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Government’s objective and political rag sheets

13 November 2012 09:02 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Clause 107 (2) of the Constitution indicates that “The Chief Justice, the President of the Court of Appeal and every other Judge of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal” could be removed “by an order of the President made after an address of Parliament supported by a majority of the total number of Members of Parliament (including those not present) has been presented to the President..” It indicates that judges could be removed on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity. However, nowhere in the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka there is any mention regarding ‘political impeachments.’

Only those who view state television and government media would be unaware of it. From the Parliamentarians who put their signature on blank papers to those who were involved in handing over the impeachment motion to the Speaker, everyone knows that it is a political impeachment. Since the Constitution doesn’t mention any such impeachment process the authors of this motion have filed 14 charges on the alleged misbehaviour of the Chief Justice. The mockery here is that the clause in the Constitution under the ‘Independence of the Judiciary’ is used in the attempt to suppress the independence of the judiciary by political power.

Most of the allegations against the Chief Justice are not based on recent matters. Until very recently no one in the government came out with any view regarding these matters. These are really secondary reasons that conceal the main objective. The real objective cannot be presented as an allegation. It has become so strong a reason that already her character is being defamed. The state media has already launched a smear campaign. It is so powerful that she would have to serve a prison term if she is removed from her position.

A person depending on the state media could argue that the ‘Divi Neguma’ Bill is a powerful provision which expresses the strong desire of the government to improve the conditions of the poor.  However, the government has not shown any such necessity. The government has not shown any sympathy towards the general public when the prices of the essential commodities are increased. There haven’t been any price reductions even in the Budget, from which many folks traditionally expect some relief. Only the import tax for racing cars has been removed, however the government never cared whether it was what the people wanted. It is in such an environment the government is manoeuvering to get the Bill passed.

The ‘Divi Neguma’ bill allows the Minister to draw billions of rupees from Samurdhi banks without the financial supervision by the Central Bank. People in this country are aware how funds of state institutions are manipulated during elections.

‘Divi Neguma’ bill entered the Parliamentary Order Paper in August while the attention of the country was drawn towards the provincial council elections and the Judiciary was about to go on holiday. Despite the government attempting to prevent the validity of the bill being questioned in a court, several groups including many trade unions were able to go before the Supreme Court on the 18th. The decision by the Supreme Court to proceed with the inquiry was the beginning of the onslaught against the Judiciary.

The Secretary to the Judiciary Service Commission had to issue a statement regarding the pressure targeting the Commission and had to pay for it personally. During the period the case on the Bill was heard in Court the investigations were carried out by the Bribery Commission against the husband of the Chief Justice. Legal action was taken against him as the Chief Justice did not take any interest regarding the ‘aspirations’ of the government. On the verge of the judgment the government that boasted of women empowerment, tabled an anonymous letter targeting the Chief Justice with the worst insult that could be brought against a woman in Asian society.
The judgment given contrary to the ‘aspirations’ of the government stated 16 clauses in the Bill were against the Constitution and they could be adopted only with a 2/3rd majority. The Judiciary also stated that clause 8 in the ‘Bill’ should be adopted through a referendum.

The impeachment motion against the Chief Justice has been presented to Parliament together with the judgment of the Judiciary regarding the ‘bill’. The motion had to be so hastily prepared that it contained several flaws despite 117 ‘legislators’ signed it. The MPs cannot be held responsible as they had to put their signatures on blank sheets of paper. Despite the errors and fabrications, the government will take measures to investigate it by a special select committee in which the government will have the majority and make the ‘wish of the ruler’ the law.

While the government is in a bid to bring not only the Supreme Court but  even the whole Judiciary under the ‘wish of the ruler’ there is no space to think about democracy. However, such idiotic stratagem would definitely lead to more and more resolutions against Sri Lanka at the session of the UNHRC in 2013.
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