20 September, 2020

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Take Care Of Three Of Us: A Call For Help

By Basil Fernando –

Basil Fernando

As the Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake left her official residence under duress from the heavy police squad that surrounded her and tried to prevent her from making any statement, she still managed to say a few words reaffirming her innocence and telling that all that she did was according to the law and that the interest of the people was what she cared for.

However, the most moving words of that brief comment were “take care of three of us” meaning her family. These words of a Supreme Court judge in Sri Lanka for 16 years should echo in the minds of every conscientious citizen because it is no surprise that even a person who is a Chief Justice of Sri Lanka and have been a Supreme Court Judge for such a long time lives under the threat of assassination and has to alert the people about their security.

She has a reason to be worried because the ones who have dissented with the government even in much smaller ways have had to pay a heavy price for their dissent. It is not surprising therefore that Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake who has put President Rajapaksa ’s regime to its biggest challenge in the last few months of her being in the office, should fear for the life of herself and her family.

There are many reasons for the Rajapaksa ( regime to want to silence her. The very issue of the falsity of the charges that were made against her will remain one of the great problems for the Sri Lankan government in the country as well as outside. The vicious intentions behind the charges having been exposed have already prevented the government from appointing a competent and impartial tribunal.  The same reason would trouble this government for a long time to come. She is able to expose the falsity of the charges and this will rubbish the claims of the government to have acted in a good faith and having removed her in the best interest of the country as the government propaganda machine has been trying to drill in the minds of Sri Lankan people through one of the most extraordinary mudslinging and character assassination campaign carried out through state media.

Her continuing capacity to challenge the conduct of the government and the claims of the government makes her an exceptional target for attack.

The impeachment debate preceding her forced removal has already brought very uncomfortable questions that include the issue of the independence of judiciary and the way the rule of law is being violated in the country to the foreground. With this act, even the very nature of Sri Lanka being a democracy or not is under scanner.  Yesterday (January 15th), a US State department Spokesperson gave voice to international concerns while categorically stating that doubts have arisen whether Sri Lanka is still a democracy. Forced removal of Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake as well as appointment of a new Chief Justice has been severally condemned across the world.  The Commonwealth Secretariat and other associated initiatives have also questioned whether Sri Lanka still abides by the core values of the Commonwealth such as the independence of the judiciary and the rule of the law.

The debate, biggest since Sri Lankan independence, and the consequent embarrassment to the regime, is not going to die anytime soon both within Sri Lanka and in the international community. Further, what Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake has to say will matter a lot in all such debates.

In short, she is an embarrassment to the Rajpakasa government locally as well as internationally. The cause of concern is that this regime and particularly Its Ministry of Defense have demonstrated in the past that they do not lightly ignore those who cause such problems. They have always gone all out for   particularly those who gain the sympathy of the people. Dealing violently with the opponents has remained one of the most consistent principles followed by the regime, and that is what should make stand in defense of the life of Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake and her family.

The need of the hour is a response from the Sri Lankan people as well the international community to her call requesting “look after three of us”.  The ferocity with which the regime behaved in the courts as well as near her residence yesterday has made Ministry of Defens’s  intention of silencing her clear. It has also made the aggressive perusal of this agenda clear.

What we need to do was put out best by Frederica Jansz, former editor of The Sunday Leader. To paraphrase her what we need is not a dead heroine but a living person able to contribute to her family and society in the years to come.

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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    Comment by CJ “Take care of three of us” moved me to tears. As a Sri Lankan citizen, I fell tear for my country. Nation’s Chief Justice is in this halpless situation. Have we truly become a failed state? Will Sri Lanka’s sworn enemy’s move to use this situation to their advantage? It has happened before in our history. Right now, the population is so desperate to kick the corrupt Rajapassa clan out. They might even resort to seeking help from hidden enemies of Sri Lanka. May God Bless our country and protect her from the corrupt Rajapassa family.

    • 0
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      Agreed. The fate of late L.Athulathmudali reminds us. I think the legal community has to take up this matter at international level. As she has not still resigned, anything can happen, taking into consideration that the convicted murderers on Kirishanthi and other underworld criminals were released by MR. This should be highlighted in all foreign papers and in all websites. May God bless her. However, lawyers should raise the issue of the verdict of the SC and the AC, when Mohan Peiris is on the bench with other judges, as to whether he has the status to sit since he is illegally appointed.

  • 0
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    This is something the public and legal community must consider, since she is now likely to be targeted by the this ruthless regime. We must see how we can assist her and her family. She has done her best for the nation by upholding the dignity of her office. So I request especially the legal community and close friends to inform us of any threats or difficulties being faced by her. Just as in the case of General Fonseka many have stood and will support him, so with CJ SB. The cause of democracy is one.

  • 0
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    Mahatma Gandhi, was safe, because the British dared not touch him. He had become not only India, but also the conscience of India and the world. The moral authority he wielded was his shield. He survived the British , but was gunned down by one of his own misguided kind. It was fate that he had to die that way, because the purpose for his life was achieved and he had no more relevance for India or the world.

    Dr.Shirani Bandaranayake, the real CJ , would wield similar authority, of course in a much smaller country and in a narrower sphere, if she presents her response to all the charges against her in detail to the public, in simple and understandable language. There is much sympathy for her, but it is somewhat subdued by doubts sown about her integrity and moral standards. There was a whisper campaign about her sexual mores, because she happens to be a women. This has angered me more than anything else that has transpired ( the government has behaved exactly like the LTTE in this regards).

    If she can convince the public at large about her innocence, she will gain the moral authority, which will in turn shield her and her family from harm. She should not join the political bandwagon. She should not run. She should continue to maintain her decorum and dignity as the CJ, despite being forced out of her chambers and official residence. She can be the CJ of the people from her home. She should also be careful in choosing her allies and make sure that those around her do not become her burden. She should fear her fair weather friends more than her foes. She should also fight her case in the Superior Courts and keep the government on its toes. Funds should be raised from the public to provide her and her family physical security. The legal fraternity, especially Neelakandan et.al, should continue to pursue her case through the courts. They should be paid from funds collected from the public, inorder not to compromise her position as CJ.

    The newly appointed quisling CJ will have the chambers, the robes and the official residence, but he has to start with no moral authority and cannot earn it because of the system that has installed him. He can never be the people’s CJ .

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran.

    • 0
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      “Funds should be raised from the public to provide her and her family physical security.”

      Are you part of the “public” ? If you are, why don’t you start by putting your money where your mouth is and start the fund and we will all follow.

  • 0
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    Those who are for an independent judiciary and democracy in Sri Lanka have a mission now. One. To build up a solidarity movement on an urgent basis for her Ladyship’s protection. Two.To form a united movement nationally and internationally to prevent Sri Lanka becoming a totalitarian state. My strong belief is that a referendum will be held instead of Parliamentary elections within the next two years.

  • 0
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    “And others say that this is danger

    For a better paid labour will not only buy more, but will also read more

    Think more, ask more, and not be content to be ever voiceless and inferior

    Who knows how we shall fashion such a land?

    For we fear not only the loss of our possessions,

    But the loss of our superiority

    Some say it is true that crime is bad , but would this not be worse?

    Is it not better to hold what we have, and to pay the price of it with fear?

    And others say, can such fear be endured?

    So we get a fine fierce dig when the bitch next door has pups

    And hold on to our handbags more tenaciously

    But the beauty of the trees and the stars, these things we shall forgo

    Cry The Beloved Country

    For the unborn child who is the inheritor of our fear

    Let him not love the earth too deeply

    Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers

    Nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire

    Let him not be moved when the birds of his land are singing

    Nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or a valley

    For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much

    Cry, Cry the Beloved Country.”

    Alan Paton (Cry The Beloved Country 1948)

  • 0
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    I agree with Dr RN, this would be the most prudent course of action given the present circumstances.

  • 0
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    Yes of course

    This is the LTTE in another form

    more dangerous because of the official trappings

    but these are coming off day after day

    like an onion peeling off

    So who won the war?

    I am still trying to figure this out

  • 0
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    Chief Justice Dr.Shirani B was not given a chance to prove her side of the allegations levelled against her,in a Court of Law.
    She was “judged” by seven MPs in camera,forced out of the proceedings by insults,sixteen witnesses’ testmony was recorded in her absence and without being cross examined.
    The parliament debated the REPORT of this 7 member PSC and DID NOT DEBATE A MOTION,OR A RESOLUTION, to impeach her.
    It is clearly a case of deliberate Miscarriage of Justice – on a Chief Justice.
    This can happen only in Sri Lanka – a Failed State.

  • 0
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    When especially a woman is in trouble, those who attempt to get close need to be regarded carefully for their hidden motivations if any. I suppose Shirani Bandaranayake is also now vulnerable in that she could be goaded into joining a redundant or bankrupt political bandwagon or encouraged to do things which will ultimately destroy not just her standing as a legal expert but her family and peace of mind…

  • 0
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    We all should united to make CJ Shiarni Bandaranayake ” The People,s CJ”

  • 0
    0

    We all should united to make CJ Shiarni Bandaranayake ” The People’s CJ”

  • 0
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    THE LADIES SHOULD START THE PROCESS OF ELIMINATION OF THESE MURDEROUS REGIME.

    SHIRANI BANDARANAYAKE, ANOMA FONSEKA, FREDERICA JANZ, MRS EKNALIGODA, ROSIE SENANAYAKE AND THE MANY GRAND MOTHERS, MOTHERS, AUNTIES, SISTERS, NIECES, DAUGHTERS IN LAW, SISTERS IN LAW SHOULD ALL GET TOGETHER AND PREPARE THE NECESSARY FOUNDATION.

    THEY COULD START BY APPOINTING THEIR OWN REGIME TO COUNTER ACT THESE ASSHOLES. PREPARE A CESSPIT FULL OF SHIT AND START SHOOTING HOSE FULL AT THESE MURDEROUS MORONS DOORSTEP AND PLACES OF RESIDENCE. NO NEED TO BUY WEAPONS.

    I AM CERTAIN THE FORCES WILL JOIN THEM AS WELL.

    I WILL GATHER THE CROWD AS I WAS CALLED A “SAKKILIYA” AT ONE TIME AND I LEAD A GANG WHO PLAYED “SAKKILI BERE” AT THE “DIYATALAWA CAMP” DURING COLLEGE CADETING DAYS. OUR “SAKKILI BERE” GANG WON THE FIRST PRICE.

    SO THEIR WILL BE NO PROBLEM. COME ON LET US DO IT.

  • 0
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    While condemning the undemocratic actions of president Rajapaksa I would like to comment on the request made by Dr Bandaranayake from the people of SL to take care of three of them(her family). Before she makes this request she has a moral obligation to say sorry to the people of Sri Lanka loud and clear for the decisions she made for the benefit of this regime ignoring the sovereignty of the people. The court decisions made before the Z-score and the divi naguma specially legalizing the military court to punish SF and most importantly legalizing the unconstitutional 18th amendment of the constitution were all biased helping the regime to become dictatorial. She did not care about the ordinary people of Sri Lanka at that time. Her intention was then to support the regime. It was reported that only when a handful of honest judges warned her(ex CJ) the implications of helping out the regime in giving biased decisions she made a 180 degree turn and started making proper judgments which irritated the government. Further, if she was a principled woman she should have asked her husband not to accept the bribes(posts) given by the president. She acted like a typical ambitious Sri Lankan without any principles. The ordinary people of Sri Lanka are ready to sympathize with her. She should say loud and clear” Yes I did make bad decisions to help the government but now I am so sorry for what I did. Only now I realize it” When we hear those words we are ready to cry for her.

    • 0
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      Patriot,

      Please go to http://www.ask.com and type Saarath N. Silva.

      You will see how ex.CJ Sarath Silva scolding CJ Shiranee Bandaranayake over Judicial issues (simply because Silva moth…r Fuc……..er was a senior CJ. He forced her to pass the 18th amendment.

      Also MARA high on winning the LTTE war, and with peoples and parliament backing insisted he wants extra powers to fight UN on war crimes….and the judiciary had to obliege him.

      This is what really happened.

      Therefore we cannot blame 100% on CJ Shirani Bandaranayake.

  • 0
    0

    Patriot – You are missing the more important story of the stab in the back of thousands of once prosperous men, women, children, the old and the infirm who expected justice and early settlement in the GKCCC issue. That some of them committed suice, some died of shock and others paralysed and in wheel chairs must engage the attention of those innocents sitting in judgement. Many of them are now thrown virtually into the streets – with some said to be living in bus stands. The present and future of nearly 50,000 defrauded (about 10,000 account holders) were sacrificed to the money power and network influence of Lalith K. A handsome rebate on a luxury apartment or two bought on questionable funds blinded the most self-claimed honest judicial official the country has ever known.

    It is said when a mafia assassin goes to complete the task entrusted to him, he also goes to Church seeking divine help. So the folded hands and closed eyes before the Bodhi tree in Anuradhapura drew little tears from outside. As the old belief goes, you can cheat man but not God. Sure, there is learning but where is the wisdom and knowledge.

    Senguttuvan

  • 0
    0

    When I read Patriot and Senguttuvan I feel that Dr. Shirani is lucky that she was examined by few laymen and some non practicing politico-lawyers in the PSC who had lost the Law College notes long time ago. Had she been investigated by 3 or 5 eminent judges she would have got a graver punishment than what she got now. Imagine a county doctor examining a patient. He would say by checking the pulse the patient has an imbalance in “Wata,Pitha and Sema”. But, if a FRCP examines him, he would do all the laboratory tests and come to a definite diagnosis. Similarly if a panel experienced judges was selected they with their knowledge of – Statutes, Case Law, Ethics of the Profession, jealously guarded traditions of the Courts, personalities of judges here and abroad- and with their skills in cross-examination and observing the demeanour would have detected graver wrongs committed by the Ex-C.J. She must thank M.R. for not appointing a panel of judges. Now at least she has the defense of saying that the PSC is bad. However this does not mean that she should not be defended against a gang of most powerful enemies ruthlessly attacking her fighting holding a fragile shield and a broken sward.

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