Delivering her farewell speech in front of a packed gathering of judges, lawyers, ministry officials and staff, Chief Justice 43 Shirani Bandaranayake today said that the judges who upheld the law in the wake of “baseless” accusations should be commended and valued the most.
“In retrospect, recalling the period of the impeachment, even amidst the baseless allegations and procedural impropriety that was taking place, it was strength to witness the courage of a handful of Superior Court judges who stood firm in the face of immense pressure and adversity. It is they who, I believe, should be recognized, appreciated and elevated,” she said.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had overturned a judgment by the Court of Appeal which quashed the Parliament Select Committee’s findings.
“Our lives were in turmoil and peril. And we, as a family, encountered immeasurable harassment and suffering,” she said at the ceremonial farewell, attended by all the judges of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Courts of Colombo, the District Courts and the Magistrate Courts of Colombo and over a 100 judges from the outstations demonstrating their recognition of Dr. Bandaranayake.
She said her struggle was not a personal one but one aimed at maintaining the integrity of the office of the Judiciary.
“I never asked to be appointed and was called to serve as a judge of the Supreme Court while I was pursuing my higher studies in the United States. I had no intention of becoming a judge. I have been bestowed with a breadth of opportunities by my country, a debt which in my 16 years of service within these hallowed walls of Justice, I have tried to repay. I believe in that period, I have done my utmost to uphold the rule of law and the independence of the Judiciary” she said.
She likened the trauma-ridden two year period to serving a term of ‘rigorous imprisonment”.
Concluding her address, she said, “Today is a momentous day which stands as a day in which time and nature brought about justice” she said.
Making her stand, and in effect the stand of the judiciary clear on the impeachment saga, she congratulated incoming Chief Justice K. Sripavan.
“I congratulate Justice Sripavan on his lawful appointment as the 44th Chief Justice of the Country” she said.
Dr. Bandaranayake addressed the gathering following speeches by Attorney General YuwanjanaWijayatilake PC and Bar Association of Sri Lanka president UpulJayasuirya.
Mr. Wijayathilake understandably did not make any mention of the impeachment nor the interim period and instead spoke of Dr. Bandaranayake’s academic achievements. A listener ignorant of recent history would have thought that the “ceremonial farewell” was in fact a routine farewell ceremony.
Mr. Jayasuriya, in keeping with his reputation for ‘no holds barred’ speeches, spoke of all aspects of the impeachment and the history of the Bar Association and its quest for the independence of the judiciary.
“The Bar always fought for this day and the Bar has been vindicated,” he said.
Commending Dr, Bandaranayake’s conduct during the past two years, he said, “Your Ladyship has endured this extremely difficult period with immense courage and unfailing dignity and all of Your Ladyship’s actions and words during this period, despite immense pressure being brought to bear on Your Ladyship, have kept in mind the paramount need to protect the dignity of the Judiciary.”
Following the speeches, the judges left the Ceremonial Court, after which lawyers and judges proceeded to the Chambers of the Chief Justice which still carried the legend, “Chambers of Chief Justice Mohan Peiris”, to wish the departing Chief Justice farewell, ending what could be termed the most tumultuous period in the country’s judiciary. (Hafeel Farisz)
Pix by Kushan Pathiraja
Comments - 16
Calistus Jayatilleke Thursday, 29 January 2015 01:56 PM
Poetic Justice, indeed.
REBECCA Thursday, 29 January 2015 02:24 PM
NOW WE SEE REAL SRI LANKAN JUSTICE ....KEEP IT UP. !!
Tomsamusa Thursday, 29 January 2015 08:34 PM
Very good gesture indeed.You brought dignity and credibility to the legal system of the island.
Herath Thursday, 29 January 2015 11:15 AM
අන්තිමේ දී සාධාරණය ඉටුවීම වටිනා දෙයක්.
BuffaloaCitizen Thursday, 29 January 2015 11:22 AM
CJ43 was removed under a no confidence motion in parliament. Whether this was unjust, parliament is the highest lawmaker for the country. CJ44 was appointed by the President thereafter accordingly, which was also unjust but keeping to the law. Thus the reappointment of Shirani ignoring the motion of parliament (though unjust) is absolutely similar to the humbug the earlier regime did, but legally.
Bala Thursday, 29 January 2015 11:40 AM
Congrats to all. Thank the stars( Astrologer Sumanadasa beware) that justice prevailed. Recently justice was so badly blinded
Spitfire Thursday, 29 January 2015 11:47 AM
Good bye my good lady
Riyaz Rauf Thursday, 29 January 2015 11:56 AM
Gods delays are not gods denials , Madam. All the best on your retirement. Lets say , now you got to play a bigger role in helping mother lanka .Cheers.
don jinalal Friday, 30 January 2015 12:30 PM
You are great ,brave and good bye.
sonali baby Thursday, 29 January 2015 12:04 PM
Wow what a drama!
gobbaya Thursday, 29 January 2015 12:02 PM
thank you president MY3 for undoing the blatant injustices.....hope the stooges who sat on the witch hunt trial (sorry the PSC) be relegated to the dustbin of history.... via DM Android App
Thirumurugan Thursday, 29 January 2015 12:14 PM
37th and 39th CJ were Hon sarvananda and Hon Thambiah appointed by JR and Premadasa respectively. Now My3 appoints Sripavan
lakshmanu Thursday, 29 January 2015 12:31 PM
We are moving towards the most memorable 100 days of recent times?
Mason Thursday, 29 January 2015 12:32 PM
Wishing you all the best for the future Madam. Congratulations your Lordship Hon. Justice Siripavan. The Nation expects a fair and fearless tenure ahead.
Tribunal Thursday, 29 January 2015 12:37 PM
So at least now we hope Sri Lanka manages to become uncurrupted.
jeppedo Thursday, 29 January 2015 12:41 PM
We need good governance in every area
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