WALL STREET JOURNAL SAYS IMPEACHMENT MAKES SRI LANKANS WONDER A STRONGMAN RULE NIGHTMARE AFTER A 26 YEAR WAR
By Walter Jayawardhana
Commenting on the impeachment of Dr. Shirani Bandaranayaka, the Wall Street Journal warned that it gives the United Kingdom and other members of the Commonwealth a small quantity of leverage to require that the President of Sri Lanka uphold the rule of law if he wants to sit among polite company at its summit.
The editorial alleged Sri Lankans have a right to wonder a 26 year old war in the country will now be followed by another long nightmare of a strongman rule.
The editorial said, President Rajapaksa is keen to boost Sri Lanka’s image abroad, attract investment and undo the controversy surrounding alleged war crimes. Colombo is investing in preparations to host a Commonwealth summit later this year, and these circumstances should give small leverage for others to act.
Nullifying a government spokesman that the letter of the law was followed in the impeachment of the Chief Justice the editorial queried how then did it proceed when the Presidency decided to go ahead with a report of the parliamentary select committee against a verdict of the Supreme Court.
The editorial also pointed out the lack of due process, the inquiring committee’s refusal to give her enough time to respond and cross-examine witnesses.
The following is the full text of the editorial: “While Pakistan’s judges try to oust their elected leaders, elsewhere in South Asia an elected leader is busy ousting judges. We’re talking about Sri Lanka, where President Mahinda Rajapaksa sacked the country’s Chief Justice over the weekend.
This week, Mr. Rajapaksa installed one of his advisers in that post, and the fear is South Asia’s newest strongman is now unstoppable.
Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake’s main crime seems to have been to lock horns with the government. In October, the Supreme Court blocked legislation that would have awarded Basil Rajapaksa—the minister for economic development and the President’s brother—sweeping powers to control development funds, on the grounds that some of these powers belonged to the provinces. Though Sri Lanka’s parliament eventually passed an amended version of the bill, in November it also began impeachment proceedings against Mrs. Bandaranayake on 14 charges, mainly of financial misconduct. She says the charges are trumped up.
The impeachment proceedings also didn’t pass the smell test for due process. Parliament is dominated by the President’s party and Mrs. Bandaranayake’s defenders say the select committee appointed by the Speaker—another Rajapaksa brother—to investigate her neither gave her time to respond to charges nor the ability to cross-examine witnesses. The committee found her guilty on three charges in December.
A government spokesman tells us the letter of the law was followed, but an appeals court ruled against the parliamentary committee’s verdict, while the Supreme Court decided the committee had no authority to conduct the investigation. None of this stopped lawmakers, who trumpeted parliament’s supremacy and proceeded to expel Mrs. Bandaranayake.
The Chief Justice’s dismissal could well prove the decisive battle in the government’s long-running war against judicial independence. Last year, thugs assaulted an official in Colombo who spoke up about threats to the judiciary. Now that President Rajapaksa has shown he can remove the country’s top legal authority, chances are few judges will oppose his will.
The other checks and balances of a constitutional democracy are also under attack as Mr. Rajapaksa has sought to consolidate power since the country’s civil war with the Tamil Tigers ended in 2009. In 2010, he pushed through a constitutional amendment that did away with term limits on the presidency. Most of the press is state-controlled. Officials accuse civil society groups critical of the government of working for Western intelligence agencies. Sri Lankans are right to wonder if 26 years of war will now be followed by another long nightmare of strongman rule.
There’s still a possibility that outside pressure can rein in the Rajapaksa brothers. The President is keen to boost Sri Lanka’s image abroad, attract investment and undo the controversy surrounding alleged war crimes. Colombo is investing in preparations to host a Commonwealth summit later this year. This gives the U.K. and other members of the Commonwealth a modicum of leverage to require that Mr. Rajapaksa uphold the rule of law if he wants to sit among polite company.”
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If leadership moving in to different direction than what people & nation wants, it is going to be big time challenge in future, specially for leaders. If any one take the law in to their hands as they wish, it is no doubt one day will pay the price and could be another Iraq or Libiya or Egypt or even Maldives.
The following people has to be fair, open and must transparent with every thing (my opinion):
1. Parents – if you have two or more kids you have to be fair with all the kids (one kid make you a parents and two kids make you a refree or Judge – be fair treatment for both the kids)
2. Teacher – who is guiding the right and wrong to kids
3. Supervisor – if you are leading a team, you must be fair with all staff to be a honest leader (you could apply for any organization)
4. Religious Leader – you are a teacher, guider, mentor, therefore, you have more resposibilities then others, make sure guide right direction for unity of people & nation
Wall Street Journal, Cannel 4 etc are tools of diaspora Tamils who have paid large sums of money for such desparate evil journalism to propagate lies upon lies to denounce and try to bring down our heroic strong democratic govt., which had through its heroic security forces, totally defeated the evil LTTE terrorists, who had inflicted carnage in the streets of SL, backed subtly by Britain, who harboured the evil LTTE and by USA, France, Norway and other imperial West nations. The LTTE are licking their wounds, hiding in Britain, Canada, Australia, Norway, France and USA. They are re-inventing themselves and re-mobilising for the day when they can resume their terrorism and militarism in SL to overthrow the elected govt of SL and capture power in the whole country, backed by the imperial West as they are currently doing in Syria.
Strangely, when the separatist Tuaregs in Northern Mali with the aid of world Al Qaeda movement and Jihadists attacked the govt of Mali to topple the regime, France, Britain and USA with the aid of Nigeria have rushed to the aid of govt of Mali against the secessionist Tuaregs and Islamists. Why is this intervention by the imperial West on the side of the govt of Mali? This is because France, their buddy and ally, have gas and oil fields in Mali managed by French engineers and a host of other French business ventures. France has therefore vested interests in Mali for its govt not to fall into the hands of the Tuaregs and Al Qaeda. Hence they have immediately intervened in Mali in support of the govt of Mali. The imperial West ofcourse also is supporting French intervention. They have not denounced the govt of Mali and intervened on the side of the separatist Tuaregs of Northern Mali, as the imperial West had done in Syria against the rebels.
In Syria, the imperial West have supported the rebels to topple the democratically elected govt of Syria and its President Assad. This is because the President Assad is no bosom pal of USA, Britain and France. Like our Hon President in SL, the President Assad had often bravely denounced the imperial West for their naked hypocrisy, war crimes and crimes against humanity in their invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan. This made him a target of imperial West to be brought down, as they have done the leader of Libya, Col. Gadaffi. In Syria, the imperial West is actually working in support of the rebels who are led by Al Qaeda and other extremist Islamists. What a contradiction of the policies of imperial West! They have poured money and weapons into the coffers of the rebels, and their specialists forces such as SAS are working on the ground training and guiding the Syrian rebels in strategies.
The imperial West has come a long way since the utter defeat of the LTTE, in naked support of rebels who they think might be of use to them, after toppling a legitimate govt of a country and installing them in power. The LTTE rump and the diaspora Tamils and TNA are hoping for a similar support in the future from imperial West against the legitimate govt of SL, who is no friend of the imperial West. In the meantime, they are trying to wear down and attack on all fronts the heroic govt of Hon MR in SL. Former CJ of SL gave them such an opportunity. The wonman and her husband are corrupt to the core, and was quite rightly removed by the Parliament of SL as the Legislative body, Afterall, in the interests of a clean and incorrupt Judiciary in SL to maintain and impart unvitiated justice, it was important the former CJ had to go. The next step is to clean up the Judiciary of all the corrupt elements, among the lawyers and judges, who we know are ‘jarava kana kaputas’.
Let us send a clear and loud warning to the imperial West that SL is not Syria, whose govt can be interfered with by the corrupt and hypocratic imperial West. We have strong friends in Russia and China who will never permit it. Our heroic forces will fight them tooth and nail to preserve our independence from the neo-imperialists.
God bless SL, its Hon President and the heroic national security forces!!!
Well said Mr Nicholas Dias 🙂
We did not win the war to end up in a Prabhakaran like Fascit rule. Using the popularity of defeating the LTTE
it is contemptible to take us to a Fascist rule.
There is no evidence MR going to delay the next general election. So start your part in the society now to get people to vote the government out. You have plenty of time to do that.
MR had been given a mandate by the country to run the country for 5 years. Let him do that without constantly distracting the government and let the people judge when the next election come.