Fault Lines Appear in the Battle of the Giants?
Posted on October 15th, 2012

By GOMIN DAYASRI

The incident reveals, Giants have often feet of clay. They have surely sullied the image of the nation but opened a can of worms that was never ventilated in public to make a thin silver lining of preventing a recurrence to an otherwise sordid saga.

The ball is firmly in the government’s court to do the needful. They should use all the king’s men and all the king’s horses to find the perpetrators of this ghastly crime of assaulting a judicial officer. Solving this crime may resolve many of the outstanding perplexing issues relating to the incident.

If they fail the government may have a permanent cloud of suspicion over its head. Nevertheless, if all the surrounding circumstances are observed objectively, the government is not necessarily the wrongdoer – but the government stands as one of the prime accused because of their weak track record with so many wrongdoings relating to the establishment remain unsolved and unresolved.

It’s no easy task. Information in finding the miscreants is not easily forthcoming, as interested parties including third parties would prefer this to be an unresolved crime to place the burden on the state.  The parties’ -accusing or accused- could have been responsible for this despicable act, to further their positions. So many have different interest to create a bonfire, it’s anyone’s guess? In Sri Lanka who is colluding with whom is difficult to trace.

Wrongdoers are often not brought to justice because of political interference and judicial laxity. Justice has not lived to its desired image of being a sacred institution. Never was the maxim: “ƒ”¹…”All are equal before the law’ more often observed in default than as at present “”…”the mighty and the affluent being untouched. “Cover Up” is a defense unknown to law but is now the secure process to be above the law because the executive condones such wrongdoing.  Justice is made a mockery where a few consider it as a temple worth a visit.

The decision of the judiciary to distance from the executive is commendable but the practice in the last decade has been otherwise. It’s better late than never but more important, it must be followed to the letter uniformly in the future. The judiciary has been permitted by the executive to accept foreign judicial appointments while being part of the local judiciary. Who sought such appointments? No doubt lucrative but is justice in this country being properly served. Is this the distance judiciary now proposes to maintain?  Why are lawyers keeping silent when such practices are allowed to flourish? Pandering to the judiciary is not a favorable outlook for a fiercely independent Bar to maintain.

Scales of Justice are not squeaky clean as they have at times accepted many dangling juicy bones thrown in their direction by the executive. Why does the executive make such offers, but with a view to obtain access for future benefits? If benefits are offered it must uniformly offered to the whole judiciary.  Otherwise it conflict with the rules of equality and the discrimination and bring both the executive and the judiciary to disgrace.  Executive must be illustrious by exercising the rules of equal treatment and if individuals in the judiciary are picked for favored treatment, it is unacceptable? How many of the favored, declined such tempting offers? In the past they did and the judiciary was venerated.

Immediately on retirement political appointments such as ambassadors and presidential advisors are offered and accepted. Children and spouses of judges have gleefully accepted bounties and enjoyed them.  Matters turn sour if the offered bounties are lost, then personality clashes can surface harming relationships between the executive and judiciary. Why should the nation suffer because of possible problems among those in high places? Curse both the giver and the taker for the lack of self “”…”discipline. A wrong impression is created as to how equitable are judicial pronouncements if bounties are there for the taking; as justice must appear not only to be done, but must be seem to be done. What is the impression created in the public mind? To gain respect it is essential respectability is sustained.

Judicial Service Commission has also to share some of the blame in issuing public statements bringing shame to the nation when differences in the early stages can be resolved through amicable discussion. It is important that persons in high office are mindful that in the international arena there is an onslaught on Sri Lanka so we must maintain a good reputation rather than openly discredit our country by making statements that reaches the international community. The statements issued by the Judicial Service Commission aggravated the problem, without realizing it would harm the image of the country. Living in judicial isolation, JSC made an unintentional error being unmindful of the harm it can cause internationally.  Route to take is to avoid confrontation in the initial stages when it is against the interest of the country. Confrontation is necessary where all other avenues are finally closed especially for those that administer the law- such as staying away from work on a joint decision (“ƒ”¹…”strike action”) was premature.

The Secretary of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) should never be a controversial officer. It is necessary to maintain the decorum associated with his office in quiet dignity. Otherwise the JSC would be unable to function smoothly as the office holder has to liaise with the other two branches of the tripod- especially the administration. National interest must not give way to personal interest when public institutions function because there must be harmony between the JSC and other state institutions to obtain benefits on judges’ welfare measures. A minor change, made with a clear mind in time, can diffuse many a problem.

Ranil Wickremasinghe’s suggestion of a parliamentary select committee was accepted by the government with a reservation not to include foreign participants to probe into the entire affair. As the Speaker said in his recent address when the Supreme Court made an order relating to his office – “If there are conflicts and confusion within or between the tripod of power, it is the People – the repository of sovereign power as whose representative we have assembled “”…” that will suffer the consequences”. Accordingly the Legislature must intervene to harness the Executive and the Judiciary.

3 Responses to “Fault Lines Appear in the Battle of the Giants?”

  1. nandimitra Says:

    How do thugs respond when confronted , not by going before the law but by violence. This is the crux of the matter. Democracy is a fig leaf to cover this truth.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    “Scales of Justice are not squeaky clean as they have at times accepted many dangling juicy bones thrown in their direction by the executive.”

    NGOs throw JUCIER bones at them!!!

    e.g. Siva Pasupathi

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    The Thug element in Sri Lanka has to go, as must the 13-A.

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