30 September, 2020

Blog

The Post-Impeachment Future

By Jayantha Dhanapala And Suriya Wickremasinghe

The Post-Impeachment Future And The Role Of The Judiciary

In several previous statements the Friday Forum expressed its deep concern about, and its opposition to, the manner in which Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake was impeached. The entire episode deeply offends all sense of decency and fairplay; it has also earned the opprobrium of responsible international bodies.

Shirani Bandaranayaka CJ

Citizens no longer can rely on fundamental principles of democratic governance to protect their rights and liberties. The manner in which the ruling political group flouted norms of democratic governance and political decency was unprecedented and unacceptable.

The politically charged nature of the impeachment, the denial of natural justice guarantees to the Chief Justice and the crude manner in which she was addressed during the Parliamentary Select Committee hearings, the manner in which the ruling party blatantly disregarded the constitutional powers of the Supreme Court, the use of police powers to stifle protest and free movement, and the use of goon squads to vilify and drive fear into those opposed to the impeachment process in the presence of police officers who were humiliated by their helplessness, were all blows dealt to the citizenry by the ruling political group. The principle of separation of powers lies in tatters as Parliament, by all appearances, is acting as nothing but an appendage of the Executive.

In this political landscape, it is the resolute actions of the judiciary that gives a glimmer of hope to the people of Sri Lanka. The judiciary did not cave into the wishes of the Executive as did Parliament. The Courts stood their ground despite the pressures under which we presume they had to function during the impeachment. That can be said irrespective of whether one agrees or disagrees with the judicial opinions expressed by the courts on the constitutionality of the impeachment process.

As citizens we take heart that at least one branch of the government has displayed its determination not to succumb to the gravitational pull of the Executive during this crisis. Our hope is that the independence of the judiciary remains strong in the difficult period that awaits us. We do not underestimate the challenges lying ahead. The judiciary now has to contend with a Chief Justice whose appointment is fraught with controversy and whose previous partiality toward the Executive is under scrutiny.

The country relies on the judiciary to uphold the Constitution and to exercise the judicial power it holds in trust for the people without fear or favour. Failure would result in a disaster for the nation that will take generations to put right.

Jayantha Dhanapala and Suriya Wickremasinghe
On behalf of Friday Forum, the Group of Concerned Citizens

Jayantha Dhanapala, Suriya Wickremasinghe. Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera, Shanthi Dias, Dr. Upatissa Pethiyagoda, Anne Abeysekara, Faiz-ur Rahman, Damaris Wickramasekera, Dr. Selvy Thiruchandran, Rev. Dr. Jayasiri Peiris, Tissa Jayatilaka, Javid Yusuf, Manouri Muttetuwegama, Dr. Deepika Udagama, Professor Arjuna Aluwihare, Dr. A. C. Visvalingam, Dr. Devanesan Nesiah, Lanka Nesiah, Ahilan Kadirgamar, J.C.Weliamuna, Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, Sithie Tiruchelvam, D.Wijayanandana, Ranjit Fernando, Danesh Casie Chetty, Dr. Camena Guneratne, Dr. Geedreck Usvatte-aratchi, Chandra Jayaratne,

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    To the Friday Forum,

    So far your appeals and statements have fallen on the deaf ears of the Rajapaksa regime and it’s supporters.

    How about giving a statement to the UNHRC meeting in March on the state of affairs in Sri Lanka today under the misrule of the Rajapaksa brothers?

    • 0
      0

      These traitors want Sri Lanka reported to the UN. These scum will even sell their parents if it benefits them.Dodgy Ex CJ was only impeached and not impaired . Where were all these Pundits and traitors when the JVP and the LTTE were killing innocent people on their thousands . Did they open their mouths then? Thanks to our fearless leader Mahinda who saved the country from terrorists scum . Now that the country is free the traitors to the motherland have come out of their holes and trying to subvert this great government of Mahinda. The Diaspora and the bribe taking western politicians too have joined these traitors . The government should monitor the activities of the anti government scum and should take appropriate action.

      • 0
        0

        All these show how intelligent this woman ” Suduakka” has been. Repeating the same 100000000000000000000 times to show her bond to the bunch of thieves.

  • 0
    0

    This dictatorship has to be fought each and every step of the way by whatever means at our disposal. No respite must be given to these thugs and hooligans who usurp and tarnish the temples of democracy and justice. In the end truth and justice will triumph over the dark forces of evil.

    As said by Winston Churchill

    Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail.

    We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France,
    we shall fight on the seas and oceans,
    we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be,
    we shall fight on the beaches,
    we shall fight on the landing grounds,
    we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
    we shall fight in the hills;
    we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.”

  • 0
    0

    Please turn the FRIDAY FORUM into a MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRACY JUSTICE AND BREAD.

  • 0
    0

    Already, the SC judges are caving in.According to the Sunday Times, two SC judges who vehemently opposed the impeachment have attended the ceromonial induction of the new CJ.
    There is no hope for us. We are doomed to be under this MONSTER AND HIS FAMILY FOR EVER AND EVER.

  • 0
    0

    Thank you for your continuing support of the interests of the people who have no means of getting their voice heard. It is to intellectuals like you who know the gravity of our plight that we must turn to in time such as these to speak on behalf of those unable to articulate their thoughts in as succinct and clear terms as possible.

    The fact that over the years you have kept us aware of what is happening has been a strength, but it has notably been completely ignored by the people you make the appeal to. Perhaps they are illiterate, and deaf!!

    Let us give them the benefit of the doubt and I suggest you put your minds to a non violent campaign that arouses the masses into first becoming the conscience of the nation and then pledging to defend that conscience in a manner that is effective to turn the eggshell heroes into nothing.

  • 0
    0

    jayantha now your media henchman came to island earlier he was editor at dailynews we no that you host a lunch for him what for

  • 0
    0

    who is lyn ocekers you publish art; at dailynews lyn publis that the dailynews editorial no all this

  • 0
    0

    “The country relies on the judiciary to uphold the Constitution and to exercise the judicial power it holds in trust for the people without fear or favour. Failure would result in a disaster for the nation that will take generations to put right.”

    As an ordinary citizen, I can’t believe that these members who have fairly sound understanding of the functioning of the judiciary to even expect that it can uphold the Constitution when they had to plead for personal safety – a fundamental right, that is right to life – of the legal CJ of our country.

    We tried to understand that plead, more as a case of placing on record the grave situation. But, this? how can we expect these cloistered individuals – the judges – to uphold our Constitution and protect rule of law, within a few days of pleading for personal safety of one of them who dared to do just that and in grave danger ?

    At best, this is sheer ignorance and at worst, it’s a sick joke.

    Together with almost continuous barbaric oppression since 1971 our ordinary people experienced, our civil rights workers worked out pioneering strategies that drew praise from even the likes of Ennals of AI, bringing immeasurable relief to many people. Isn’t it time the civil rights defenders raised the bar, with new strategies going beyond issuing hollow statements such as this one?

  • 0
    0

    Dodgy Ex CJ was only impeached and not impaired . Where were all these Pundits and traitors when the JVP and the LTTE were killing innocent people on their thousands . Did they open their mouths then? Thanks to our fearless leader Mahinda who saved the country from terrorists scum . Now that the country is free the traitors to the motherland have come out of their holes and trying to subvert this great government of Mahinda. The Diaspora and the bribe taking western politicians too have joined these traitors .

  • 0
    0

    Thank you editors for publishing the views of government supporters as well. There are some newspapers that publish the views of only antigovernment elements who are hell bent on undermining our government that saved the country from terrorism. I have to repeat my views often as the antigovernment nitwits have no brains and they have only very short memories as the Tiger leader Prabakaran once said. Thank you again Sir. Sinhala anti government jackals would even sell their own mother if they could get some benefit. These dumb Bozos never realise that the previous government that they support were prepared to hand over one third of the country to the terrorist once.

    • 0
      0

      Sudu Akka:
      You seem to suffer under the delusion that repeating lies over and over again makes them true. Even if your handlers pay you very well for your services, it still doesn’t make ANY impression whatsoever on those of even minimal intelligence.
      Incidentally, why don’t you change your pseudonym because it sounds suspiciously like one adopted by a wanna-be “suddhi.”

  • 0
    0

    Mr.Jayantha Danapala and the Friday forum should use all of your International influence to bring justice to CJ Madam Shirani Bandaranayake.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.