U.N. expert condemns move to oust Sri Lanka’s chief justice
GENEVA (Reuters) – A United Nations expert on Monday criticized Sri Lanka’s move to impeach its chief justice, saying it was part of a pattern of attacks on lawyers and a bid to stop judges carrying out their work independently of politicians.
Parliament could vote next month to impeach Shirani Bandaranayake, the first woman to head Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court, after she was found guilty by a parliamentary panel of financial irregularities and a failure to declare assets.
The case risks a destabilizing clash between President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government and the judiciary. Opposition parties have withdrawn from the process, saying it was unfair.
Gabriela Knaul, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, said the case against Bandaranayake was part of a pattern of attacks and threats against members of the judiciary and lawyers and interference in their work.
“The recent steps taken by the executive and legislative towards impeaching the chief justice appear to be the culminating point of a series of attacks against the judiciary for asserting its independence,” Knaul said in a statement.
“It is of high concern to me that the procedure for the removal of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is extremely politicized and characterized by lack of transparency, lack of clarity in the proceedings, as well as lack of respect for the fundamental guarantees of due process and fair trial,” she said.
A parliamentary impeachment panel found Bandaranayake guilty on three counts earlier this month. She has appealed against the decision and the United States, the United Nations and Commonwealth have all raised concerns about the process.
Knaul said article 107 of the Sri Lankan constitution, read together with Standing Orders of Parliament, contravened international human rights law and needed amending so that disciplinary proceedings against judges were conducted by independent commissions.
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This statement appears to be emanating from a highly paid UN public servant to justify her existence.
Sri Lanka has a constitution that was formulated by its elected representatives and voted by the required majority in the legislature.
That constitution has provisions for dealing with errant Judiciary.
That procedure was applied by the legislature after it was presented with convincing evidence of errant behaviour of a senior Judge.
The legislature dealt with the issue in accordance with the procedures laid down in the constitution.
A recommendation has been made by select committee appointed by the legislature.
That recommendation will be put to the vote in the legislature and if approved, will be forwarded to the Executive for consideration.
If this UN public servant cannot understand the process that has been adopted, well, it is a matter for those who appointed her to tha position to consider.
This public servant goes further in advising a sovereign nation on “inconsistencies” in its constitution.
Mr Ki Moon, the UNSG has a problem here. Hope he can identify it correctly and rectify to avoid repetition.
This is utter nonsense for the UN to interfere on a sovereign nation’s rights to prevent corruption in the judiciary, even if it involves the very CJ!
NGOs, INGOs and other enemies of SL are fiercely struggling to subjugate SL to the will of the imperial West. We should never allow this! Let this new year be the year of totally ridding SL of these corrupt forces within SL to be truly independent! This is our new struggle for independence from the evil neo-colonial dominance of the imeprial West and their goons.
Parliament as the Legislative is above the Judiciary. Parliament Special Commission has established the guilt of the CJ of utter corruption. She has to go. But instead, she is playing games and having this circus of shameful politicising in order to stay in her position. This is her last death-row struggle.
I hope the Hon President does not succumb to her local and international moves. Let the new year dawn with her removal. Our enemies will then try to put her up as the next candidate for Presidential election. What a laugh!
This woman is utterly shameful! She does not deserve to be CJ from this behaviour alone after this politcising. She has become a new tool in the hands of SL enemies. Corruptors and the corrupt are birds of the same feather.
Our enemies corrupted SF and foisted him as the Presidential candidate last time round. He failed miserably! Now this woman is being foisted against the Hon President, who is doing a splendid job for fast-track development of our country, the ONE NATION.
UN is today in the hands of the imperial West. It is another tool in their arsenal against sovereign nations in their fight against imperial West neo-colonial ambitions to impose themselves on smaller sovereign nations to plunder their resources and use them to maintain imperial West’s dominance in the world.
Correct, UN is fully controlled by the USA. I once again say, we must be united to stop outside interference.
“Knaul said article 107 of the Sri Lankan constitution, read together with Standing Orders of Parliament, contravened international human rights law…..”
Knaul must have been born many years after the Guantanamo bay received its inmates, or the issue is too big for her to see as a much worse human right abuse.
these impeachments are nothing when comparing to those who are in the current positions of the government.
for example : just consolidate the assets of ministers, they well known that those assets will be audited some how, so they have beeeen registering those and establishing in their closer relations.for the publics they seems to be empty hands.
the above stated things are not the actual reasons for the impeachment,but they are very huge theft went inside the gov, those are being revealed and inquired by the this woman.so this dominant gov and the higher officials decided to sack off this chief justice with some impeachment.
Justices are buried, human rights are vanished.
Sri Lankans can not seek for justice unless and until you are a ruling politician.
Why not, UN should interfere in this especial instance. Other wise CJ has to count rods like betrayer SF in the Welikad prison.
these are proved truth.
Indra, you are absolutely right. As I said and Jayaraj also agreed, UN is just a puppet and a tool in the hands of USA and the imperial West. They use it to knock smaller countries like SL and interfere in the governance of a sovereign country. UN eyes are closed to all the human rights abuse by the big sharks USA and UK in the countries they have invaded and trodden on. UN seems to be oblivious to the human rights abuse at Guantanamo Bay happening daily. The Freeworld has no faith any longer in the UN being independent and just. Hence their pronouncements/reports etc are fit only for toilet use.
She is a drama queen. Send her to hell:-)
You are inviting more prblems to your administration by you yourslf and your uneducated henchmen.Whole world knows you are the main culprit behind all these dramas. Also the whole world knoes, whom you want to appoint in this place.
Don’t think that you are very clever.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
DB is way out-of-order. He is very ungrateful to Hon President for ridding the country of the evil LTTE and its heinous leader. Had he not done this today we would have been under the jack boots of LTTE and our Motherland flooded with Tamils from TN. DB it is better you stay in Saudi under the autocratic theocratic regime of Saudi royalty. Perhaps you enjoy working under them.
Dayaratne Bandara is minting dollars to ensure his family’s survival in Sri Lanka. What’s wrong with that?
The Hon Minister of Co-operatives and Internal Trade Johnston Fernando stated that the impeachment motion is similar to the plastic crate issue.
The plastic crates are ‘vessels’ to carry farm produce to the consumer. The plastic crate as a vessel should be (1) fit for purpose (2) clean so as to not pollute the farm produce (3) reusable; repeat use of carrying produce (4) flexible and easy to handle by the user.
Likewise, the judiciary is the ‘vessel’ to carry justice to the people. The judiciary as a ‘vessel should be (1) fit for purpose (not politicised; be professional; be incorrutible) (2) clean so as to not pollute the justice being delivered (3) reusable (be consistent in the application of law) (4) flexible and easy to handle ( deliver justice according to aspirations of the receipients).
The current Judiciary and the CJ lack these characteristics.
We should despatch Hon Johnston Fernando to Geneva to explain these concepts to the UN lady.
CM, I criticised DB for his base ingratutude to Hon President who has rid the nation of the evil LTTE. DB can mint dollars in timbucktu for all I care. EU nations are in a worse situation than SL, thanks to MR good policies. SL is the envy of other nations.
Dayaratne Bandara is minting dollars in foreign soil because he is unable to mint even SL Rs in his motherland due to failed policies and theft of national wealth.
Chumpa’s comments in Blog 1 is very precise to the point. We as a nation are following our cherished constitution. This blonde lady sitting in the UN has no clue about the soverieignity of nations and the aspirations of a people.
We are travelling down the path defined by Mahinda Chinthana for the past 7 years having conquered many a battle which the World opined could never be won.
If the blondie does not like our constitution and the way it is being followed to the last letter, she can keep her opinions to herself and write as many resolutions condemning the conduct of our motherland.
Such idiotic actions will have zero impact on the peoples of our great country. We follow a Buddhist way of life underpinned by respect for all and forgiveness at all times.
Keep it up Chumpa, your precise mind is an oasis in the lost land of international thought.