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Editorial - A people's right


25 December 2012 08:02 pm - 7     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Those who try to interpret the ongoing battle between the Judiciary and the Executive as a personal dispute may be blind to the fact that the manner in which the latter has been behaving in the process reeks of partiality. The core of the matter lies far beneath the Impeachment procedure and the theatrics of the Select Committee that was appointed to look into the charges against the CJ. The incumbent government is well-known for its mechanisms to make the dissent fall in line.  And it is not Dr. Bandaranayake who stood on the other side of the bank; it is the Supreme Court.
At the end of the day, one should not forget that it was the signature of the President that sealed her appointment. There is nothing sensational about hearing a dissident by default being pronounced an archenemy; yet, it becomes news if such a fate befalls a favourite.

The story of Dr. Bandaranayake falls into the latter.

Since of late, the courts of law have been subjected to many whirlwinds of power. Yet, Supreme Court has been the sole institution where people sought solace at the hands of various forms of injustice. Predictably, its line of enemies is lengthening, because the Judiciary stood by the people when the proud fathers and all powerful godfathers were looking for havens and hideouts for their errant pets. If not for the Supreme Court, the A/L results muddle would have remained a muddle. Divi Neguma Bill would have been doubtful piece of legislation.

Is it a sense of insecurity of the regime that has it looking for a sensitive nerve to counter attack. Despite the divisions among the safe-keepers of law, the fiasco comes as a threat to anyone who would refuse to bow down to a misused power of the regime. Perhaps, it is misinterpreting the mandate people granted the regime. Jumping over the fundamental and ethical boundaries, the regime even decides when the people should protest and when they should be silent.

It is not about whether Dr. Bandaranayake is innocent or guilty. It is about whether she receives a fair hearing. The stark truth that is glaring in the face of the public is, if the head of the highest institution that metes out justice is denied the fundamentals of natural justice, the regime will care less to see those of the public are safeguarded.

In the contemporary Sri Lanka, when all the other fundamentals of democracy have long died a silent death, it is only the independence of the judiciary that has been breathing through the troubled times. The death of it would be the death of people’s freedom to be equal before law and their ultimate right to be right.

  Comments - 7

  • Iqbal Tuesday, 25 December 2012 08:52 PM

    It's a well thought out timely editorial to remind people of the reason for the impeachment process and implied dangers of its success. The president could not have contested the presidential election in 2005 if not for a friendly ruling by former CJ of stopping the police investigation of allegations of misappropriation of Tsunami funds. The incumbent CJ is independent and stands with the people which is intolerable to this regime that wants to bulldoze its way.

    R.Sunthar. Wednesday, 26 December 2012 04:21 AM

    Well said. What is administered best is best.

    sbd Wednesday, 26 December 2012 06:51 AM

    Not only Divineguma bill but more importantly next year budget-Appropriation bill too have been declared illegal by the SC the watch dog of the People on government excesses.Remedy is to kill the watch dog!.Then can carry on regardless the law and plunder the country like their own boutique!.Dr.Bandaranaike & the whole of Judiciary fighting to save the country from Barberians while opposition leader is away on holiday!.God save the IRON LADY CJ of Sri Lanka

    kautilya Wednesday, 26 December 2012 09:59 AM

    It is the Judiciary that stepped into solve the Z score fiasco.It is the Judiciary that halted the Divingeuma bulldozing Samurdi Fund. So it is now the CJ who has becomes the monument of Independence of Judiciary getting bulldozed by the regime,

    S.Dias Wednesday, 26 December 2012 10:15 AM

    What you say is absolutely correct but the SC & CJ are not blameless for this situation. The decision by the SC under the current CJ (whilst she was on the right side of ….) for not requiring a referendum before promulgating the 18A bill and allowing that bill to be rushed through parliament as an “urgent bill in the national interest” were both flawed. The country and the CJ herself are paying for these flawed decisions.

    Bandara Wednesday, 26 December 2012 11:35 AM

    Well articulated. All right minded people understand the issue at hand and outright reject the flawed PSC process. If govt tries to march forward disregarding this fact and blaming the intellectual community of conspiring with diaspora etc, it would definetely lead to a chaotic situation. If the govt is really patriotic it should listen to sensible intellectuals rather than pressing on a high handed egoistic approach.

    sbd Thursday, 27 December 2012 03:08 AM

    This govt.Patriotic? My foot!

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