst seth pirith being chanted by Buddhist monks and massive gatherings of people both inside and outside the courts complex. Perhaps in anticipation that the anti-CJ protestors would get unruly, the Chief Justice, accompanied by her Instructing Attorney Kandiah Neelakandan and Attorney-at-Law Saliya Pieris, took an alternative route out of the premises. In Parliament, only anti-CJ protestors lined the streets at Jayanthipura junction, and cameras caught the Government’s maverick-in-chief, Mervyn Silva strutting about directing the protestors to say “Parliament was supreme” and exactly where to congregate. Silva, interestingly, also told the press gathered there that the Chief Justice was guilty and asked her to step down. Also in the crowd of protestors at parliament was a UPFA municipal councillor from Colombo, who opposition legislators claim promised three-wheeler drivers free taxi meters if they participated in the protests.

All this adverse publicity on each day that the Chief Justice travels to Parliament to face the PSC is exactly what the Government does not want to perpetuate for very much longer. It is therefore putting all measures in place to move the impeachment proceedings along as soon as possible. The regime fears that with momentum building each time the Chief Justice is summoned to Parliament, public sympathy with Bandaranayake is increasing, and she is being seen as something more than just a judge who had fallen foul of the ruling administration.

In the bigger picture scenario, the Government’s war against the Chief Justice is being seen for what it very likely is – an onslaught on the last remaining independent organ of the State and despite their reservations about Bandaranayake herself, activists are rallying behind her in the interest of protecting the courts. At Hulftsdorp on Tuesday, UNP Provincial Councillor and lawyer, Srinath Perera charged that those leaders who should take the lead on this struggle were backing away.

Symbol of resistance

“Today we can clearly see that the Executive is controlling the Legislature and that the only institution that can prevent ad hoc decisions from being taken, the only institutions that can protect the peoples’ rights is the Judiciary. We are at a point where all of us devoid of class or caste party or ethnicities, professionals intellectuals and all those who love this country must come together to reverse this process that seeks to break the backbone of the Judiciary and install a dictatorship,” Perera told journalists and demonstrators gathered at Supreme Court.

This is in fact the last thing the Government wants – for Chief Justice Bandaranayake to become the symbol of resistance against the regime – and for better or worse, that appears to be exactly what is taking place. Bandaranayake now commands the full support of the powerful legal fraternity in the country, which is mobilising at a hectic pace, heaping litigation against the process and generally keeping the pressure on.

It is for this reason that some Government insiders even claim the process may be over with as soon as this Saturday (8) when the final vote on the Budget is taken. The PSC held marathon sittings on Tuesday from 10:30 to nearly 5 p.m. with only a break of about 90 minutes in between. Yesterday the committee convened again, for the first time without the presence of the Chief Justice. Today, the Chief Justice has been summoned to appear before the committee at 2:30 p.m. but presumably, the committee will convene earlier. Despite this acceleration however, both lawyers for the Chief Justice and Opposition committee members are complaining that there was no procedure laid out for this trial by Parliament and so far, no documentary evidence presented to support the charges against Bandaranayake in the impeachment motion.

Conundrum

Having brought the resolution of impeachment against Chief Justice Bandaranayake, the Government was very confident the pressure would force her to step down from office, paving the way for an appointment of the Executive’s choosing. Instead, her decision to fight the impeachment has created a major conundrum for the regime, which is faced with a conundrum about the charge sheet and the PSC proceedings.

If the Committee finds the Chief Justice guilty, according to Standing Order 78A, the report of the committee becomes a public document. Given the attention both domestically and internationally that the impeachment saga has garnered, the report is likely to be perused by various civil society organisations and international bodies to determine whether due process has been followed and the Chief Justice has in fact been given a fair trial. In order to present such a report, the process must indeed, be beyond reproach and appear to be completely unprejudiced especially in light of the perception of bias already existent because of the committee’s composition and the Legislature’s almost complete submission to the Executive.

It was in this backdrop that at PSC proceedings on Tuesday, the legal representation for the Chief Justice, led by Romesh De Silva PC, requested an open trial. Opposition committee members supported the request, but the seven member Government majority in the committee held sway. The request was denied. A further request made by Bandaranayake’s lawyers to allow a Commonwealth observer or local Bar Association representative to observe proceedings was also denied. The lawyers then raised issue that two Ministers on the committee had rulings given against them by the ‘accused’ and noted a conflict of interest on perceptions of bias. The committee is to deliberate and rule on the matter today, Daily FT learns.

Deadlock

Meanwhile, the Constitutional impasse that was imminent for several weeks since impeachment proceedings were formally begun, was laid bare in Parliament last week when Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva raised a point of privilege about notice being served on Members of the Parliamentary Select Committee by the Supreme Court registrar, as respondents in several petitions filed against the impeachment process and the legality of the PSC. The 11-member committee and the Speaker, who is also listed as a respondent in the petitions have been asked to present themselves in court on 14 December. What ensued following De Silva’s questions would have been a proud moment for the Sri Lankan Parliament, had it not been intrinsically linked to a highly-politicised move to remove the head of the country’s Judiciary.

Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe who has been chomping at the bit lately to assert Parliament’s superiority over the Judiciary predictably rose to express his views on the matter. “Follow Anura Bandaranaike’s ruling on the matter,” he pleaded with Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, referring to Speaker Bandaranaike’s historic statement in 2001 about Parliament being supreme and not subject to the dictates of the Judiciary. Several other senior UNP Members including Joseph Michael Perera echoed the sentiments. Elated Government ranks fully supported the Opposition sentiments, in a rare display of legislative unity on the banks of the Diyawanna Oya. One of the few dissenting voices was that of TNA MP and Human Rights Lawyer M.A. Sumanthiran, who claimed that MPs were also bound by the Constitution, which was supreme. He highlighted the instance of when MP Dinesh Gunewardane and former Premier Sirimavo Bandaranaike went to court seeking an order against the Speaker with regard to the 13th Amendment. The JVP maintained a stony silence on the issue, and it is now coming to light why.

JVP to answer notice?

JVP insiders claim that the Party is likely to answer the court summons on 14 December. In fact, the TNA too has expressed the view that it is contemplating on whether its PSC member and Leader R. Sampanthan will answer the court notice. Members of Parliament do not necessarily have to appear before the court, but could send legal representation to file their submissions.
Be that as it may, the move by the Opposition Leader to offer the Government his full-throttled support shocked and distressed even his biggest loyalists within the party. The Speaker, in his ruling on the privilege issue raised, reinforced Parliament’s supremacy and said the courts had no right to question his decisions or serve notice on Parliamentarians. Interestingly, in his ruling Speaker Rajapaksa thanked the Opposition Leader profusely for his inputs and clarification on the procedural issue. Many Wickremesinghe loyalists showed genuine signs of despair after Parliamentary proceedings concluded on Thursday. Some were heard to express the opinion that the UNP Leader should have refrained from saying anything on the issue, and allow this to effectively be, the Government’s show.
But Sri Lankans these days certainly do live in interesting times.

Ranil plays ball

Wickremesinghe, fresh from his massive victory at the Party’s National Convention held last Saturday, is certainly not on the road to garnering much popular support. Since the beginning of this impeachment process, Wickremesinghe has portrayed himself to be a dark horse, with his loyalists very optimistic that he was going to turn the tables on the Government using Parliamentary procedure that he knows like the back of his hand. But when the time came for him to pick his nominees for the PSC, he picked senior party man, John Amaratunga and MP Lakshman Kiriella, both lawyers, both senior UNP members, but neither appearing to have the gumption to withstand the assault from the seven-member Government majority in the committee.

His assertions about Parliament supremacy, Wickremesinghe critics say, he should have kept to himself, instead of helping an increasingly autocratic regime on its way to subjugating independent organs of the State. The UNP Leader’s detractors are seething about the state of affairs, frustrated also by the need to adhere to party discipline or face the Leader’s wrath, especially in light of the sweeping powers he now enjoys following the Party Convention. In fact, Wickremesinghe’s problem might be the fact that he is angrier now at his detractors within the party than the ruling administration and to this end he is prepared even to use the regime’s assistance to destabilise the reform movement inside his party. The heavy Police and STF presence at the Party Convention on Saturday (1) certainly indicated, if nothing else, that somebody in a position of power, badly wanted Wickremesinghe’s position secured. President Rajapaksa in fact wished him well on his success and imparted a few words of wisdom to those UNP reformists urging a change of leadership within the party, saying at a book launch, that “your turn will come”.

Wickremesinghe’s antipathy towards the pro-Chief Justice movement is drawing criticism from all quarters. Recently President’s Counsel and former Attorney General Shibly Aziz met Wickremesinghe and complained that it appeared as if the UNP was doing nothing to prevent the Government from steamrolling the Judiciary with the impeachment.

The trouble with Wickremesinghe, political observers say, is that he appears to implement strategy that is favourable to himself as an individual, but is not seen by the majority of the people as an effective Leader of the Opposition. Despite the flawed PSC process that his own nominees in the committee are complaining about, Wickremesinghe, the guru of Parliamentary procedure, is yet to raise a murmur about the issues inherent to the process. Had he attempted to do so, his claim that the UNP was simply engaging with the procedure in place legislatively to deal with the impeachment issue, would have more credence.

Part of the process

For over a month now, many have also postulated that Wickremesinghe’s reluctance rise against the Government moves to oust the Chief Justice was because it was his intention to allow the regime to falter and lose legitimacy through the process of impeaching Bandaranayake. But in order to sit by and ‘watch it burn’ as the colloquial saying goes, one must obviously also be as aloof and uninvolved in the illegitimate process. In supporting the regime to perpetrate what judges and lawyers and observers throughout the world have called a witch-hunt against Bandaranayake, even in somewhat opaque ways, Wickremesinghe has made himself and by extension his party, very much a part of the process.

A report on the role of the opposition, rights and responsibilities, organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association at Marlborough House, London in 1998 states the following:

“The Opposition should not only be able to take over as Government but be seen as such. In order to win it had to have the confidence of the people; it therefore had to be viewed as responsible, respected and united and its policies perceived as relevant to people’s day-to-day lives. It needed to use Parliament effectively, to promote a team (not only individual leaders), to continually review its overall approach and ensure that it interacted effectively with independent institutions to formulate new policy.”

The Wickremesinghe-led UNP, despite its Leader’s purported knowledge about Commonwealth Parliamentary practice, is failing in just these areas. The public no longer has confidence in the UNP and is therefore looking alternatives to rally around. This is something a political novice like former Army Chief Sarath Fonseka appears to have a grasp on, despite the fact that he, if anyone, has been dealt a raw hand by the guardians of justice throughout the last two years. Fonseka is in the forefront of the battle to safeguard judicial independence, making an appearance in Hulftsdorp on Tuesday in what can only be called a very shrewd political move, at a time when all eyes are focused on exactly that red-roofed building.

There is very little point in the UNP being wary of creating another temporary hero in Shirani Bandaranayake, if in fact, the very vacuum the Opposition creates by not engaging in the struggle to fight the political reprisals against her is exactly what is turning her into an unlikely heroine and a symbol of resistance against State oppression.

Courtesy Daily FT

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Latest comments

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    RW has failed the UNP and the country at large. His dictatorial methods mirror the Rajapakse strategy to consolidate power come what may. Lack of democracy, succession planning, devolution within the UNP is not a good sign for the future. UNP cannot depend only on one man. JR had a whole team of excellent leaders to whom he devolved power and responsibility. RW is killing the talents of the few left around him.

    Strategically RW’s inability to seize the political advantage and unite with the common opposition even on the CJ’s issue is highly disappointing.

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    Ranil lacks strategies in modern day politics. His behaviour today is a shame to any pro-people movement. After the one and only independent organ of the state (not mentioned in ideal terms) fall under MR’s steel boot Ranil can visit temple trees and while having a coffee can submit his complaints to the King Kekille. This is the dawn of the full Kekille era.

    Sorry for poor masses.

    Raigamrala

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    I have had the greatest respect for Ranil, until now.
    His radical transformation in supporting this impeachment is puzzling.
    I fear that he may have been “bought over” by the government in some way which is not yet known.
    What Anura B said long ago was unfortunately not challenged,as that need did not arise.
    But,to quote it now in this ‘impeachment situation’ goes against good governance.
    He should not have not commented at all, as his nominees are in the PSC,both of them lawyers.

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    The man who tried to steal tsunami funds,the soldier who ran away to America for fifteen years during the war and the economic development minister who was expelled from school making fools of themselves around the world?

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    If Dharisha and her ilk think that they have got an Aung San Suu Kyi, they are mistaken. There is no parallel here. MR has the support of the people. The impeachment is essentially a political process done for the greater good of the country. We cannot give the CJ all the safeguards like in a court trial. This is a political trial, whether one likes it or not. That is the reality. UNP will also do the same if it comes to power. CJ has a chance to prove her innocence, according to Standing Orders. That the Standing Orders were put in place by JR is immaterial. We cannot afford to have the niceties of democracy when we have to eradicate enemies of the nation. Courts cannot be allowed to be used to fight political battles.

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      Oh stop it Leela..I think you are someone who just gets a kick out of saying controversial(read stupid) things. Even the great defenders of this regime.. Dayan Jayathilake, Malinda Senevirathne and that looney prof fellow from Belihuloya etc are silent on this.

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        Why should I be silent just because others are silent. I cannot be silent when the leader I have been waiting for all my life has come to lead Sri Lanka. After Mahinda will come Namal. I am not ashamed to say that we need a dynasty like this to save our country. Why should I be ashamed? There have been very successful dynasties in ancient India and China and other countries. What is wrong with dynasties? I repeat, we cannot have all these so-called democratic safeguards when dealing with enemies. The PSC is a political process that we must have. We cannot allow conspiracies.

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          In your own interest, Psycho-ratne, get lost from these column!!

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      Thank you Leela for being open about the intentions of the MR regime. Yes, we also see the politics behind it. The regime wants to have a tame judiciary and probably will succeed. But not in the long run. The people are fastly realizing the true nature of the regime. From all reports, even people in villages are getting worried. The statements of the Mahanayakes have had an effect. Also, economic issues are now affecting villages. The picture is not rosy for the regime. But there will be people like Leela to sing the praises of the regime. All dictators had people like that. No surprise!

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      The political nature of the impeachment motion does not augur well for the relationship between the three arms of government.

      The parliamentary select committee does not seem to possess the knowledge, wisdom, merit, qualifications, experience in law, maturity, high moral and ethical standards and integrity that should be present when investigating improprieties of the highest judicial officer of the country.

      If not in any other sense, then on the above basis the process seems fundamentally flawed.

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    The legislative arm is the worst of the three branches of govt.- Executive, legislative and judiciary. On second thoughts, the Executive is pretty putrid too – and there is nothing to choose between the two!
    Sri Lankans have never trusted their politicians, Bringing shanty dwellers to parliament road to protest the CJ who has behaved with great dignity will further de-legitimize the politicians, the ugly Rajapassa regime and the legislature. The fat MPs who sit in the Diya-weena parliament and violate NATURAL JUSTICE by running Kangaroo Courts are an insult to the people of Lanka and a NATIONAL DISGRACE.
    Question is why does not Ranil and the opposition follow the Indian Opposition Example and disrupt proceedings and bring the proceeding to a halt?
    Clearly the diya-wenna parliament is full of uneducated, scum of the earth politicians who are there to make money not stand for principles. They are there because they play pooja to the corrupt executive.
    Politicians in Lanka are the pits and professionals, civil society and ordinary citizens need to step in and rally around the Judiciary and Shiranee Bandaranayake, an unlikely heroine, to spur the LANKA SPRING led by another unlikely hero Sobitha thera to rescue the country from the rot that the Executive and legislature represent..

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    Sri Lanka needs a NEW – NAVA UNP!
    Based on Ranil’s performance during the impeachment of the CJ it is now time for Karu Jayasuriya, Sajith, Rosy, Dayasiri and other dissenters to form the NAVA UNP, capitalize on the winter of our discontent that the people are experiencing with the political leadership of the govt and opposition and set the course for a peaples’ uprising to overthrow Dictatorship.
    Karu and Sajith should stop being so frightened to divide the already divided and now useless UNP. Or perhaps Dayasiri can lead the way to marginalize Ranil and his acolytes and gain control of the main party?
    Simultaneously, the Nava UNP should follow the Indian Parliamentary opposition protests in parliament and stop all proceeding.
    The opposition must PROTEST the DISREPUTE to the legislature that Rajapassa regime’s actions of bring shanty dwellers to parliament road to protest the Chief Justice represents. This is a NATIONAL DISGRACE AND INSULT TO THE SOVERIGN PEOPLE OF SRI LANKA – a regime of hooligans and war criminals bringing disrepute to both the legislature and judiciary.
    Time has come for a massive joint opposition protest in parliament.
    Meanwhile the UNP dissidents who will now have the majority of member support to set up a new UNP.

    • 0
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      Wow another “POOK” to add to the fire, no not a troll. :)

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    Thanks for highlighting this Dharisha!
    “Today.. ee are at a point where all of us devoid of class or caste party or ethnicities, professionals intellectuals and all those who love this country must come together to reverse this process that seeks to break the backbone of the Judiciary and install a dictatorship.. We can clearly see that the Executive is controlling the Legislature and that the only institution that can prevent ad hoc decisions from being taken, the only institutions that can protect the peoples’ rights is the Judiciary. Srinath Perera told journalists and demonstrators gathered at Supreme Court.
    Perhaps Srinath Perera and other young party member should join to take the lead on the struggle for a NEW UNP, the Sri Lanka Spring let by a younger generation of clean politicians.

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    Darisha,
    It is an excellent piece of writing.

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      Daya,I think you should nominate Darisha for the next Nobel prize for literature. Will sure win I know. lol.

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    We highily appriciated CJ resistance aginst authority,but must be Right path of Democracy of fariness and Justice of Judicial case.
    As democratic nation we should never allow unjust cause and judgemnt INFRINGING PEOPLE’S FUNDAMANTAL RIGHTS AND INTEREST.
    CJ is more or less symbol of Corruaption of first time in history judiciary Sri lanka.CJ has Judicial power and Law of enforcement authority is her involvemnt of problem corrupation, CJ and Husband are concering is aganist people’s experctaion of Rule of Law; immerdite interest are still evdient that CJ official position abused power of rule of law and fail to fulfil duties, committing crime of corrupation while enforcing law.
    Even bending the law for personal GAIN, which seriously damageed credibility of Public and the authority of the law.We are very much concren of Public point of view.
    Insated of promoting rule of law fully belived in the law and consciously used law,CJ has openaly undermine trust and confideance of Public has been entrused to her and highest position of Rule of law.
    So CJ that will understand not only violated Republic Constitution and code of conducts that must followed by all citizens,but also the wepon of leagl system that guarantees People’s RIGHTS.
    The lawful Justice and its goverance should be based on not only constitution,well code of conducts of CJ and Superem Courts Judges as well as entire legal staff throught the Island.
    CJ act has left behind a mixed legacy of Rule of Law in history of Judicial system in Sri Lanka.

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    Office of the Leader of Opposition virtually fell vacant long ago, perhaps, from the moment Ranil Wickremesinghe took over this prestigious position. Since then, he had devalued this high position many a time. He insulted this position when he grabbed a six year term by undemocratic means. In fact, Ranil shamelessly desecrated this high office when he threw in his lot with the regime on the impeachment issue! Let now the truth dawn on every one that there is a pressing need for an opposition leader in Parliament and outside it at this grave hour of the nation! Let someone rise to the occasion!

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    Ranil on his death bed might still give a shot at becoming president. his time has come and gone. Whatever his astrologers say or what messed up plan he may have to come to the top he no longer is a viable option for the people wanting an alternative. Rather than rebelling UNP leaders need to realise that this one individual(along with maybe Sarath N Silva) has done more to harm democracy in Sri Lanka than all the Rajapaksa’s combined. His inability to think of anything but gaining power and anyone but himself is the fundamental reason we are where we are. the failings of the opposition is more to blame for the current plight more than power grab of the administration that has been allowed to do so. Time to think out of the box. Let Ranil rot with the Rajapaksa’s. Time for lawyers, students, teachers etc. and people with an iota of hope for this country to look at other options. Maybe the soldiers fed up with making race tracks for princes to have joy rides will also join in.

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      You need a revolution like the French to guillotine them all. Seen the recent Orange revolution, Libyan spring! Where have they gone? They have all gone wrong, they have gone wild because none were disciplined and had no concept except revolution. The known devil is better than the unknown and RW is the only decent experienced fellow available; take it from there to give individual rights than collective.

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      Sandun: Quote” more to harm democracy in Sri Lanka” Unquote
      Did you have it at all? I don’t think so you ever had it better after independence. With freedom come responsibility and most don’t want responsibility.

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    Don’t expect anything great from Ranil Wickramasinghe.

    After all,he didn’t even vote against the 18th Amendment – he was otherwise very busy OUTSIDE Parliament (complete with loud hailer) at voting time.

    He is piddling…while Rome is burning…that’s his style.

    And, we are now stuck with the ass for another 6 years. Woe be unto us !

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      Yeah, Ranil is Nero in modern day…

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    What a mess regime has inherited.

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    This Leela is none other than Thadi-Priyantha of PRA fame

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      I also suspect Leela to be Thadi Priyantha. He can’t even claim a male name.

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        He must have undergone surgery ???

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    As long as Ranil remains the Opposition Leader, MR will continue to be the President. If anyone thinks of regime change, they should first join together to force out Ranil from UNP leadership.

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    Hello Dharisha,

    Thanks for the splendid expose! You have veritably unmasked the hypocrites and charlatans both in the Executive and the Nation’s ‘disloyal’ Opposition… This Ranil Wickramasinghe fellow is a real goat! He shall pay for this terrible and ugly mistake of propping up MR regime… just when he has painstakingly manipulated a seeming victory to become the unrivalled leader of his Party. Come the next Presidential election, if there’s going to be one at all,UNP stands to lose! Lose millions of voters just for this selfish and cowardly act of its leader, Ranil. A sure sign that UNP will never win another election again…!

    As for Sri Lanka’s future, as things stand today,whom can people trust? Dineshes, Vasus and DEW Gunasekeras have but tarnished images… Gone are their left-leaning, upright and humane principles for which they were famous once upon an era and which they have now abandoned for the sake of filthy lucre and positions of power; leaving the common people to wonder if this opportunistic and deceitful trio were ever loyal to the Cause and the people they claim to serve..

    The country sorely needs a new Opposition… A whole new national revolutionary movement to substitute for the diluted Official Opposition. CJ Shirani Bandaranayake’s courageous stand shows that such a challenge from a people’s movement in the face of the awesome dreadnought of a blundering Executive gone mad… is supremely possible! And indeed desirable! It’s time for all good people to come to her aid…. Aloy Perera, Toronto, Canada – stephenperera@rogers.com

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    her husband had done many [Edited out] ,this lady came to supreme court from back door and it was political appointment.now she is going thinks against the Goverment due to her husband position if not under what basic ,she approved more terms to president?this is the serious of her mistake that she does not Bundestag the law.now she want people to fight for her not for the country and policy.we have keep card board hero from bandaranayake family from 1956 until chandirika send country to bankrupt and negative GDP.this time we got another [Edited out] lady,who has plan to be such hero.this lady has plan to motivate Tamil in the world and get help from west to divide this country.our attorneys are keeping their pace in front of her to get better business in future.no matter who they are,if done corruption,crime let get banishment for that ,do any one thinks without this lady we can not run supreme court?

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    As CJ she should have upheld the integrity of the office and resigned as soon as she was aware of her husbands nefarious dealings. Instead she turned a blind eye and carried on regardless, thus betraying the people. When times were good, she dilly-dalied with her benefactors and even ignored the fact that her appoinment was politically orchestrated and of the back-door type. She was aware of the fact that she had to bend to their tune and did so with fairy-like nimbleness .Then where did things go wrong?.It was greed and hunger for power, reasons for the downfall of many a great civilisation since times immemorial. She would do well to realize her failure towards the people and go softly into the night, thus retaining what little respect they have for her.

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    it is highly unfair to criticize ranil wickramasinghe now because he is heavily dependent on government for his own survival last year government carpeted the road near sirikotha and blocked the path to thousands of U N P supporters who have gathered to oust ranil this year nearly 3000 police officers were present to protect ranil from U N P supporters and we in fact saw police personel preventing genuing U N P ers entering sirikotha and these days government is spending 300 million rupees to construct a building for ranil as leader of the opposition cum government under these cercumstances can ranil do anything against this corrupt regime ananda lanerolle baddegama

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    CJ is a simble of shame of Sri Lanka Judiciary. But in a country which has just come out of a thirty years of mauling under a ruthless terrorism it is the educated, well to do, egoists that are making a demon of the Government that redeemed Sri Lanka from pain, scars, wounds, and tragedy. It is still only the rural peasants who are dignified by their virtue of gratitude. SB was an unfortunate selection to the Judiciary. There are more of them in the Judiciary and until they are all removed we cannot speak of an independent judiciary.

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    Our tribute to’The Iron Lady of Sri Lanka’.

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    I yet plead with the president to restore sanity , decorum and righteousness to the process, even if he wants the impeachment to proceed.

    I am remember the story of an Indian king who imposed a ‘ Urine tax’ after he had exhausted all other avenues of enriching his treasury. Every man, woman and child had to to pay the tax, each time they passed urine. The people paid the tax for a while with much grumbling. One day the breaking point came, when a caring citizen had a brilliant idea. He suggested the coins they were paying as the ‘urine tax’ be soaked in urine, before being paid. The idea fired the imagination of the people immediately. Of course the treasury soon stank to the high heavens and the king had no other recourse but to rescind the ‘urine tax’.

    The lesson: The people will ultimately have their say, when they collectively feel that there is injustice- an illegal manifestation and unrighteousness- an immoral, unethical and adharmic manifest ion. It is not the win that matters, but how it is won.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran.

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    Narendran,

    Yes it could happen in India, where the fourth Prime Minister of India Moraji Desai even drank his own urine.

    Impeachment is not such a bad thing after all when people occupying most respected office presume they are above law, and do any thing as they please thinking they can get away from it.

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    GOLDEN KEY DID NOT HAVE DEPOSITORS.THEY WERE INVESTERS. WHEN ENTERPRISES COLLAPSE INVESTORS LOSE.YOU CANNOT HELP IT.

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