Opposition and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today said his party was ready for a dialogue with the government on resolving the crisis with regard to what he called the brewing conflict between the Judiciary and the Executive.
Speaking at the annual get-together of the National Lawyers Association in Colombo, Mr. Wickremesinghe said his party was always ready to talk with the government to decide on the composition of the committee he had suggested earlier to look into the crisis, if the government was not agreeable to his suggestion to include lawyers from the Commonwealth and SAARC in the committee.
He was making this point referring to a statement made by SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena that the government welcomed his suggestion to appoint a committee but was not agreeable to its composition.
Mr. Wickremesinghe also suggested a Parliamentary select committee to decide on a course of action to ensure the independence of judiciary and the legislature.
At the same time, the opposition leader said the UNP vehemently condemned the recent attack on the Judicial Service Commission Secretary Manjula Tilakaratne. He said the police should not waste time investigating 100,000 phone calls to arrest those behind this attack and thereby stressed the need for expediting investigations.
He also said the judiciary should ensure it maintained the independence of the legislature and deliver its judgments accordingly.
He further recalled that the repealing of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution and the enacting of the 18h Amendment could have been avoided had the associations of judges and lawyers been more active.
UNP Senior Vice President Lakshman Kiriella said a committee comprising judges from the Commonwealth, the SAARC and members of Sri Lankan Parliament should be appointed to carry out a full investigation to find out how the judiciary lost its independence.
He recalled that the judiciary and the police would have been independent had there been effective agitations against the 18th Amendment. He charged that one could not expect an independent investigation on the assault of Judicial Service Commission Secretary Manjula Tilakaratne as there was interference on the police and the judiciary by the Executive. (YP)