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Will stand up to executive no matter what it costs me - Karu

11 November 2018 08:28 pm - 39     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya today said the Executive Branch has seized the rights and usurped the powers of Members of Parliament who were elected to represent the people.

In a statement, he said the willful disregard demonstrated by the executive towards Parliament, the engine of Sri Lanka’s sovereignty, leaves the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens at grave risk of similar abuse.

“Under these dire circumstances, I urge all public servants who have sworn an oath to defend the Constitution to revisit that oath. Ask why we are required to pledge fealty to this document and not to any one person or a single position of power. Our foremost duty is to the Constitution. I ask all public servants across the country to remember their obligations to this supreme law of our motherland, and to safeguard the independence of the public service, police and the judiciary. I call upon all public servants to refuse to execute any illegal orders they may receive, no matter from whom,” he said.

He said every citizen who is entrusted with responsibilities under the Constitution should think first of the country and not of party politics or personal affiliations.

The full statement of Karu Jayasuriya:

“The leaders of several political parties represented in Parliament have informed me that they will be challenging the purported dissolution of Parliament in the Supreme Court. Since the President has prevented Parliament from ruling on the legitimacy of the President’s actions, it will be up to the Supreme Court to determine the legality of these actions.

As the custodian of Parliament, I have watched over the last two weeks as the executive Branch has seized the rights and usurped the powers of Members of Parliament who were elected to represent the people. The willful disregard demonstrated by the executive towards Parliament, the engine of Sri Lanka’s sovereignty, leaves the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens at grave risk of similar abuse.

Under these dire circumstances, I urge all public servants who have sworn an oath to defend the Constitution to revisit that oath. Ask why we are required to pledge fealty to this document and not to any one person or a single position of power. Our foremost duty is to the Constitution. I ask all public servants across the country to remember their obligations to this supreme law of our motherland, and to safeguard the independence of the public service, police and the judiciary. I call upon all public servants to refuse to execute any illegal orders they may receive, no matter from whom.

Every citizen who is entrusted with responsibilities under the Constitution should think first of the country and not of party politics or personal affiliations. We must all act with patriotism and independence to safeguard the future of democracy in our country.

I lament that the purported Foreign Minister, a highly regarded politician, has falsely alleged that I intended to prevent the President from delivering the Statement of Government Policy when Parliament was set to reconvene on 14th November. It is on this imaginary premise that the Minister suggests that Parliament had to be dissolved.

I wish that the purported minister had proposed a more honest and plausible excuse for the actions of his colleagues, that would have drawn less ridicule to our country on the world stage. Based on this fiction, several of his cohorts have openly threatened to send me to jail.

The actions of the Speaker and Parliament may not always be aligned with the wishes of the executive. This tradition of parliamentary independence dates to at least 1641, when Speaker William Lenthall of the House of Commons shielded members of that house from being arrested by King Charles I. He knelt before his king and said “May it please your majesty, I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as this house is pleased to direct me whose servant I am here; and humbly beg your majesty’s pardon that I cannot give any other answer than this is to what your majesty is pleased to demand of me.”

A floor vote on the legitimacy of the government was requested by 124 Members of Parliament. 116 Members met me in person. Another eight thereafter contacted me and expressed their support of this motion. Just as Speakers of Parliaments have done for centuries before us, I ruled in favour of the rights of the majority of Members and political parties represented in Parliament and declared that I would allow a floor vote. No member made request that the Statement of Government Policy be prevented nor would I have entertained such a request.

As a former military officer, I have always been prepared to make whatever sacrifice that my country may require of me. It has been my privilege to stand up to the executive and defend the rights of Parliament, the supremacy of our Constitution and the sovereignty of the people.

For the record I am prepared to face any consequences for these actions without hesitation.”

  Comments - 39

  • CITIZEN Monday, 12 November 2018 09:16 AM

    HATS OFF TO THE SPEAKER FOR HIS LAUDABLE PRINCIPLED STAND! I hope his "steel mind and iron body" will defend his principles at all times!!

    ali Monday, 12 November 2018 09:26 AM

    Politician with ethics. A rare combination.

    ranjit Monday, 12 November 2018 09:30 AM

    Aiyo Siri, now its your turn to say something.

    Great Man Monday, 12 November 2018 09:31 AM

    What a great man. The country salute you for your bravery

    SL Monday, 12 November 2018 09:34 AM

    Great! Please uphold peoples' mandate and the constitution. We don't want SL to become a Banana republic!

    IVJ Monday, 12 November 2018 09:42 AM

    Well said Sir! I just hope and pray that the citizens of our country will act wisely and not resort to violence in this troubling period.

    kamalhot1 Monday, 12 November 2018 09:43 AM

    Excellent statement Sir !

    bert Monday, 12 November 2018 04:00 PM

    Thanks for your comment .A soldier and a gentleman . Not like b/s mara and sira.

    shanthapriya Monday, 12 November 2018 09:44 AM

    Here comes a military officer during the ruling of KING SRI WICKRAMA RAJASINGHE

    C.K.Lankaputhra Monday, 12 November 2018 09:46 AM

    Grate. Our salute to you Sir.

    Arthur Monday, 12 November 2018 09:54 AM

    Sirisena has become a tin-pot dictator.

    Fedi Monday, 12 November 2018 09:54 AM

    Well said. Not every person can handle the pressure of executive presidency. It it clearly shown by current head of state. Hope supreme court stops parliament election for the time being and go for the presidential election. I think its time to make all our mind to say that current president needs a rest.

    Rubert Monday, 12 November 2018 09:58 AM

    What a comical statement! You should set an example to public servants by defying the presdential decree and calling the parliament first. We'jj follow.

    bert Monday, 12 November 2018 04:03 PM

    Another mara slave. Stupid aholes . Doesn’t know anything about the constitution.

    Manoj Monday, 12 November 2018 10:01 AM

    " I ruled in favour of the rights of the majority of Members"Really Mr. Speaker? Where was this "ruling in favour of the majority" when you gave the Opposition Leadership to a member from the minority in the opposition? The UNP-biased majority who are reading this might hail you as courageous and honest. But, for a majority of the country, you desecrated the dignity of the Speaker post.

    Thilagesh Monday, 12 November 2018 12:10 PM

    All the joint opposition members competed the election under UPFA and the same party formed national government with UNP. Without the application from the party secretary of UPFA how the speaker could appoint a party which is taking part in forming the government. Before charging people we should known the fact.

    Labby Monday, 12 November 2018 10:03 AM

    Well said Sir. Thats a mouth full.I hope the President of the country reads this statement.

    fabvib Monday, 12 November 2018 10:36 AM

    I hope the HE gets a sinhala translation of this!!

    Islander Monday, 12 November 2018 10:05 AM

    You will go down in history as the only Speaker who had the guts to challenge the Executive. Hats off Sir.

    Yahiya Monday, 12 November 2018 10:14 AM

    Mahinda will look after Srisena. we have to build the democracy.

    Wijay Monday, 12 November 2018 10:15 AM

    Where you had this so called honesty when you gave opposition leadership to minority, how did you respect the people’s mandate then. Do not insult intelligence of people

    bert Monday, 12 November 2018 04:06 PM

    stupid people you do not have any intelligence. Period.

    joshua Monday, 12 November 2018 10:16 AM

    Well done sir. We citizens salute you for standing up for democracy

    anil Monday, 12 November 2018 10:27 AM

    Welcome Sir

    dickie bird Monday, 12 November 2018 10:29 AM

    An excellent statement a little too late.Where were you during that broad daylight Bond scam?On another Planet? Political opportunists salute and sing his praise.

    Lord Wolfstein Monday, 12 November 2018 03:00 PM

    What has the bond scam to do with democracy and the constitution?

    will Monday, 12 November 2018 10:31 AM

    when MPs demand money for their vote,its against ethics and wish of their constituents,so we feel Prez is right, we will select next government ,so they can govern the country

    kumar Monday, 12 November 2018 12:31 PM

    YES,WE WILL SELECT NEXT GOVERNMENT.WHO RESPECT THE DEMOCRACY.REMEMBER DEMOCRACY

    Dr.Siri Monday, 12 November 2018 10:38 AM

    Real patriotic politician

    lalantha Monday, 12 November 2018 10:43 AM

    well done Sir,,,u will be remebred as the Best Speaker Sri Lanka produced,,

    Leel Monday, 12 November 2018 10:48 AM

    Who is responsible for this state of affairs. Non other than Ranil. He did not allow this gentlymen, Karu Jayasuriya to contest at that election. He brought Sirisen thinking that he can manipulate Sirisena like people for ever as he wants.

    bert Monday, 12 November 2018 03:57 PM

    you are another slave of mara. it was not ranil alone .

    nimalesh Monday, 12 November 2018 10:50 AM

    Well said speaker,,,at least we know Sri lanka still has law abiding gutty people ding their duty,,unlike this shameless media,,who are scared of Mahinda and bumsucking him despite all the wrong perpetrated by Mahinda,,the people will speak this time,,no one takes notice of this biased uneducated media anymore

    Siripala Monday, 12 November 2018 11:02 AM

    Well said

    Dhammika Monday, 12 November 2018 10:54 AM

    KARU - Thanks for being FIRM and STRAIGHT .

    Terminator> Monday, 12 November 2018 11:00 AM

    Great decision for respecting the democracy and the ordinary man.

    Dhanushka Monday, 12 November 2018 11:17 AM

    The person who brought a number of thieves or rejected characters by the people @ last parliamentary election into the good governance should undertake the responsibility for this crisis and he was the one who pooed on democracy.The one who likes to take up the hat can put on the head!!!Hon. Speaker Karu!! Somehow in the future I'm 100% sure that you will definitely be known as the Bravest Speaker of the entire history.Extremely pleased to see a character like you and as a Sri Lankan I'm proud of you.

    Chux Monday, 12 November 2018 11:23 AM

    That’s the way to go

    janaya Monday, 12 November 2018 12:04 PM

    Hats off to you Mr Speaker.at least someone has the backbone to rise against maniac decisions. please stand your ground come what it may. good show


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