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CBK hits out at impeachment motion

23 November 2012 01:27 am - 22     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga said yesterday the move to impeach Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake must be denounced by all who cherish democracy.

 “It is our duty to protect the judiciary because by protecting the judiciary, we protect ourselves and our fundamental freedoms,” she said and urged government MPs not to view the issue from the narrow perspective of political gain.

Ms. Kumaratunga expressed her surprise that a SLFP-led government had decided to follow the J.R. Jayewardene Constitution and Standing Orders rather than amending the Standing Orders and bringing about legislation envisaged in the Constitutional Bill of 2000 presented by a SLFP-led government under her to inquire into the conduct of judicial officers.

Some excerpts from Ms. Kumaratunga’s statements:

Under our Constitution, where a motion for the impeachment of the President is passed by Parliament with a two-third majority, the allegations are forwarded to the Supreme Court for inquiry or report.  Thus, the guilt of the President is determined not by the parliamentarians who have made the allegations but by the highest court of the land.  A mayor, chairman or member of a local authority can be removed only after a retired judicial officer has inquired and found such person guilty of incompetence and abuse of power and such findings are liable to be judicially reviewed.  While a dismissed workman can go before a Labour Tribunal and appeal to the High Court and the Supreme Court, a public officer can appeal to the Public Service Commission and then to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and if still dissatisfied have recourse to judicial review by the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court.  However, under the JR Jayewardene Constitution, judges of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal who constitute the highest authority that dispense justice to all, have no remedy if justice is denied to them.

The issue of safeguards for judges of superior Courts against whom allegations are made was considered by the Select Committee on Constitutional Reform appointed during my Presidency.  On the basis of consensus reached in the Select Committee, both my Government’s Proposals for Constitutional Reform and the Constitution Bill, that I presented to Parliament on August 3, 2000, provided for an inquiry of a judicial nature to be held outside Parliament when a motion for impeachment is presented against a judge.  In the case of the Chief Justice, the inquiry would be held by a committee consisting of three persons each of whom hold, or have held, office as judge in the highest Court of a Commonwealth country and in the case of any other judge by a committee consisting of three persons who hold, or have held, office as a judge of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal

Many judicial appointments made in our history have led to controversies and my administration was not spared in that regard.  A judge may or may not perform to the expectations of the appointing authority or of the People.  But judicial decisions need to be respected by all, especially the government.  Dr. Colvin R. De Silva, one of Sri Lanka’s most eminent lawyers, once said, “There have been bad judges, there will be bad judges but there are no bad judges”.  Such is the spirit in which unpalatable judgments need to be received.

A government that believes that the judiciary must act according to its will and whims, bodes serious danger to democracy and people’s freedoms. (Susitha R. Fernando)

  Comments - 22

  • Minister Friday, 23 November 2012 08:28 AM

    How nice if you had the farsightedness then in rejecting the request of the comrades to which you bent your back fully in dissolving the UNP Government out of sheer jelousy. Do you at least now understand today that it was the most foolish act of your entire political carrier?

    ling Sunday, 25 November 2012 05:32 AM


    Sinhala Man Saturday, 24 November 2012 01:33 AM

    I still respect Chandrika; and irrespective of all the abusive comments above, what she says is true.

    Rednaxela Friday, 23 November 2012 12:37 PM

    When you had the power, you had no brains, now you seem to have brains but no power. Same as the Tuition Master. What a Calamity!!!

    Rednaxela Friday, 23 November 2012 12:34 PM

    When you had the power you had no brains, now you have the brains but no power. Same as the tuition master. What a calamity!!!

    buruwa Friday, 23 November 2012 12:18 PM

    You ask MPs not to support impeachment.

    If MPs do so , can you safeguard their political future? All your appointees had been transferred / demoted now. Even if any SLFP MP oppose this impeachment , it's a political suicide to him.

    If any SLFP member want to retire from politics & face false charges , he can vote against impeachment.

    ratay sali -iwari Friday, 23 November 2012 10:03 AM

    Dont talk much you only appoint MR. Now we all are suffering and you also in that class

    Pamankada Alimankada Friday, 23 November 2012 09:54 AM

    The creator and protector of Sarath, Sri Lankas worst CJ ever is now pontificating. She had better keep her trap shut without spilling more beans.

    G.Gunewardena Friday, 23 November 2012 09:33 AM

    What would you have done

    Roshan Friday, 23 November 2012 08:39 AM

    You should have abolished the executive power. You enjoyed it, when you were in power.

    sbd Friday, 23 November 2012 08:38 AM

    Comendable vision.Please come back for a third term.

    SilverHawk Friday, 23 November 2012 01:56 AM

    Oh Please, you have no right to talk about this. You dissolved the parliament in 2003 for proper reason

    Nadi Friday, 23 November 2012 08:05 AM

    Don't talk - you opened the door for this mess to envelop us like the father before. All credibility used up.

    galapitamada Friday, 23 November 2012 07:17 AM

    She is jealous of mahinda

    Amila.G Friday, 23 November 2012 07:06 AM

    Pot calling the kettle black

    Yuri Friday, 23 November 2012 06:00 AM

    Its all will end soon

    Matalan Friday, 23 November 2012 05:05 AM

    It's a pity even with knowledge and fairness in abundance, she, when she welded power, chose complacency, detachment from Sinhala-Buddhism and unpunctuality as the daily cocktail.

    jayalath Friday, 23 November 2012 04:48 AM

    Look who is talking? Her 'services' towards independence of the judiciary is legendary

    ANTON Friday, 23 November 2012 02:46 AM

    Although delayed as usual, sobone made Lanka satellite has begun to kick off her aimless journney. JAYAWEWA

    Cobra. Friday, 23 November 2012 02:22 AM

    Late as usual!

    Yehiya Friday, 23 November 2012 02:17 AM

    Mahinda will lead to end of carrier.

    Ranil Friday, 23 November 2012 02:04 AM

    For once i can agree with her

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