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Video: ‘I am still the Chief Justice’

15 January 2013 01:25 pm - 62     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


While asserting that she is still the legitimate Chief Justice of the country, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, who vacated her official residence this evening, said she was ‘not guilty’ and that the safety of her family was in the hands of the people.

“I have not taken a red cent during my 32 years of state service, nor have I taken a day’s leave during this time. I have always worked according to the law. Now the people have to look after me. Our security is withdrawn so the people have to look after the three of us,” a visibly shaken Dr. Bandaranayake said, referring to herself, her husband and son.

In a written statement to the media she said, “Even though I have not been meted out with justice today, time and nature will justify what I have done and what I and others who shared my beliefs have stood for.” ( Susitha R. Fernando & Hafeel Farisz)


The full statement

I am the 43rd Chief Justice of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. As the Chief Justice, I have an obligation and an unwavering duty towards the judges, lawyers and the citizens at large of my country.

I stand here before you today having been unjustly persecuted, vilified and condemned. The treatment meted out to me in the past few weeks, was an ordeal no citizen let alone the Chief Justice of the Republic should be subjected to. The 32 years of continuous service at the University of Colombo and the Supreme Court, during my 54 year lifespan, I have rendered in varying capacities towards my motherland, is rewarded unfortunately, in this unjust manner.
Though I was accused and arbitrarily convicted by the Parliamentary Select Committee, I have been vindicated in the bastions of the law. I take solace in the fact that, the due process and the rules of natural justice of which I was and continue to be an advocate and a firm believer, have been upheld by the superior courts of this country. The Supreme Court, acknowledged by the Hon. Speaker as having the sole and exclusive jurisdiction in interpreting matters relating to the Constitution, in its recent interpretation, unequivocally declared that the PSC and its proceedings therein were unconstitutional and illegal. Moreover, a Writ of Certiorari was issued by the Court of Appeal quashing the findings of the PSC. Therefore, the decisions of the PSC are ultra-vires, null and void and have no force or validity in law.

In the circumstances, in my country which is a democracy, where the rule of law is the underlying threshold upon which basic liberties exist, I still am the duly appointed legitimate Chief Justice.

It is not only the office of Chief Justice, but also the very independence of the judiciary, that has been usurped. The very tenor of rule of law, natural justice and judicial abeyance has not only been ousted, but brutally mutilated.

I have suffered because I stood for an independent judiciary and withstood the pressures. It is the People who are supreme and the Constitution of the Republic recognizes the rule of law and if that rule of law had prevailed, I would not have been punished unjustly.

The accusations levelled against me are blatant lies. I am totally innocent of all charges and had there been a semblance of truth in any allegation, I would not have remained even for a moment in the august office of the Chief Justice. I can stand before you today as the Chief Justice, a citizen and a human being, purely because of that very innocence.

Since it now appears that there might be violence if I remain in my official residence or my chambers I am compelled to move out of my official residence and chambers particularly because the violence is directed at innocent people including judges, lawyers and committed members of the public.

The 16 years I have spent in the Supreme Court have been dedicated to uphold the rights of the people in this country. I have always considered it my solemn duty to protect, to the best of my ability, the life and liberty of human beings and the rights of children and their education. I have always acted to that end.

I thank all those who stood with me and the greater cause to fight for the independence of the judiciary.

Even though I have not been meted out with justice today; time and nature will justify what I have done and what I and others who shared my beliefs have stood for.

Many will come and many will go. What matters is not the person who is the incumbent custodian of this position. What matters is the continued existence of an independent judiciary.

Thank you.

Dr. Shirani A. Bandaranayake
The 43rd Chief Justice of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
15th January 2013

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  Comments - 62

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  • manofsrilanka Wednesday, 16 January 2013 08:10 AM

    if the people are supreme and the people appoint the parliament and the parliament decides to end the CJ's time. so is it not logical that the people the final supremacy of democracy has decided this?

    Justin Wednesday, 16 January 2013 02:31 AM

    Totally agreed.Go separately and mind your own business out of Sri Lanka.

    modaya Wednesday, 16 January 2013 03:04 AM

    Some food for thought...... I am the president of Sri Lanka (Gen. Sarath Fonseka after the presidential elections),,,, I am still the cheif justice..(Mrs Sriyani Bandaranayake after the impeachment)..... Both were exceptional performers of their respective fields, but, deceived and victimized by cunning politicians to achieve their political ambitions....

    Jagath Leanage Wednesday, 16 January 2013 03:11 AM

    "The Pakistan Supreme Court has ordered for the arrest of Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in connection with alleged corruption in power projects." that was a DM article,
    Pakistan is a country which abide to SAARC, Commonwealth and UN resolutions.
    But Sri Lanka? What we have in Sri Lanka is Law of the Jungle.
    Judiciary cannot give orders to Parliament and or its members, except the President. That means are they above the LAW?

    Thomas Wednesday, 16 January 2013 03:10 AM

    You stood up against the rock to uphold Justice, but the evil forces got you out. We are with you.

    raviraj Wednesday, 16 January 2013 03:31 AM

    wher the hell did you come from, Orissa-one of the worst states in India

    raviraj Wednesday, 16 January 2013 03:32 AM

    the intelligent masses area minority in this country

    sach Wednesday, 16 January 2013 03:35 AM

    i too knew there was something else more than discrimination. Anyway u ppl believed in Prabha who is no different

    Peter Wednesday, 16 January 2013 04:45 AM

    #miami , Now whole world understands who were behind Shirani, proving what Govt. say.

    dude Wednesday, 16 January 2013 04:47 AM


    That's called racism -- don't miss the point.

    Jamal Wednesday, 16 January 2013 04:53 AM

    This appears to be child talk/. You are a well educated person and a jurist. You can find a better job with better salary overseas. You can end up at Hague . Throw this job and get relieved your worries. Educated respected all over the world. The company with 8th Std.educated and briefness goons cannot remove your knowledge.

    Jeewan Wednesday, 16 January 2013 04:59 AM

    Justice delayed is Justice denied.
    Unlike to the ordinary litigants like us justice was not delayed to you.

    hashhhsl Wednesday, 16 January 2013 05:09 AM

    If you are still the chief justice why did you moved out of your official residence? why did you betray the people who were supporting you to fight? we were expecting that the new CJ will face humiliation when you are sitting at the residence and chamber that he will have to run and hide somewhere. But instead you did.

    You should have stayed in your official residence and your chambers. Why moved out and hide the truth of any alleged attacks from the world media? your residence as well as the chamber was under media attention. We would have loved to see anyone try to do anything in front of the media.

    I'm not so convinced that your moving out from your official residence and telling I'm the chief justice has a point!!!

    How much did MR pay to to move out?

    Ranjith Wednesday, 16 January 2013 05:35 AM

    If God i great how can these injustice happen.

    Nihal Amarasekera Wednesday, 16 January 2013 08:06 AM

    Somebody else is saying "I am the president "; join forces.

    jUNIOR cITIZEN Wednesday, 16 January 2013 02:26 AM

    The souls of 26 Golden Key depositors who committed suicide cursed you, there will be more to join; take care please

    don Wednesday, 16 January 2013 08:19 AM

    Golden Key depositors wanted their money doubled fast. Golden Key became a ponzi/pyramid/sakvithi scheme. Mr. Kotalawala was oblivious to this fact.
    Why haven't the government eased the suffering of these depositors yet after acquiring every business entity held by Mr. Kotalawala?

    spiderman Wednesday, 16 January 2013 08:42 AM

    Shirani or SF not tamil... but got treated like dog... if the fate is like this for there own people. think about others.. this people almost gave everything to MR. but now?

    Grama Sevaka Wednesday, 16 January 2013 08:44 AM

    It's simple the way power works. You are either with us or with the terrorists. That's the killer statement. So the CJ has to join hands or perish.

    Jagath Leanage Wednesday, 16 January 2013 08:48 AM

    After seen the DM video what we feel is very sorry for these Policemen. High ranker was there. But he was helpless. He did what he has been asked to do. Entire world saw the scenario. A neutral person will understand what is happening in Sri Lanka now.

    M. silva Wednesday, 16 January 2013 08:58 AM

    I am still the King's Kong.

    Therese Cooray Wednesday, 16 January 2013 09:07 AM

    Please dont display your ignorance in this comment,

    Mom Mary wasyy Wednesday, 16 January 2013 10:47 AM

    Who is the god your referring g to...

    Nodrog Wednesday, 16 January 2013 10:50 AM

    By your comments its obvious which side you belong to.

    mike Wednesday, 16 January 2013 03:22 PM

    well said God Bless Sri Lanka

    Sri Lankan Wednesday, 16 January 2013 05:09 PM

    @Saman, mind ur language before making any comments. This forum is more suitable for educated people and not for 3 rd class idiots, pls step away from making any comments in future.

    weera Wednesday, 16 January 2013 05:27 PM

    She is like a lotus flower that blooms in a dirty pond. Unfortunately they are not recognized in Sri Lanka except thugs and crooks.

    Yehiya Wednesday, 16 January 2013 05:35 PM

    Entire nation is loved when Prabakaran killed. Tamils no need another prabakaran. But majority need another prabakaran.

    Hashhhsl Thursday, 17 January 2013 02:46 AM

    You have already given the power to Sakkillis my friend! They are already in power.

    Its not a persons birth or race but their action decide whether they are sakkillis or not and we have proof now!

    Antany Peter Tuesday, 15 January 2013 08:20 PM

    It is a new beginning for the CJ. The Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake has a huge potential. She has a lot to give for the country. She must get involved in politics and bring new ideas to the table. Lets people decide whether she is worthy or not. She must not go to the UN, but go to her people and put her ideas forward, in order to develop the country. She must not go to the enemies who divide others, invade others' countries and kill millions to keep themselves on top. Do not go to the devil to get justice. I urge every Lankan to stop listening to the enemies who divide us, they use every opportunity to bring chaos into the developing countries to rule others.

    The Observer Tuesday, 15 January 2013 01:35 PM

    I am impressed by your courage and willingness to defend the independence of the judiciary. I never thought you would resist this long. We can be proud that our country has given birth to people with backbones like you. If our official Opposition had even a fraction of your strengths, we may not be in this situation now?

    Lobo Tuesday, 15 January 2013 01:36 PM

    Well spoken. Keep on fighting for your rights and don't give up, no matter what. The majority intelligent masses are with you.

    Junta Tuesday, 15 January 2013 01:37 PM

    Iron Lady of Sri Lanka.

    Fair N Square Tuesday, 15 January 2013 01:48 PM

    So true Madam... People will come and people will go... BUT the footprint of " Justice" will be etched in the hearts and minds of NOT only people but written in golden letters in the Judiciary's records...

    You fought a brave battle BUT was ousted NOT by justice but by Absolute "POWER"... Time you step aside so that your family will be safe...

    Your value is not known to " Corrupted Politicians " in SL, May be you will get a better posting overseas..

    May You be blessed.....

    G Tuesday, 15 January 2013 03:36 PM

    Iron Lady of Mother Lanka.
    May the Blessings of the Triple Gems be with you.

    kumara Tuesday, 15 January 2013 05:18 PM

    Very Very Sad!
    We Sri Lankans proved again that we have no backbone to protect you or the country
    Any way you are a real HERO forever.

    Charles.S.Perera Tuesday, 15 January 2013 06:42 PM

    Please read your professor Dr.G.L.Pieries's speech to the parliament. It an absobingly clear lecture which states clearly why the interpretation of the relevent article by the SC is wrong and forced the hand of the Appeal Court to declare a wrong judgment. CJ S.B is impeached and if she is a respecter of Law should gracefully step down without acting any more to please the NGOs like Weliamune

    Prabhash Tuesday, 15 January 2013 06:39 PM

    Honoruble madam.Your word speak out lot and you don't need to explain your innocence.We see through that.Have confidenc ein yourself. People cannot be fooled forever and truth will come out one day.our country need leaders like you and not a bunch of rogues to ruin it.

    ruwan kumarasarath Tuesday, 15 January 2013 06:42 PM

    in my life i have seen 2 real character sri lanka its you.. and sf only.

    kuma Tuesday, 15 January 2013 06:46 PM

    We are proud of you and we respect you Madam. Eveyone even the culprits know in their inner minds that you are truly innocent otherwise you will not come this far facing the challenges. Our motherland need many people like you to replece. May the tripple gems bless you. Take care of you and the family.

    Mahela Tuesday, 15 January 2013 06:52 PM

    Today MARA brought "Sharia Law" upon you what Saudis did to our Poor Rizana. While MARA did not protect Rizana, Opposition parties Did not Protect you Neither we people.
    Tomorrow there will be another Rizana and Shirani waiting in MARA Dictatorial regime to send to gallows due to Invalid Opposition who live only to receive MARA left over Dog bones.
    But Madam we are there for you and we will not stop until we bring Justice to you.
    May God Bless and Protect you.

    Nathan Tuesday, 15 January 2013 07:14 PM

    We hope God will give you enough strength to fight back.
    We believe,Unlike former CJ, majority of the judges and lawyers are behind you.

    Chelvan Tuesday, 15 January 2013 07:25 PM

    “Even though I have not been meted out with justice today. you say this today. but you are on the seat while thousands of innocent people denied justice in sri lanka in the last several decades till todate by unlawful acts benefitted only to certain interested sections.

    Raj Tuesday, 15 January 2013 08:06 PM

    Now people of sri Lanka know who created the LTTE it never by Tamils or India or Sinhalees but by absolute power hungry sinhala political heads who never ever even in million years will share power with Tamils.

    waz Tuesday, 15 January 2013 08:23 PM

    God is great, People are with you!
    You are a great lady.

    miami Tuesday, 15 January 2013 01:30 PM

    this what tamils want to go separately, to look after our own business.

    Pradeep Tuesday, 15 January 2013 08:26 PM

    Well said Madam. You are a great person and it is very unfortunate to see the way you have been treated by the executive authority of the country. This is not acceptable at any standard and the time will tell the true cost of this madness driven by powder hungry politicians.

    May GOD bless you and your family!

    x fernando Tuesday, 15 January 2013 09:28 PM

    Great! Perfect. Go find some place OTHER THAN Sri Lanka.

    You originally came from India, why not ask for a separate place in India. OR, you seem to be populating in Canada; so perhaps can find a place in Canada. OR even the UK or Norway; where you have all these people supporting you and want you. Why Sri Lanka? None of us in Sri Lanka wants you here.

    Mark Tuesday, 15 January 2013 09:45 PM

    Easy for me to ...go on do not give up...but the past events tell me that you will have to be careful...so be watchful .....good luck...

    Sanna Tuesday, 15 January 2013 10:13 PM

    Ya, please go over seas, enough damage caused to this country without resigning, going against absolute POWER.

    Dayantha Tuesday, 15 January 2013 10:19 PM

    Anyone and everyone who stands in the way will be"peached"
    You weren't the first and wont be the last. Ban ki moon do you see whats going on?

    Tony Fernando Tuesday, 15 January 2013 11:39 PM

    God will bless you for all the unbiased justifiable judgements which you have given in all Fundamental Rights Violation application cases filed by poor and middle class persons like me. We Sri Lankan citizens salute you for the said brave judgements and the relevant compensations awarded by you to the citizens of Sri Lanka

    Curious Wednesday, 16 January 2013 12:37 AM

    Well written as a CJ. The truth will come out sooner or later.

    Hichcha Wednesday, 16 January 2013 12:59 AM

    You are a role model to other judges in Sri Lanka. You stands for justice. That's great. Power remains with them as far as they will be able to cheat people in this country but it will not last long. We respect you for your courage and dedication. God bless you.

    Hiru-Nikan Wednesday, 16 January 2013 01:08 AM

    Lady with a backbone.

    hero Wednesday, 16 January 2013 01:20 AM


    Fazlul Wednesday, 16 January 2013 01:25 AM

    we are so proud of you Madam. Time will cure everthing what happend to Saddam Hussain,Mubarak, Gadafi, Marcous etc.

    LoveSL Wednesday, 16 January 2013 02:00 AM

    Why UNP and JVPs are so silent???? May be a Tsunami on the way !!!!

    Bagalawathie Wednesday, 16 January 2013 02:05 AM

    Oh yeah. We saw how you looked after your business for thirty years killing each other. Ungrateful people.

    Saman Wednesday, 16 January 2013 02:26 AM

    Why should we share power with Sakkilies?

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