4 December, 2020

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SLBC Questions Whether The Rule Of Law Is So Sacrosanct

By Basil Fernando

Basil Fernando

On the SLBC radio, in the mornings, there is a program that is inappropriately entitled “People’s Power.” It is just political stooge programming, which tries to take up some current issues and create justifications for government positions. It is a dull and boring presentation but, since some of the issues discussed and the interpretations given throw some light on the kind of thinking that is promoted in favour of repressive measures, it is worth a short reflection.

In one of the programs (11th of December), the main topic discussed was on the Chief Justice’s impeachment.  The commentator attempted to give some of his own musings on some matters discussed. Seemingly irritated by constant references to the abuse of the rule of law, he posed a question as to whether the rule of law is so sacrosanct. If you take a lighter view on the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary, it is quite natural to challenge the fundamental basis of all such notions.

If one has doubts as to whether human liberty is so sacrosanct, then of course it is natural to regard rule of law and all other consequent notions as of little or no importance. The reason why the removal of the Chief Justice of the country is being challenged is to preserve the principle of irremovability of superior court judges, which is central to all such notions related to the protection of human liberty. The contest, therefore, is not about an individual but about an institution. For individuals, to be safe from the greed and carelessness of rulers, there need to be institutions that create limits to what the rulers can do. If these institutions cease to exist or exist only in name, but are incapable of performing their functions, the rulers will have their heyday and the people will have their most miserable times.

That there should be limits to power, as power tends to corrupt, and that absolute power corrupts absolutely, is so axiomatic that hardly anywhere where reasons prevails is this idea ever challenged. But in Sri Lanka, it is now under challenge. To ask whether the rule of law is sacrosanct is to ask whether the rulers have to be bound by rules at all.

This attitude is manifest in almost all the expressions of every government spokesman on the issue of impeachment. Everyone admits that there is something wrong in the standing orders relating to impeachment, namely that it does not provide for an impartial inquiry by a tribunal. While agreeing with this, the government spokesmen tried to make the issue quite a trite and unimportant one. For example, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, a one-time radical with Marxist claims, in an interview with the BBC, said that he was of the view that there is something wrong in the Sri Lankan procedure as compared, for example, to that of India, where it is a tribunal consisting of three judges who will conduct the inquiry.

However, he said that since we have to take what we have, it is good enough. On the one hand, to admit that the Sri Lankan procedure is unfair, on the other hand to state that it is good enough, is of course contradictory, but this veteran politician saw not much significance in such contradictions.

The SLBC radio program took it even further. The commentator quoted some articles which have raised an issue as to how judges conducting an inquiry into a fellow judge’s misconduct can be impartial. The judges meet each other privately, he went on to say, and therefore there is no guarantee of impartiality. Of course, the commentator failed to mention that any judge who is called upon to an inquiry who feels that he has some personal interest in the matter is under obligation to recuse themselves, or face penalties. The idea that a judicial inquiry is so called because the inquiry would be conducted according to universally accepted norms was not considered significant enough to be mentioned.

The idea was to say that seven party members conducting an inquiry into allegations that the same party has made is no problem because whoever conducts an inquiry, there may be some objections that may be taken. That is how far the trivialization of rules and norms has sunk for people who are defending the indefensible.

In the BBC interview, when Mr. Vasudeva Nanayakkara was asked how a person who is given over 1000 pages to answer to the following day could do so, he took the same approach of making it into a trifling issue by saying that, well, she could have answered two or three pages on one day, and asked for more time to answer the rest.

Mr. Vasudeva Nanayakkara was aware of the list of accusations filed by the four opposition party members against the manner in which this inquiry was being conducted. However, none of those matters on very basic and fundamental issues mattered to him at all. The principle on which his triflings were based was that the rules do not matter.

In such an intellectual atmosphere, it is no wonder than the government allows the state media to be used to propagate the idea that the rule of law is not that sacrosanct.

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Latest comments

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    The laws of the jackasses. Mahadanamutha, Polbamuna, Kottukithayya, Indikatupancha and their modern day golayas. Can you drive on the road without a highwway code? What is so sacrosanct about the highway code? These donkeys by the diyawanna break it all the time.

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      Mahinda Rajapassa and his brothers must be IMPEACHED. Their immunity and impunity must end. Their malicious actions and lies have brought great disrepute on the sovereign people of Sri Lanka- running a Kangaroo court and insulting the CJ, the judiciary and the people of Lanka. TIME HAS COME TO HOLD THE POLITICIANS WHO ARE RUNNING AMOK AND RUINING THE COUNTRY ACCOUNTABLE.
      The politicians need to be held accountable for insulting the people and fattening themselves on tax payers monies. The UFPA political goons – Chamal Rajapassa, Yapa, Dilan, Weerawansa should be forced to resign and 116 politicians who signed the impeachment motion must also be forced explain their actions. The CJ should sue the UPFA Kangaroo Court members for malicious lies, denying the CJ natural justice and due process in the PSC Kangaroo Court.

      Thanks to the BASL standing firm on the principles of NATURAL JUSTICE AND DUE PROCESS, Mahinda Rajapassa who set up and REMOTE CONTROLLED THE KANGAROO COURT run by a bunch of uneducated and MORONIC POLITICIANS in the Diyawenna Parliament is now feeling the heat and has tried to distance himself from the PSC panel of clowns and thugs who performed Chamal Rajapassas dirty work.
      MR now wants to set up another commission – having exposed his own clownish Ministers who operated the Kangaroo Court called the PSC on his instructions as a bunch of morons – the likes of Weerawansa, Dilan Perera, the Adam with many Eves, Senaratne, Yapa etc.
      Rajapassa’s and the regime’s IMPUNITY AND IMMUNITY MUST END. The regime has INSULTED THE PEOPLE OF SRI LANKA and he must be held accountable for bringing the Judiciary and legislature into disrepute and making the SOVEREIGN PEOPLE of Lanka the laughing stock of the world.
      The CJ should sue the members of the Kangaroo Court in the Diyawenna Oya who insulted her since they are on record and there a witnesses.

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    Vasi deva Nanayakkara is a disgrace to the human kind. He has nothing between his ears, he reacts like a goat and is used by thieves and other disgraceful excuses, for human beings like the , worst CJ , and so called ,human right activists, who have axes to grind to do their dirty work. Now the leaders are using him in return for his supper paid for by us. How can any one in their right minds say , the CJ can answer one or two pages at a time. Obviously he is singing for his masters full well knowing he is lying.

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    Not worth even to put down here one word regarding Vasu and SLBC. Don’t take any thing serious what Vasu says because his mind now workin revers for money and for other perks and to get a state funeral

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    Dear SLBC

    Human Rights! Rule of Law!!

    Please please please look into this – URGGGGENT:

    1.Alarming stories from Kilinochchi
    http://blog.srilankacampaign.org/2012/12/alarming-stories-from-jaffna.html

    2.Tamil Women Coerced Into Joining The Military – A Statement Of Concern By WAN), 8 December 2012, ://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/tamil-women-coerced-into-joining-the-military-a-statement-of-concern-by-wan/

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      Dear SLBC

      SLA conscripted Tamil females admitted at Ki’linochchi hospital in mentally affected state, 12 December 2012,
      http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=35844

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    This is an era in Sri Lanka where many people have adopted a stance where they say what they do not mean, and do what they do not say, as morality and good values have been superceded on the notion that they are ineffective in the matter of personal survival.They ignore the fact that if everyone behaved that way, no one will have any advantage from adopting this destructive social attitude.

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    Vasudeva Nanayakkara on BBC……

    Yes, Vasu is a disgrace I agree! He has lost all credibility. Worst, Vasu has also lost all sense of shame; which in Sinhala we call, LEJJA BHAYA…which in turn means, now VASU can stoop to anything even behaving like clown Ministers like Mervyn and Vimal who are the two most notorious incontrovertible idiots / morons in the Cabinet…; If Vasu were to emulate them it won’t surprise me one bit…

    A Sinhala villager observing dog behavior at a road junction blurted, “New dogs to the bunch easily emulate old dogs because old dogs are more familiar with the territory… Any lamp post… or the mere presence of a bitch, would do; to do one dog-thing or another….! How very true how and why our politicians get corrupted! “Lejjabhaya” nethikama! I have given up on Vasu…

    A leftist colleage of mine here,like me, a quondam admirer of Vasu, tried desperately to console me in my utter bewilderment at Vasu’ reply to the BBC interviewer, saying that Vasu would soon recant and repent..! Not Chance, I said… For, like FAUST, VASU has had a DEAL.. and had SOLD his SOUL (Self-respect)…

    As the Latin proverb goes, “Corruptio optimi pessima! “Corruption of the best is the worst!”

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    How can we have a democratic Parliament when the Speaker is a Pol Booruwa with no proper Qualifications nor intelligence for the Job. He is just there because of his brother. The rest of the fools nominated by the speaker to the PSC felt so inferior in the presence of the distinguished Lawyers and the C.J they chickened out.The result a humiliating backdown by the PRESIDENT AND HIS BUnCH OF ADVISORY CLOWNS . Now he wants an INDIPENDANT iquiry by whom?hope it is not Sarath Silva, Asoka Silva, Balapatabendi,and all his sycophantic Legal catchers. It should be conducted by some of the top Jurists in the Commonwealth.If Justice is to be done.

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    Can someone tell me when was all these government institutions had been partial on their news and presentations. Always we hear of only one sided news and sling mud at the rest of the opposition parties. I never watch or hear News from any Of these government owned transmitting stations

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    Dear SLBC

    Pre-school teachers under Civil Security Department?

    Under the directions of the Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Director General of the Civil Security Department Rear Admiral (Retd) Ananda Peiris had made arrangements to recruit these rehabilitation beneficiaries and civilians to the department as Pre-School teachers” – Rehabilitated Ex-LTTE cadres to teach at Pre-Schools, 8 December 2012, http://www.n ationalsecurity.lk/MCNS/defence-security/index.php

  • 0
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    . Thank you Mr. Basil Fernando.
    Over to you SLBC. Surely you can teach your commentator why the rule of law is so sacrosanct. Enlightenment on such basic norms especially of those who get on platforms today can prevent untold damage to our country and people.

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    The SLBC commentator is a shameless stooge. He occupied a front seat on the gravy train when he was stooging to his previous Master. He was singing the hosannas of his previous Master with such servility, he would often describe the latter as our king- Rajjuruwo. At that time he was enjoying all perks imaginable by peddling his influence with his “king”. Now this stooge along with his `golaya’- another despicable character – is stooping to a very low level to deride and vilify all popular opposition leaders to please his new Master. I think this stooge perhaps,is making wild allegations against opposition politicians with a liberal use of utter filth to outdo an equally despicable character on a state electronic media channel.

    As for Vasu, he has sold his soul to the devil and he is no longer sensitive to shame or sense of justice!

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    Where do you get your funding from Basil? Does it come in Us dollars, Pounds Sterling or Hong Kong dollars?

    We know you became filthily rich through the human rights business. Keep selling it.

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      Whereever Basil got his funds is not your Business, He certainly did not steal money from the Tsunami funds like your Medamulana dictator.

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    A government politician who poses as a great patriot who could not afford to buy a push cycle once is living in a mansion today. How did he become rich overnight without any legitimate source of income? Another government joker who had been used as a coconut plucker is a billionaire today. He had worked as a laborer in a state institution years ago. Later he entered politics and has become so rich he sends his playboy son abroad whenever the latter becomes a problem.From where has he got so much money that enables his son to lead a jetset life? Why don’t you raise these questions, Jagath, instead of inquiring about Basil’s funding sources? After all, Basil is doing a legitimate job and making a valuable contribution towards safeguarding the fundamental rights of the people of this country. He is not a drug trafficker or a swindler of public funds either!

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    So this Nisal Amarasinghe joker is preaching transparency only to some people?

    What unprincipled group of thieves you are. Joining the gravy train of US dollars thrown by the US and British rogues.

    Keep talking rot about human rights but you are more corrupt than even the chief justice.

  • 0
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    Jagath is “Baba”. He is fool. Retardo.

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