Shirani assumes duties as CJ; will retire tomorrow
The Government has removed all obstacles for Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayaka to hold her position as the 43rd Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, Bar Association President Upul Jayasuriya said. She has assumed duites and will retire from her post tomorrow, Jayasuriya added.
Bandaranayake arrived at the Hulftsdorp Court complex, earlier today.
A government official who asked not to be named has told AFP that President Maithripala Sirisena had written to Bandaranayake to say her 2013 impeachment was unconstitutional and she should return to work.
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka, at a press conference held this morning, said there will be no defect in judgments delivered so far by CJ Peiris according to terms of Article 119 of the Constitution.
Attorney-at-Law J.C. Weliamuna told media the new Government and the President have taken up the position that the impeachment of the Bandaranayaka was illegal and not proper, because there was no ‘impeachment motion’ presented before the Parliament, under the terms of Article 172 of the Constitution.
“Therefore, the new Government does not recognize Mohan Peiris as the Chief justice. We all can expect the independence of judiciary in future with this move,” Weliamuna added.
“As you have witnessed, thousands of people are protesting against the continuation of the current CJ. We are eternally grateful for the Government and the President for considering this matter seriously,” he said.
This morning, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) also staged a protest, in front of the Hulftsdorp Court complex, and called for the immediate resignation of Chief Justice Peiris.
The BASL has announced that its Executive Council has unanimously decided to re-elect impeached Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake for the post. The BASL alleged that Peiris was present at Temple Trees the night of Election Day (Jan 8) with several top officials and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, when it has been alleged that a plot was hatched to keep the president in power by declaring a state of emergency.
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Is the BASL the mouthpiece of the Government?
The BASL is claiming all these decisions made by Government but the Government is silent.
It appears the cunning leaders of the present day Government are testing the waters by sending this lady to Hultsdorf to see the reaction of the CJ M Peiris.
This lady left Hultsdorf willingly after she was successfully impeached by a legally elected Government of Sri Lanka.
I hope no member of the public including Shirani Bandaranayake and CJ M Peiris don’t get hurt due to the stupity of the present day Government.
This is a confusing situation.
From the time Shirani Banadaranayake walked out of the office of Chief Justice following a “constittionally invalid” impeachment, Mohan Peiris has held the office of Chief Justice having been appointed in a “constitutionally compliant” manner.
Mr Peiris held that office and the Courts, under his stewardship, made a number of significant decisions including reversal of the Appeal Court decision on the impeachment of the CJ and the decision on the ability of Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa to participate in the Presidential elections.
Logically, SL has had two persons in the CJ’s chair from the time Mrs Bandaranayake abandoned her post, one inactive and the other, active having been appointed in a constitutionally compliant manner.
The “inactive” holder of the CJ’s post, Mrs Bandaranayake is said to be retiring from office tomorrow. This will leave Mr Mohan Peiris in the CJ’s chair and he is compelled to continue in this position having been appointed in a constitutionally compliant manner.
This drama being enacted appears to have twin objectives, on being Mr bandaranayake’s retirement with all due benefits and the other, to dispose Mr Peiris from the CJ’s post.
I hope Mr Peiris does not give-in to the threat to the independence of the judiciary by walking away from his constitutionally compliant position of CJ.
I hope Mr Peiris continues in the CJ’s office for many more years and serve our nation with impartiality which he has demonstrated. His knowledge of legal and constitutional affairs are exemplary.
For example, had Mr Peiris dissallowed Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa from contesting the Presidency, the destiny of our nation would be different to the miserable future we face under the current Government consisting of socio-political manipulators.