‘Lawyers for Democracy’ has today condemned the attempt by some members of Parliament to interfere and intimidate the Bribery or Corruption Commission from inquiring into allegations of Bribery or Corruption by powerful personalities.
Some of the opposition members yesterday protested over former President Mahinda Rajapaksa being summoned to the Bribery Commission, claiming that it was an illegal move instituted to further a prevailing witch-hunt against the former President.
Yesterday the Director General (DG) of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption Dilrukshi Wickramasinghe has been asked to be present at the Parliament by the Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa.
“We view this as an affront to the Rule of Law and in fact democratic governance. The law has to apply equally to all citizens. However mighty they may be. If an individual has a grievance against any person or any institution he has the remedy of resorting to legal action by way of a writ and /or by way of a fundamental rights application.” said the Lawyers for Democracy.
Issuing a statement convener of the LFD Lal Wijenayake said; “We further view with alarm the action of the Speaker in calling the Chairman of the Bribery Commission and questioning him about a pending inquiry. The Speaker has no legal or moral right to interfere in an ongoing investigation. We condemn this action. The independence of the institutions of State has to be protected. The legislature and / or the executive has no right to interfere in the administrational justice.
“This dangerous development has to be checked. The people at the last presidential election clearly voted for the abolition of the executive presidential system due to the abuse and misuse of power that was witnessed during the past few years. The people has given the President a clear mandate to uphold to Rule of Law. We call upon the President to see that Rule of Law prevails. We call upon the Civil Society and specially the trade unions, university teachers, the Bar Association and other organizations of lawyers, artists, media organizations, which led the struggle to restore Rule of Law in unitedly fight against this dangerous trend.”
“I received a New Year gift recently asking me to report to the Bribery Commission regarding a bribe. Accordingly, the bribe and my offence are providing a ministerial portfolio to Tissa Attanayake. If I am the President, and if I cannot appoint a Minister, I don’t need such a post,” former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday.
Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe today assured Parliament that Bribery Commission officials would visit former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to record his statement.
Meanwhile Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa has informed Parliament today that the Bribery Commission should inform him beforehand if it wants to investigate or record a statement from any Parliamentarian.
Minister Ravi Karunanayake claimed that MPs had consumed liquor last night while staying in Parliament.