20 May, 2019

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Why Ranil Has Directed The UNP MPs To Refrain From Making Any Comments On CJ Impeachment

By Tissa Attanayake

Thissa Attanayake MP

Until 1700 the King of England had the power to appoint and remove Judges. The King exercised his powers to remove Judges who incurred his displeasure. Therefore the Parliament of England made provision to secure the independence of Judges in the Act of Settlement 1701. According to this Act the Judges Commission was made Quamdiu se bene Gesserint, ie. for good behavior, subject to the power of the King to lawfully remove a judge upon an address made by Parliament. Since then it is regarded as an inherent power of Parliament and has been exercised by all Commonwealth Parliaments. The Commonwealth Parliaments make provision for an address to be made to the Head of State on the grounds of proven misbehavior or incapacity. Similar, provisions are contained in Article 107 (2) of the Constitution of Sri Lanka. Such a Resolution must set out the full particulars of the alleged misbehavior or incapacity and signed by minimum one third of total number of Members of Parliament.

The Standing Orders provide for the automatic appointment of Select Committee upon the presentation of such a petition to the Speaker. The Speaker who entertains such a resolution places it on the Order Paper of Parliament to investigate and report. Therefore the question of supporting or opposing such a Resolution does not arise. A Select Committee shall require the Judge concerned to make a written statement in defence within such period as specified. The Judge concerned also has the right to be heard by the Committee either in person or by representation. The burden of establishing the charges is on the Members who make the allegations. The Select Committee is required to report its findings together with the evidence within one month from the commencement of the sittings of such Select Committee. The proceedings of the investigation shall not be made public unless and until a finding of guilt is made against such Judge is reported by the Select Committee. After the report is presented to Parliament a Resolution for the removal of such Judge may be proceeded with. If such a Resolution is passed, the Speaker shall present the Address to the President.

Very rarely have Parliaments of the Commonwealth presented addresses for the removal of Judges. In the United Kingdom it was exercised once in 1830 to remove a Judge for corruption. In India it was exercised twice. In Sri Lanka the Parliament appointed a Select Committee to inquire into and report on the speech alleged to have been delivered by the Hon. N D M Samarakoon QC, Chief Justice, at the Annual Awards Ceremony of the Sinnathuray Commercial Tutory on 14 March 1984.

The members of the Committee were:

R Premadasa

Ranil Wickremesinghe

Nissanka Wijeratne

R Pathmanathan

M L M Aboosally

Wasantha Udayaratne

Dr S Y S B Herat

Lakshman Jayakody

Anil Moonesinghe

Majority of the members were of the view that all of the statements reported may not prove disrepute and may not bring the entire Supreme Court into disrepute, but they are not befitting the holder of the Office of the Chief Justice. The nature of the action to be taken was left to the House. Thereafter a Resolution signed by 57 Members of Parliament was placed on the Order Paper of 05 September 1984 for the presentation of address to the President requesting for the removal of the Chief Justice.

The members of the Committee were:

Lalith Athulathmudali

Dr Ranjith Atapattu

Festus Perera

C Rajadurai

M A Abdul Majeed

Paul Perera

Anura Bandaranaike

Dinesh Gunawardena

Sarath Muttetuwegama

The majority of the members of the Committee stated as follows:

The standard of proof required is very high. In all the circumstances of this case, while this Committee cannot but condemn this speech, we cannot come to the conclusion that the Hon. Chief Justice is guilty of proved misbehavior.

Subsequently Chief Justice N D M Samarakoon, QC, resigned from Office.

The Parliament acts in a judicial capacity from the time it appoints a Select Committee to hold such inquiry until the debate on the Resolution is presented as an Address to the Head of State is concluded. This is specifically provided for in our Constitution under Article 4 (c ): The judicial power of the People shall be exercised by Parliament directly in regard to matters relating to its powers. Such powers include presentation of an address to the President under Article 107. Since no Court has defined “misbehavior or incapacity”, Parliament has to make its determination case by case. This results in Members of Parliament acting in a judicial capacity bringing their minds to bear on the facts as Judges would do. Members should refrain from acting politically in such an instance. This is one key safeguard in exercising these powers. The Media has reported that the Members of Government Parliamentary Group will be presenting a Resolution of an address to the President calling for the removal of Chief Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayake. One Member of Parliament Jayaratne Herath, Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce quoted an anonymous letter pertaining to the Chief Justice during a recent Adjournment debate in Parliament. This makes him unfit to sit in Parliament if a Resolution to remove the Chief Justice is debated in the House. This is why the Leader of the UNP has directed the UNP Members of Parliament to refrain from making any comments on this issue. At all times Parliament should act according to the established traditions. We will also come under scrutiny. It is likely that the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association and the Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association will follow these proceedings to ensure that the Latimer House Declaration is upheld by our Parliament. We must also keep in mind the Commonwealth Law Conference consisting of Judges, Academics and Lawyers, which will meet in South Africa in April 2013 as well as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2013 in Colombo. It will also be followed by other Parliaments and legal institutions. Therefore it is the duty of all Members of Parliament to strictly adhere to the judicial traditions which are associated with such proceedings. We call upon the Honourable Speaker to ensure that there is no violation by any Member of Parliament and that the rights of all parties are protected.

The UNP has also stated that it will support action taken by the Judges’ Association and the Bar Association to safeguard the independence of the judiciary which is included in the sovereignty of the people.

*Statement issued by Thissa Attanayake, General secretary of the United National Party

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    Thanks for making a very valuable clarification.

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      The regime does not play by the rules of decorum but by nationalist populism> Ranil Wickramasingha nvoking archaic traditions in the age of the internet and Right to Information is merely a thinly veiled bid to project his own knowledge and self-importance and muzzle his party members and kill public opposition which should to gathering to fight this absurd impeachment motion brought by a dictatorial regime.

      The UNP has the highest moral obligation to discuss the matter of the impeachment of the CJ and take a clear public stand on the flawed process, contextualize this in the Right to information which is a new RIGHT which did not exist in 1700 England when kings ruled.
      As the substance is unknown, and educate the public on the issues if it is a serious opposition, rather than wollowing in elitist jargon..
      Ranil Wickramainshe is a joke of the highest order!

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        Well, Wicky, take heart the Mahanayakes’ have spoken against the impeachment, while Ranil is fiddling while Rome burns, killing the UNP with his greed for power and small minded self-aggrandizement that is written all over this most absurd of statements that claims to invoke “traditions”, while Lanka slides into its biggest post-independence constitutional and institutional crisis.

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          What has Mahanaikes’ have done for the country. They only come to protect anyone who is against the government. When the LTTE inflicted horrendous crimes against Buddhist shrines and Bikkhus they could do nothing. At least they could not put Sarath Fonseka at his place that made a mockery of our victory against the terrorists. The Mahanaikes first should follow the principles of Buddhism not to dabble in politics.

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          It seems like blaming the opposition is the vogue these days. I’m no fan of the “Opposition” but don’t you remember that 2/3s of you voted against the “Opposition”? Now that they don’t have real power, other than to speak their mind just like you and me, what the hell do you expect the “Opposition” to do when you didn’t even bother to vote for them?

          Isn’t it time you blamed the ills of the country on who is responsible it? That is YOU (who voted for the regime) followed by the fools you voted for!

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        Enter Ranil the wanna be military dictator to promote MILITARY DISCIPLINE within the UNP while Rajapakse gets away with murder!
        What an absolute moron Ranil Wickramasinghe is!

        • 0
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          CD you are right! Ranil is fundamentally anti-people and he does not believing in democratic debate or educating and raising people’s awareness on grave threats to the country..
          Ranil is an anti-democrat and the Sri Lankan people know this.
          This is the reason why he has not won and will never win another election in Sri Lanka even though he is a scheming power hungry betrayer of Lanka and its people – as bad as the other wanna be dictator Rajpaksa.

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        Sri Lankan politics today faces a double crisis: the dictatorship within both the UNP and SLFP. A military dictatorship in the making and in the opposition.
        Ranil is moreover, clearly out of touch with the people and voting public, particularly young people in the age of the Right to Information, particularly since new information technologies have enable and enhanced democratic debate and the right to dissent and changed what Social Theorist Habermas termed “the public sphere”.

        • 0
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          No Mala, the problem with the majority folks in sl today is not that RW is anti or against them.No chance if you are decent and seek the respect and deginity. In contrary, many are used respect uncultured uneducated rascals. Please read the speech of RW that CT has published lately on this blog – there you will see how decent and respectful RW has been. Can you compare any of the ruling party behaving in that way today ? No…. but many of the folks are on the side of rulers. Meaning nothing else – this is an era only drug dealers, thugs and all other crime doers have better chances and get forward.

          I wish any professional in sociology could better anlyse our society in the country. There are masses that would not even think of anything but about their pockets while interllectuals dont waste their times -perhaps thinking they may have no CHANCE. Simply the folks are falled in an appalling situation.

          Where Are We Going And What Are We Going To Do?
          By Ranil Wickremesinghe –
          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/where-are-we-going-and-what-are-we-going-to-do/

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          I truly believe if professionals and media would play a hearted role , majoarity of the country will be aware of the ground realitities before long. Here, lawyers and other professionals as FUTA led it lately should take the lead. Then that will help hallocinated folks to open their eyes and grasph the reality.

          So long the folks would not react – any politicians (rulers or opposition) can abuse the nation since there is adequate levels of resistance. Putting the blame only on the opposition leader cant help us anyone. The wounded situation will stay without reaching its healing ends while we the nation will have to bear all the consequences.

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      What a bunch of bull this so-called statement is that invokes the King of England in the 1700s is!
      Ranil rushing to stymie the right to information and silence public debate on this gravest of threats to democracy and the highest position of CJ in the land! What an insult to the citizens of Sri Lanka!
      No select committee has yet been appointed on the charges re. conduct of the CJ and the process is flawed and needs to be discussed, but Ranil is clearly collborating with Rajapakse for his own personal self-aggrandizement and greed for power by already muzzling the UNP party members rather than educating the people of the seriousness of this threat to democracy by a MODERN military dictatorship.

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        RW is hereby getting ready to extend his dictatorship in the UNP for 6 years more at the up coming party convention which is to be a Kangaroo court for those who challenge his dictate.
        What a bloody awful clown and BAD FAITH, two faced liar, anti-democrat and pathetic human being RW is!

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        Is this the new MR strategy? To blame everything on RW hoping people will forget that it is MR who is wrecking the country? I guess the strategy must be working because I can see even the UNP supporters are joining in on blame game. For them RW’s hanging on to UNP leadership is more of a problem that the country’s political system coming undone.

        Let’s hope most of you will survive the military rule that you are ready to enjoy very soon.

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    That is why in the USA when a Supreme court Justiice nominated by the Presidenbt the person is extensivly questioned by the Congress. So, they all know that future Judge would not be a hindrance to the progress of the country.

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    Thissa or Tissa ? Anyway, Tissa makes it sound like this all an elaborate plan by Ranil to come to the rescue of the Chief Justice via proper parliamentary procedure. This is because Ranil is such a stickler for the Rules. He is the embodiment of fair play and etiquette. He represents a party that has upheld the highest traditions of democratic governance. Right?

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    “Very rarely have Parliaments of the Commonwealth presented addresses for the removal of Judges”
    Yes Athanayaka especially in “Sri Lanka the vast majority” of Judges are brief less lawyers obtaining political appointments. While the parliamentarians by nature are even worse- they speak the truth and sandwich it with lies.
    What were you and the party doing when the 18th amendment was presented and approved which is the consolidation of power to the executive Eh?? Yeah having an orgy within and the party in power until the Americans say they are concerned. Now you are more interested in what the outside world has to say because the country is forever with begging bowls on both hands.
    Studies and surveys have consistently indicated that approximately 90% of persons in any given country have strong patriotic sentiments. This percentage is similar to the percentage of people involved in other faith-based activities, such as religion. This same percentage also reflects the bell-curve of the general intelligence level of a population: 90% of all persons in the Sri Lankan population group register an IQ below 90.

    Independence seems to have been an unintentional accident because from the time it was obtained the political parties has only played one filthy game with its citizens by embracing the yellow robed terrorist the disgraceful race, religion, and region cards starting with S.W.R.D.
    Shssh.

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    “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, drink deep or taste now of that Pirean Spring”
    What a bunch of absolute tosh this so-called statement by Ranil via Tissa – gagging UNP members and preventing them from responding or taking to the streets to protest the dastardly act of false charges and impeaching of the CJ of Sri Lanka is!
    Starting with the King of England, to boot! Ranil Wickramasinghe is a clown, a Nero, who is fiddling while Lanka burns – deploying the most stupid rhetoric and inane argument to show that he has a little knowledge in order to remain a dictator.
    Resorting to legalese, while helping Rajapakssa consolidate his hate campaign against the CJ without challenge, Ranil Wickramasinge clearly demostrates that he is a man of BAD FAITH incapable of leading the opposition. Ranil does not like to or want to speak to, or educate, the people on this matter of highest public importance and this shows how unfit he is to head the opposition and that he is infact collaborating with the Rajapassa dictatorship merely to keep his position as UNP leader even though he has lost 20 years of elections and is deeply unpopular in the party. Ranil Wickramaisnhge is unfit to be leader of the opposition and should also be removed immediately for encouraging that fool and mouth piece, Tissa A, to write such rubbish as this:
    One Member of Parliament Jayaratne Herath, Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce quoted an anonymous letter pertaining to the Chief Justice during a recent Adjournment debate in Parliament. This makes him unfit to sit in Parliament if a Resolution to remove the Chief Justice is debated in the House. This is why the Leader of the UNP has directed the UNP Members of Parliament to refrain from making any comments on this issue.”
    TIME HAS COME TO INTERDICT RANIL WICKRAMASINGHE AND MAHINDA RAJAPAKSE and not impeach the Chief Justice of Lanka!

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      Jamis Banda, no offence meant could you kindly elaborate how MR govt. can be toppled by RW taking to the streets? Yes if RW organises a protest, the UNP MPs and the Party cadre will gather and walk in procession. They can shout as much as they want. Your ilk or the rest of the masses will not participate. Then how can MR be toppled? You want to berate RW, please do so, as much as you want, but do not try to hoodwink in trying to blame RW, that YOU cannot contribute.

      • 0
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        Peoples power a la the Arab Spring, you silly coot!
        It does not take a rocket scientist to figure this one out!

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          Jamis Banda, we all are silly except you. When RW got on to streets to protest on Corruption and high Cost of Living not very long ago, I am no party man, yet I went for the rally. Where were your ilk? You all only laughed at RW calling him a Joker. When he asked the drivers to toot their horns, he was accused, causing traffic jams. Your ilk was silent when roads were closed and you had to wait for hours for Gota and MR to pass. That you did not mind. Now you are accusing RW for not creating a Sri Lanka Spring. What Brilliance of these Rocket Scientist?

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    The Judiciary is above the legislative and the executive in any democracy. The Sri Lankan public has the FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT to know the secret charges being made against the CJ by the corrupt and murderous crook Mahinda Rajapass and his venal brothers and cronies.
    The citizens of Lanka have the Right to Information and want to know the charges being brought against the CJ by the single most corrupt and venal regime and family in Sri Lanka’s post independence history.

    The UNP dictator Ranil Wickramasinghe, instead of playing internal politics and dividing his own party, should stop collaborating with the Rajapassa dictatorship and the UNP should join with the joint opposition in a massive demonstration demanding regime change — for the harassment of the CJ and the violation of the highest institution in the land. People must go on the streets to protest this insult to the people and the justice system of the country!
    Rajapakse has overplayed his hand and regime change is now inevitable. The people of Lanka are insulted and outraged by Rajapassa and his family of crooked goons.
    Time has come to impeach Rajapassa brothers and their crooked crony Nivard Cabraal at the Central Bank (whose only qualification is that he can speak grammatical English, which Rajapassa cannot). Cabraal has lost the Sri Lanka people and State billions of rupees, much of which siphoned off to Rajapassa’s Swiss bank accounts! It is he and not the CJ that must be impeached.
    Impeachment of the CJ is an insult to the citizens of Lanka and will be the end of the Rajapakse dictatorship – the straw that breaks the camels back.

  • 0
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    It is true that Tissa Attanayake, General Secretary of the UNP has issued this statement. But it is not difficult to assess as to who is responsible for drafting same and maintaining Order and discipline, with command to all UNP members to abide by? This is what you call leadership of maintaining Law and Order, which is totally lacking in the Govt. of MR. The main problem is the present incumbent has no proper education or knowledge of History to deliver impromptu a speech without being prompted as was seen at the recent UN meeting. The choice for the Sri Lankans is whether they want a civilised society or an uncivilised society as is prevelant now.

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    This statement shows that Ranil Wickramainshe and his acolytes are conspiring with the Rajapakse dictatorship to stymie the Sri Lankan people’s RIGHT TO INFORMATION and impeach the CJ.
    Shameless, power-hungry Ranil Wickramaisnhge who has lost countless election is clearly unfit to to lead the opposition and a man of total BAD FAITH. In this statement he and his acolyte tries to hoodwink the UNP members and people of Sri Lanka, and prevent them organizing and taking to the streets against the impeachment of CJ.
    Karu, Sajith, Rosy, Dayasiri, Sujeewa etc. must IGNORE Ranil the shameless dictator and must join with the joint opposition and march on the streets and educated the people and start a movement for regime change – against the attack on the judiciary by the Rajapassa – an act that is an INSULT TO THE PEOPLE OF LANKA AND THE HIGHEST OFFICE IN THE COUNTRY.

  • 0
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    It goes without saying that judicial traditions should be respected. But the leader of the opposition could make a non-committal statement on the party’s stand on the impeachment move without contemptuously brushing aside the queries by media personnel. For instance he could have said: ” Our party is committed to safeguarding the independence of the judiciary or our party will uphold justice at the Select Committee stage.” Instead of extending to journalists the elementary courtesy of giving a reply, he made a derogatory remark about them (journalists) having tea with the Head of State. Should news persons refuse to have tea at media briefings? Doesn’t the UNP entertain media people to tea at their Press briefings? Is RW’s contention that it is OK for him to have coffee with the President, sometimes on the eve of elections when the party supporters are getting hammered by goons and it is wrong for journalists to have tea with the President?

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    “Speak out or for democracy now or forever remain silent” runs today’s editorial of the Daily Mirror on the impeachment motion on the Chief Justice brought by the uneducated crook Mahinda Rajapakse which is really a FUNDAMENTAL INSULT to the people, the judiciary and highest office in Lanka – the CJ -, but Ranil Wickramasinghe has gagged his own party members and is preventing them from speaking out and educating the people and mobilizing them agist the crisis in democracy in Lanka today caused by the Rajapakse military dictatroship.
    Ranil is a man filled with BAD FAITH – A MONSTROUS and VILE, POWER HUNGRY AND SHAMELESS CREEP – the UNP faithfuls must remove him!

    The people of Sri Lanka are indeed cursed by their politicians!

  • 0
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    Two very smart people . I guess we will have chance these two pissa away. Imagine what this dictator would do if he comes in to power! And the joker pissa

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    The assholes who have written disparaging comments here are just shit eating pigs of rajapakshas for a penny. This is their dirty job for living. These donkey fuckers think that taking to the streets can defeat an impeachment! These uneducated losers have the same level of shameless bastardliness as the rajapakshas. This excellent article from Tissa contains the real facts surrounding an impeachment and how to negotiate it in the parliament. The opposition leader cannot run down the streets yelling out against the impeachment! He has a responsibility; he holds an important position not just here but from the international parliamentary perspective. These morons who are now jumping up and down, they can do it if they so wish. How the fucking hell do these buffaloes expect Ranil to jump in and cry on behalf of the CJ while no one in the legal circles is staging any protest on behalf of their professionals and profession? These lunatics have messed up everything. They seem to assume the duty of the opposition is to yell out and jump up and down for everything that is happening in the country. The funny thing is that when the UNP does take to the streets these pigs are not there to support him but just as now they begin to write various disparaging comments on Ranil’s actions like “pole yanawa, trying to militarize UNP etc.”. All these comments clearly indicate the low level of these astray dogs who claim them to be Sinhala Buddhists. However these Sinhalese Buddhists are the dumbest fools in the world which is self-explanatory when reading these moronic comments to the above excellent article by Tissa! Are you saying that the stupid judges and lawyers should continue to happily do laundry operations for the regime and extortion the litigants etc. in the comfort of their law-stalls while Ranil should do all the rescue operations on behalf of and for them? Rest assured third class beggars like you all have got the ideal leader in MARA that you so richly deserve! We don’t want Ranil to rescue you now; we are prepared to wait until all you maggots are effaced from this country!

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    We must call the UNP as observers, rather than calling them as the main opposition party. The UNP is just there to observe, but do noting to guide their own party, or guide the ruling party to do good for the people of Sri Lanka.

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    Rajapaksa brothers need intellectuals to guide them to rule the country for the people of Sri Lanka. Currently they are ruling for themselves, therefore their days are numbered. I am a Sri Lankan. I have an Australian business degree,and red more than 300 books about history and politics, plus I have been a part time political writer for more than ten years. I was in Sri Lanka in April 2012 and travelled to the most parts of Sri Lanka and talked to more than thousand Sri Lankans. After the trip I came to the conclusion that the leaders are blinded by the power and listen to nobody. This kind of attitude is not new, it has been going on for generations. This is why they are fighting since 1948. The problem is, whoever gets the power they go mad, it applies to the LTTE, Rajapaksa regime and to the other previous political leaders.

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    A lot of baloney while there is blood about to be spilled on the street. May injustice be arrested.

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    Don’t forget that this CJ is a big pillar of the SLFP. That is why she ended up getting the CJ position to begin with, remember?

    If the Hyena want’s to eat its own offspring why should we care?

    • 0
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      Exactly Samantha!

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