World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


SRI LANKA: Choice for Chief Justice is no respecter of law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AHRC-STM-019-2013
January 15, 2013
A Statement from the Asian Human Rights Commission
SRI LANKA: The president's choice for Chief Justice is no respecter of the law

This morning, according to reports, the main gates leading to the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka remained closed and heavily guarded in order to prevent the Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake from entering in order to continue to function as the legitimate holder of the post of Chief Justice. She has rejected the ouster by the president as illegal. Her view is supported by the judgement of the Court of Appeal delivered last week on the basis of the interpretation of the law regarding article 107(3) of the Constitution which deals with the removal of judges of the superior courts.

Meanwhile President Mahinda Rajapaksa has picked Mohan Peiris, who is known to be involved in the business affairs of the Rajapaksa family, as her replacement. Mr. Mohan Peiris who heads many business enterprises after his retirement as the Attorney General has been chosen for no other reason except for his expected blind loyalty to the president and his family.

Blind loyalty to the president is now the criteria and the question of legality has now been replaced with this imperative for such loyalty. With the president dismissing the respect for the Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court as an irrelevant factor to the affairs of the state it is quite natural that he no longer wants any kind of loyalty to the law as a criteria to be followed by the Supreme Court as well as other courts of the country.

Mr. Mohan Peiris' record as the Attorney General has amply demonstrated his capacity to prefer expediency over legality. He has quite daringly withdrawn indictments against persons who were initially indicted by the Attorney General's Department on the basis that there is adequate evidence to proceed against them. He has also filed indictments against persons purely on political grounds which are well illustrated by the cases against the former general, Sarath Fonseka who contested the election as the common candidate against President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He has also glaringly abused the Attorney General's powers for personal purposes such as to help the clients he formerly represented. Above all he has abused the powers of noli prosecue in order to acquit persons who were undergoing investigations into serious crimes such as murder. He has a proven capacity to manipulate the law to suit the political requirements or requests by the government or those who are associated with the government.

His task as the Chief Justice would be, above all, to attack the judges who will still want to act independently and whose sole loyalty is to the law. His job will be to subdue them and create a consensus to support the president and those associated with the government unconditionally. An associated aim would be to ruthlessly suppress the lawyers who in recent times have risen to uphold the rule of law and to protect the dignity and the rights of the individuals as against the repression and suppression of the government.

It is quite symbolic that on the morning of the day of his appointment the gates of the Supreme Court were closed and locked. He is expected to keep them closed and locked to ensure that any citizens demanding justice should not enter the premises.

To daringly defy the rule of law in favour of the government is the task expected from him.

On the occasion of the signing of the letter of removal of Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake we stated that this marks the end of an era, the end of "the good old days" where the courts were expected to play the role of the protector of the freedoms and liberties of the citizens. The era that has now begun is when the courts are expected to be instruments of repression supporting the government at all costs.

Mr. Mohan Peiris would be rightly called the President's Chief Justice (PCJ).

The only path that is open for judges, lawyers and the freedom loving citizens is to resist and oppose this whole scheme of constitutional dictatorship.


Related documents: SRI LANKA: 13 Jan, 2013-The 1978 Constitution is fulfilled, Gyges' Ring-- The 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka, SRI LANKA: Wiping out the critical intellect - will the President push us into that abyss? And SRI LANKA: Why is Sri Lanka abandoning a court centered, law based system of justice?
Read this statement online
# # #
About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UK Labour Statement: The Shooting Of MP Jo Cox

Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party said: “The whole of the Labour Party and Labour family - and indeed the whole country - will be in shock at the horrific murder of Jo Cox today. Jo had a lifelong record of public service and a deep commitment to humanity." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Rainbow Colours On MFC In Sympathy For Florida Killings
Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre will be lit in colours of the rainbow Monday as a gesture of support for the LGBTI victims of the Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando, Florida. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On How Obama’s Supreme Court Choice Says Everything (Bad) About His Presidency

Nothing has epitomised the presidency of Barack Obama quite like his Supreme Court nominees. Time and again, Republican presidents will blithely nominate right wing ideological extremists (Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas) who only sometimes misfire and turn out to be liberals in disguise (David Souter). Yet Obama has consistently skipped over the judicially qualified liberals and gone for a succession of centrists... More>>

ALSO:

Turkey: UN Secretary-General On The Terrorist Bombing In Ankara

The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack in Ankara earlier today. According to the latest reports, the explosion in the Kizilay district killed and wounded dozens of people. More>>

ALSO:

Five Years On: Fukushima And New Zealand

Science Media Centre: It was the worst nuclear event since Chernobyl. In the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, a crippled Japanese nuclear powerplant went into meltdown, and the world watched as emergency workers scrambled to shut down and contain the reactors. More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF: 1 In 3 Syrian Children Has Grown Up Knowing Only Crisis

An estimated 3.7 million Syrian children – 1 in 3 of all Syrian children - have been born since the conflict began five years ago, their lives shaped by violence, fear and displacement, according to a UNICEF report. This figure includes more than 151,000 children born as refugees since 2011. More>>

ALSO:

Franklin Lamb: Syria’s Truce Bodes Well For Salvaging Our Cultural Heritage

The tentative cessation of hostilities in Syria, which came into effect on 2/28/2016, brokered by Washington and Moscow, is only in its second week... It is well documented that there have been daily incidents of artillery shelling, airstrikes and clashes. Yet, for the nearly 12 million displaced civilians, half of Syria’s population, it’s a much welcomed respite. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news