6 December, 2021

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Sri Lanka’s Courts A Joke & The AG A Bigger Joker!

Sri Lanka’s legal circles are abuzz regarding shockingly routine withdrawals of indictments by the current Attorney General, several of which were filed by the current Chief Justice while functioning as Attorney General at the time.

Two of the most controversial indictments, one against Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda for collusion in hiding the truth behind the ghastly kidnappings for ransom and murders of eleven Tamil and Muslim youth and the other against a key member of the Rajapaksa family, Minister Basil Rajapaksa for criminal misappropriation of public funds to the tune of a whopping LKR 36.5 million in purchases of GI pipes.

Opposition legislators took most of their time yesterday during the debates on amendments to penal and criminal procedure laws to protest against what they said, was a deeply disturbing trend. Stating that more than 20 indictments had been withdrawn in this manner, SJB MP Mujibur Rahman wanted to know if there was a Government’s catspaw working in the Attorney General’s Department who was making Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya look ridiculous by withdrawing all the indictments filed by him. Are we to think that the former Attorney General was wrong in filing these indictments? ‘Who is to take responsibility for all of this?,” he asked.

Typically, the Attorney General’s Department takes a long time in reviewing a file and deciding whether to file indictment based on the establishing of a prima facie case. Reviews take place at several levels of the Department and the final decision is signed off by the Attorney General, particularly in regard to contested and controversial cases. It is because of that strict process that courts have also been hesitant to interfere into decisions taken by the Attorney General though the Supreme Court has stated that, in appropriate circumstances, it can review. But this pattern of just withdrawing indictments has made both the Attorney General’s Department and the Office of the Chief justice reduced to jokes, critics say.

Among the other Ministers in respect of whom indictments on various criminal offenses were filed in the time of the sitting Chief Justice functioning as Attorney General but withdrawn on technical grounds, are Highways Minister Johnston Fernando, and Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage. In some instances of cases filed by the Commission on Bribery and Corruption being set aside on technical grounds namely that all the Commissioners had not signed the indictments, fresh cases have not been filed. Legal observers say that it is very unlikely that fresh indictments will be filed in the current political context.

Opposition MP Harshana Rajakaruna pointed out that it was because of these serious lapses in justice that international criticism of Sri Lanka was increasing and that the country was being humiliated globally. Opposition voices stressed that officers of the Attorney General’s Department was being paid by tax payers money and that therefore, there must be public accountability. Independent Offices and Commissions have become ‘the President’s Offices and Commissions’, they said. Blaming the 20th Amendment for what they categorised as a ‘complete collapse’ of the justice system, they said that this can only go from bad to worse.

The Government has taken the stand that it will not respond to criticisms of the Attorney General’s Department or the decisions taken by the judiciary as these are ‘independent’ processes. However senior lawyers have said that this is not an acceptable reason as it is very clear that political motives lie behind the withdrawals of indictments to an extent that is unprecedented in the history of Sri Lanka. ‘All these indictments being withdrawn are against politically powerful people, not a single indictment has been withdrawn in any other case’ they say. This is highly improper, they add.

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Latest comments

  • 47
    2

    The eroding of our democracy – when the judiciary becomes partisan and corrupt, and there are no checks and balances. We are heading in the wrong direction, and unfortunately people are unable to see the bigger picture. When International Judicial and Human Rights Institutions sounds the alarm, we should pay attention, or it will be too late for this country.

    • 4
      0

      Ashan,
      Sri Lankans and Buddhist Priests in particular are incapable of discerning democracy and Autocracy? Demonised, tarnished and ignored as part of decadent western culture!
      Who cried foul at the following?
      1. Abuse and excess of Parliament the 2nd estate or pillar to sabotage Jurisprudence, the 3rd pillar for democratic governance and Rule of Law?
      a. 18th amendment to unlimited term of Executive presidency
      b. Impeachment of Shirani Bandaranaike (then CJ) – non pliability!
      c. Mohan Peiris as CJ (who claimed publicly as CJ he will deliver any judgement requested by the executive to MS)
      2. The murdering and torturing of journalist (the 4th estate of democracy
      3. The only priest of knowledge, stamina and gumption to stand up to the ill-advised moves was none other than the late Rev. Madulwewe Sobitha of Kotte Naga Viharaya whose demise put an end.
      4. Did these purportedly highly erudite and intellectual speak against such moves ensuring government steered the correct path!
      5. Who did, scorn the act of the 13th century historical site, archaeological audience hall, of Buwanekabahu II being demolished. After all it was monument of historical importance, Yapahuwa, the seat of power, post Pollonnaruwa and Dambadeniya.

  • 33
    3

    This is generational ………. and will last for generations ……….. far beyond our and our kids’ lives ………….

    Already Rajapakse kids (like Premadasa’s ) are waiting in the wings ……… their supporters are generational ……. Muruttetuwe Ananda’s iligitimate son is waiting in the wings to get ordained and come as a supporter …….. then his son ……. and then ……..

    This is us ……. this is who we are ……. this is our essence: this is what makes us what/who we are ……..

    Only a fortunate cataclysmic accident will change our destiny/fate ……….. minor ones (like the fiasco now) will change nothing ……… people soon forget and get back to their usual traits/gullibility/self-deception …….


    Written before …….. can’t write again …………

    nimal fernando / September 12, 2019

    People who believe Gota is going to solve all Lanka’s problem because he is capable of reading out a speech written for him by someone else are the same gullible who five years ago believed Yahapalanaya of Sirisena was going to solve all Lanka’s ills.

    • 26
      1

      continued

      The politicians are the same. The people are the same. Nothing has changed. Nothing ever change. The cycle repeats every five years bringing in the same old new hope leading to disappointment. All what happens is, people just get older with the gullibility intact. Then they die and pass on their gullibility to their children. And them to their; on and on ……………..

      Three months after Ranil became the PM in 2015, he went to Indonesia and away from the glare of the Lankan public, gave an interview to an Indonesian TV outfit. I wrote here then, don’t wait five years, make up your minds now, no one is going to be prosecuted for corruption or murder. People’s body language gives them away. He was making all the excuses not to catch anyone.

      It’s a free world, support any candidate you want; that’s what people do.

      But to believe that there is a single Lankan who can solve our problems is to be plain simple stupid. Plain gullible.

      • 18
        3

        continued

        Just say I support Gota; he gave a good speech. Just say I support Ranil; he doesn’t steal for himself, not because he is moral or ethical but because he has inherited wealth. Just say I support Mahinda; he has charisma. Just say I like Sajith because he is Premadasa’a son …………… but for fully grown adults with many years of life experience to say anyone is going to solve Lanka’s problems deserves the Nobel Prize for Stupidity.


        To come to think of it, that’s the only prize many Lankans have a good chance of landing.

        If you don’t believe me let’s look back to what I said here 5 years from now.

        Plain and simple commonsense can be more accurate than Sumanadasa’s crystal ball.

        If one knows one’s own people and have no sentimental delusions …….. It’s a piece of cake!


        Only thing off …….. the length of time we had to wait …….. it didn’t take 5 years ………..

        • 7
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          nimal fernando is wrong and I’m inventing nothing new!
          People want nothing to change. They want things to continue, so that their share of the pie remains the same!

      • 1
        0

        Hi Nimal,
        Good Morning,
        Read a written message or more like a message being repeated on receipt of the computer read out message or voicing the written message read by another, through a micro ear plug speaker, considering the paucity encountered being uniform!!
        Modern technology and IT specialised concept, ministered by Uncle and Nephew combination

        !

    • 9
      0

      Good points. People were duped into thinking he was the savior we were waiting for. Just because he was able to yell at people and keep the streets clean, did not mean he would be a good (and uncorrupt) leader.
      Then of course, there was that very “convenient” Easter day terrorist attack, which seemed to benefit him more than others.
      If anyone was able to put their common sense hat on and looked at the past Rajapaksa record, they would have realized it was going to be a disaster to vote for them again.

    • 3
      0

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

      For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

    • 3
      0

      Hi Nimal,
      Good Morning,
      Read a written message or more like a message being repeated on receipt of the computer read out message or voicing the written message read by another, through a micro ear plug speaker, considering the paucity encountered being uniform!!
      Modern technology and IT specialised concept, ministered by Uncle and Nephew combination
      !

  • 28
    3

    Everyone knows what happened to the former Chief Justice Dr.(Mrs) Shriyani Bandaranayake when Mahinda Rajapaksa was President. However she stood firm, while low-grade politicians like Wimal Weerawansa, Johnson Perera, and several others behaved in an uncivilized manner. Even Chamal Rajapaksa was not an exception. What is worse was when the Courts had convicted criminal murderers, President Gotabhaya Rajapakse abused his privileges and pardoned such hardcore criminals and also went to the extent of giving promotions. At the same time a genuine and efficient Police Officer (CID Director) was charged and put into jail. Was there any justice done to the Ruggerite Thajudeen who was murdered. Why can’t they bring the culprits to justice. Isn’t democracy in Sri Lanka in crisis. When murderers are ruling the country, the officers of the Attorney-General and the Judges had to take precautions. When Mahinda Rajapakse was President, there was an incident where Rishard Badurdeen’s supporters threw stones at the Mannar Court House while it was functioning. Everyone is pondering what happened in Sharan’s case in which three churches were bombed and more than 200 were killed. Why can’t they expose those prominent politicians to the public.

    • 6
      1

      Mr. AIYATHURAI: You know how Mrs. Dr. Shriyani Bandaranayake was appointed as the “Chief Justice” by Mahinda Rajapakse on the “Recommendation” of Prf. G.L.Pieris. Who was she before that appointment? Was that a “Good” appointment made ignoring all on the “Bench” waiting for their promotions? Later on, when things went wrong, do you also remember when the appointment of her (CJ) husband as the Chairman of the National Savings Bank was questioned, MR said: “How can I refuse the request made by the CJ” referring to Mrs. Shriyani Bandaranayake. She, (CJ) also made exceptionally a history in the “Judicial Quarters” in posing for a picture with MR and his wife (Shiranthi) on the occasion of passing out of Namal Rajapakse (that Synthetic Lawyer). Did she (CJ) give that opportunity to anyone else on that occasion? She (CJ) “PAID” for ” BAD KARMA”. That is how “Natural Law” works.

      • 4
        0

        Simon,
        There were two other lady Judges who were posing with Namal Rajapakse. But it appeared that there was reluctance in posing. May be because of threat. Moreover, how did Dr.C.F.Amarasinghe became Supreme Court Judge. He was a senior lecturer at the Law Faculty. Dr.(Mrs.) Shriyani Bandaranayake’s judgement were sharp like Dr.C.F.Amarasinghe. During Dr.C.F.Amarasinghe there was no political pressure.

  • 14
    6

    Absolute joke!

    And the law in SL is the biggest joke.

    Until there is one law for all in the law books, there is no law and order in SL. Courts come later.

    If SL cannot have one law for everyone without tribal laws, the island must be divided into mono ethnic nations and people must be relocated.
    Muslim nation can have MMDA, Sharia, Halal, Qaathi, Thalak, etc. Tamil nation can have Thesawalami, etc. Sinhala nation can have traditional Sinhala law.

    No use treating symptoms. The root cause must be fixed. Just because SL is an island does not mean it must be one nation. SL failed everyone as one nation. Time to respect ethnic aspirations of everyone.

    • 4
      9

      GATAM,
      “The root cause must be fixed.”
      —-
      The root cause is accommodating ungrateful people.

  • 26
    2

    With a corrupt, dishonest murderer at the top what else should we expect?

  • 7
    15

    First thing, Thulanjali’s counterfeit case has to be brought back, Ranil’s Central Bank case, Brother Prince’s mansion case, New King’s son’s all cases……..Pujitha in prison because he said it was he who saved the New Son Prince in the case of “Brawl in Night Club” movie. Yahapalanaya was the Impunity Era in the Lankawe’s New Mahawamsa. What is big deal now?

    • 7
      0

      Before that let the Lasantha case, the white van disappearances, and the missing journalists cases start. Let us not forget the corruption cases and thousands of dollars ending up in bank account cases.

  • 10
    0

    Why are these brown skinned Wogs (Western oriented Gantalman !) dressing like their former colonial masters ?

    Just because they wear wigs and gowns ,do they become lawyers in the Western manner ?

    How many legal principles have these gantalman (I no the low types -from our pathetic universities) produced ?

    None , all they do is practice what lawyers of another civilization created.

    As a culture they are totally subservient to family, village, caste, religion, politics, big men etc.We are a patron /client society.

    So the objectivity and the independent character that are fundamental to the law and objective justice is lacking

  • 8
    0

    Lanka’s special “LOW and ODOR”.

    • 2
      0

      Odour

  • 8
    0

    adaderana.lk/news/77885/ec-signals-red-light-to-undisciplined-local-govt-representatives…….
    Statement by Elections Commission – (all members there at the total mercy of the President), says….
    …Recent trends in their behavior have led to a decline in the public trust in the representative democracy in the country, elected public representatives and the functioning of local government institutions…
    Good that the EC realized this but sad that they did not realise that it is NOT ONLY local govt but public trust in the central government as well.

  • 8
    0

    There is no question about these jokes. My question is who represent Sri Lanka and what is the stand of Buddhist Monks who never ask questions about these jokes happening in the highest level of judiciary. Is Lord Buddha against to Justice. UNP and SLFP are the two Sinhalese political parties representing Sri Lanka over seven decades alternatively. Ignore the cases against Tamils or Muslims because they are not Buddhists. But this happen to Buddhists under Buddhist rule? Why the silence from the Maha Sangha and Professionals?

    • 7
      0

      They are silent about many things. Those who yelled and spread hate speeches about the Muslims taking over the country, are now mute that the Chinese have taken chunks of the Island. These radical Buddhist monks take their cue from the leaders of this country, who use them to provoke attacks on the minority and spread the hate.

    • 4
      0

      Hi Ajith,
      Hypocracy,
      Inability, inadequacy of wider knowledge or the intellect to analyse and assess a given situation deeply, comprehensively and dispassionately of caste, creed and race motivations.
      Democracy and Rule of Law is demonised as western, Imperialistic, colonist way of governance and not meritocracy.
      They do not have the capacity to discern or sift out the “Grains from the Chaff”
      Then to act or react if necessary to countervail any ill advised moves by those governing against the people> in the long term.
      Buddhism is a great religious philosophy, should be protected and nurtured as SL is one of the oldest communities to embrace Buddhism after India, where it was born.
      That does not mean that Buddhism is the Panacea or cure for all ills!
      For instance, crafty people use Buddhism to gain power; No doubt about it.
      They do not get Benz cars and grants for nothing. No Free Lunch!
      So they Keep mum.
      There are exceptions and those who have inborn guts! Example, Late Madulwewe Sobitha Thero who would not hesitate to make that call as he valiantly did in 2014 and clobbered together Yahapalanaya, best opportunity; thrown away for self-pride!!.
      Vanity.

      • 3
        0

        Mahila,
        I agree that there are few true Buddhist Monks who are honest who made the change in 2015 but they failed again by handing the power back to those who cheat Buddhist people in the name of Lord Buddha.Why cannot they influence the people the need to bring fundamental changes into the governance or find a true leadership who unite the people and a strong accountability process?

  • 6
    0

    The BASL, what is your take on all this? Cup Sip?

    At the turn of independence, the Legal Profession was dominated by men of exceptional talent, ability and learning. It was compared to an Army which consisted of only Generals. Now do we have only foot soldiers?

    What is the purpose of drafting a New Constitution? The same, if not worse can be expected from the Judiciary and the AG ,and the IGP.

    Srilanka being a rogue State, headed by the Rajapakse rogues, would it not qualify to be a FAILED STATE with our Judiciary and the AG.?

    Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour ………For Whom?

    • 4
      1

      “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour ………For Whom?”
      FOR THE PEOPLE OF LOS ANGELES, OF THE PEOPLE OF LOS ANGELES, BY THE PEOPLE LOS ANGELES.
      Citizens of the free world – USA displaying their subservience to the constitutional commitment under oath as US citizen!
      These people have displayed patriotism to commitment oath, without an iota of doubt – that they will not renounce US citizenship even after 2 years in power!! What more?
      Probably, new constitution under US Law? So their fraudulent investments are safe and untouchable in the future. Probably 51St state?
      Well this is what the 6.9 million enlightened, Bodhisattvas prayed cried and delivered!!
      “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth. Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865.
      True 15 million others including non-voters have to suffer!!!
      Probably, the retired Colonel, soon promoted as, ‘Field Marshal’ and commander of “all of SL” would declare, it in Military jargon as “Collateral Damage” Like Churches in North and Parakramabahu statue in Kurunegala!
      Chapter closed as they would say and a new episode is soon to begin. Await with great expectation!

  • 6
    0

    Not long ago the case of Lohan Ratwatte…..this will be the future scenario…..

  • 4
    1

    The end of an era where we, the human struggles for truth; for justice and love of goodness and godliness in the human??? Do we sound desponded and have we given up hope? Did the Cardinal sound the same in seeking for justice for the Easter victims and others?
    He resorted to placing his trust in the Lord above.
    Evil will not prosper eternally. The truth will prevail. Justice if not meted out by the Sri Lankan AG and the related community is short lived; the truth prevails.
    Let’s not be discouraged; evil is short lived. Everything has an end. There are powers beyond the human and there is a God above who sees all and knows all. The human, in the silence of their heart will recognize the wrong for what it is.

  • 5
    0

    Yes, Judiciary in Sri Lanka is not only a joke it’s a “comedy of errors”! When the AG’s are promoted as Chief Justices they either throw out their own cases that they filed when they were AGs or the new AG throws out the case. In such an instance its the duty of the civilians to go to courts in Sri Lanka, if such a path is not there, then go to international courts and file a case against the Chief Justice and the AG including those who worked on the files before throwing the case out (police, CID including) . This has to be done as tomorrow it would be one of us who will have to face the joke and the “comedy of errors” of the AG Dept and Justice Department.

    Gotabaya has to personally answer for this “comedy of errors” as he is solely responsible in appointing the AG and the Judges. I hope history books will call Gotabaya a “Joker” for this comedy.

  • 5
    0

    The whole country is a huge joke. Wasting money in Judiciary is a criminal wastage. The employed guys can be given some other guys like police men or clerks or traffic wardens. The money may be used to by some more cars and conforts to the Magnificiant Thieves. What robe for these clowns. AG is a dhamalu so that he can be easily manipulated and if the guy doesnt toe the line then he will become a kottiya and the prison minister will end up at his door step with a licensed gun. Even teachers union head too has become kottiya. The only great thing about our Dhamma Dhhepa is that we have produced some of the most notable politicians without brain, shame, guilt, compassion or truth.

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