The future of 13-A
Posted on November 26th, 2012

By Neville Ladduwahetty  November 22, 2012, 7:41 pm  – Island

 The responsibility for the illegality/unconstitutionality of 13A should be collectively borne by the then Supreme Court and the then Parliament. When the 13A Bill was forwarded to the then Supreme Court, the only determination the Court was constitutionally required to make as per Article 120 (a) was whether it required “approval by the People at a Referendum”. It could be legitimately concluded that 5 out of the 9 Judges of the then Supreme Court found that the 13A Bill AS PRESENTED required a referendum. However, the determination forwarded by the then Chief Justice Sharvananda to Parliament stated that 4 Judges did NOT order a referendum, 4 others found the Bill required a referendum and the 9th Judge stated: “The provisions of Article 154G (2) (b) and 154 (3) (b) of the Bill to amend the Constitution of Sri Lanka (Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution) require approval by the People at a Referendum by virtue of the provision of Article 83”. The then Parliament took upon itself to delete the requirement for a referendum from the original Bill, and passed the Bill without making the needed revisions as well as without resubmitting it to the Supreme Court.

The 13th Amendment is being assailed primarily from two fronts. One front has revived the illegality/unconstitutionality of the 13 A that was first raised on September 9, 2009 in an article to The Island while the second front is marshalling forces to repeal 13 A on grounds that it is too restrictive and limiting. Despite the fact that the latter aspect of 13A was also brought to the attention of the public through several articles, it is not until the procedural restrictions required by 13A was demonstrated during the passage of the Divi Neguma Bill through the Supreme Court that the political establishment realized the full impact of 13A’s limitations relating to issues of governance.

 The responsibility for the illegality/unconstitutionality of 13A should be collectively borne by the then Supreme Court and the then Parliament. When the 13A Bill was forwarded to the then Supreme Court, the only determination the Court was constitutionally required to make as per Article 120 (a) was whether it required “approval by the People at a Referendum”. It could be legitimately concluded that 5 out of the 9 Judges of the then Supreme Court found that the 13A Bill AS PRESENTED required a referendum. However, the determination forwarded by the then Chief Justice Sharvananda to Parliament stated that 4 Judges did NOT order a referendum, 4 others found the Bill required a referendum and the 9th Judge stated: “The provisions of Article 154G (2) (b) and 154 (3) (b) of the Bill to amend the Constitution of Sri Lanka (Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution) require approval by the People at a Referendum by virtue of the provision of Article 83”. The then Parliament took upon itself to delete the requirement for a referendum from the original Bill, and passed the Bill without making the needed revisions as well as without resubmitting it to the Supreme Court.

 Such conduct was collectively illegal for the following reasons:

 (1) the determination of the Supreme Court should have been a single determination “”…” not three determinations, which thereby left it to Parliament to figure out what to do with multiple determinations.

 (2) the Bill should have been referred back to the Supreme Court after amendment, which in this instance would have required 154 G (2) (b) and 154G (3) (b) to be suitably revised so as NOT to require a referendum. This did not happen.

 (3) when the then Parliament decided to retain the original provisions and delete one of the two requirements needed to make the Bill legal, it acted arbitrarily and in violation of the determinations of the Supreme Court.

 What is ironic is that to this day the very provisions namely 154G (2) (b) and (3) (b) that 5 Judges of the then Supreme Court determined qualified for a 2/3 majority and a referendum remain totally intact in its original form. In short, the then Parliament failed to realize that in the instance when one or more Provincial Councils do not agree, two conditions need to be satisfied for the Bill to be legal, namely a 2/3 majority and a referendum. The fact that the then Parliament arbitrarily altered one of the above qualifications without altering the provisions make the Bill unconstitutional and therefore illegal. The consequence of Parliament’s action is that in the event a majority of Provincial Councils oppose a Bill, Parliament could pass it with a 2/3 majority in complete disregard to the will of the provincially elected representatives of the People. This is a grave injustice. The inclusion of an additional measure of a referendum by the People was indubitably to prevent their sovereignty being violated.

 Notwithstanding all of the above, these issues cannot be raised at this point in time since the Constitution does not permit judicial review outside a defined period. This is categorically stated in Article 80 (3) of the Constitution. This Article states: “Where a Bill becomes law upon the certificate of the President or the Speaker, as the case may be, being endorsed thereon, no court or tribunal shall inquire into, pronounce upon or in any manner call into question, the validity of such Act on any ground whatsoever”. This Article prevents anyone challenging the legality of the 13A. However, since Article 4 of the Constitution grants both Legislative and Judicial powers of the People to Parliament it should be possible for Parliament to grant the Supreme Court the authority to re-visit the legality of the 13A. Such an opportunity would give the People the opportunity to redress a long felt grievance as to the legality of how they are governed.

 The front advocating the repeal of 13A could garner considerable support if the trajectories of an alternative are outlined. To repeal 13A without an alternative would be to create an administrative vacuum and those currently associated with Provincial Councils would be in limbo. However, considering the diversity of opinions expressed by way of alternatives to 13A it would be unrealistic to expect a meaningful alternative to evolve through public debate or group discussions. Under the circumstances the most appropriate venue to undertake such an exercise would be the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) appointed for this purpose. Instead of mandating such a Committee to evolve an alternative from scratch it would be more productive for Parliament to debate within a specified time frame and set the outline of the contours within which the Committee is tasked to develop the framework of the desired alternative. Since the procedure proposed would take time, an interim arrangement needs to be set in place to facilitate a smooth transition.

 Allowing the Provincial Councils to function under current provisions while the alternative is developed by the PSC is not desirable in view of all the negative aspects of 13A; the most adverse of these being Police and Land Powers. Therefore, Parliament needs to pass an interim Bill. Such a Bill could outline the contours of the preferred alternative together with the deletion of objectionable provisions in the 13A. For instance, such contours could recommend the District as the primary devolved unit with power further devolved to local governments and grass roots levels. This could be strengthened with power sharing arrangements at the center with District representation in the form of an Advisory Council to the Executive. In addition it could propose deletion of Police and Land powers together with other objectionable provisions until the alternative is worked out by the PSC. The passage of such an interim Bill would legitimize the process and the country would be aware of the broad outlines of the political arrangements to follow. Since the process would give all political parties and interested members of the public the opportunity to participate in evolving the alternative it would be a truly autochthonous exercise.

 What is attempted herein is to propose how the issue of the legality/constitutionality of 13A could be revisited and transitional arrangements could be set in place until an alternative to 13A is formulated by the PSC. Whatever procedures are adopted, the stark reality is that an opportunity has presented itself for the country to evolve a fresh political arrangement with which to consolidate its hard won peace. This is a moment that country needs to seize for the sake of this and future generations.

20 Responses to “The future of 13-A”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Everyone is playing cat and mouse with 13 amendment.

    Just scrap it!

  2. Dilrook Says:

    The then supreme court was divided on it. Then parliament also had no moral right to remain after 1982 when no parliamentary general election was held. A referendum to extend the term of the parliament was a total mockery of democracy.

    At least now the 13A should be put to a referendum to decide if it remains or goes.

    Instead of doing what is needed, the government takes on the Chief Justice. The problem is 13A not the Chief Justice or the interpretation of 13A. Supreme Court interpretation of 13A was correct in relation to the Divineguma Bill. 13A is a federal mechanism sugar-coated as unitary on the outward. Land and police powers are already with the Provincial Councils as per the 13A although they are withheld by the government.

    There is no requirement for any “interim” arrangement. I have written how District Devolution Units are more dangerous than Provincial Councils. A Parliamentary Select Committee appointed for the purpose (not the same one for impeaching the Chief Justice) must come up with an appropriate decentralization scheme, if Divineguma Units are not sufficient. If public debate is not going anywhere, that itself points to a solution! It translates to a loud “no” from the people which must be accepted by all.

    Government plan is to tweak 13A and keep it on top of Divineguma Units of decentralisation. It will be a double whammy on taxpayers. Impeachment of Chief Justice is just an eyewash and a needless own goal. Government’s stated claim of misconduct is not the reason for the impeachment. After impeachment activities started, a large number of senior judges were given the President’s Counsel title and ‘promoted’ to Supreme Court. It is not difficult to see why.

    There is no misconduct proven on the part of the Chief Justice. She is a different individual to her husband. Having a large number of bank accounts does not prove any guilt. Absurdity of the Constitution is apparent from the double standards it uses to adjudge an ordinary person and the Chief Justice. The latter is not entitled to a fair trial. A group of parliamentarians carry out an investigation and make a recommendation to the President. They are not required to follow balance of probabilities or beyond reasonable doubt principles. In all probability, they have already made up their minds and so is the President.

  3. mario_perera Says:

    The standards applied to the Chief Justice would make all who signed the motion against her, and all the ‘hands up men’ waiting gleefully to vote in its favour (and that includes the ruling family the prime movers of the motion) not only stumble, but fall headlong into the shit hole where many of them really belong. Now even stinking ‘Dr.Moron’ of Kelaniya, the sordid-eyed SOB of the regime, has openly put his worthless two-pence relating to the subject, on public display.

    The next Chief Justice should bear the title ‘Selective Justice’. The highest tribunal of the land will then be not only be what it seems to be but what it really is, a band of ‘yes men’ or ‘Con Justices’ headed by ‘Selective Justice’ (the biggest ‘con’ of all). How realistic to have a Supreme Court studded with Con-Justice X and Con-Justice Y and headed by Selective Justice Z !!

    Yesterday the former President called our society one that does not have an iota of ‘respectability’. She was spot on. Pity however that she herself did not practice what she now preaches. Were not her speeches likened at one time, to ‘Watti-Amma’ talk?

    It is easy to go with the tide. Going against it is like standing on the burning deck, an option only a few would dare take.

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  4. mjaya Says:

    The future of the 13A is the dustbin.

    BTW: Lorenzo, noticed the return of Al-Taqqiya? Now the wording has changed a lot, no quoting of scriptures, no mention of Zionist conspiracies now but the copy paste is always there.

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    Oh yes. Al-Taqqiya (dust)bin Al Aqsa is now trying to recover from the intense air assault. :))

  6. lingamAndy Says:

    Lorenzo Says:
    Everyone is playing cat and mouse with 13 amendment ! What else can do against indian super power !!!
    Lorenzo do not use any puplic transport today 27th !!!

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    The 13-A should never have had a life at all. It was dead on arrival as it was imposed under Duress and therefore null & void. It was imposed on Sri Lanka via India during the Cold War times, and grabbed by the Tamil leaders to hide their Caste Wars. The Cold War is over (1946-1991) and there is no use of any ‘divide & rule’ policy over Lanka now.

    Have both the 2/3rd of Parliament vote against it, and also an island wide Referendum, just to make no bones about the fact that the 13-A is truly rejected and dead.

    P.S. : There is a rumor that some Sharia Law courts are now operating in Sri Lanka. Is this true ?
    Also, the UNICEF has “put out a figure of 40,000 child prostitutes in Sri Lanka”. Is this true ?

  8. Fran Diaz Says:

    Answer to question “some Sharia Law courts are now operating in Sri Lanka. Is this true ?” :
    Is already there in a Lankaweb article from April 2012 :

    On The Rights of Sri Lankan Muslims
    Posted on April 25th, 2012
    By Lakpura
    Sri Lankan Muslims form around 7% of the Sri Lanka’s population. They are the second largest minority group, after the Tamils, and consist of two main groups – the Sri Lankan Moors who form the majority of Sri Lanka’s Muslims, and the Sri Lankan Malays who form a tiny minority of Sri Lanka’s Muslims. Recent events have left some commentators making sweeping claims that Muslims have no rights in Sri Lanka, that their rights are not protected by the Sri Lankan government , that they are persecuted in other parts of the world, and that “…even in Sri Lanka, can’t catch a break.” However, is this really the case? Is it an accurate reflection of the position Sri Lankan Muslims find themselves in, in Sri Lanka?

    Let us take a closer look…

    In Sri Lanka:

    – The Sri Lankan Muslim community is specially represented on the national flag by a green strip. Sri Lanka is the only non-majority Muslim country in the world to recognize its Muslim citizens on its national flag (http://tinyurl.com/7az4mwt ).

    – Muslims in Sri Lanka have complete freedom to assemble, practice their religion, build their mosques and madrassas, and propagate their religion. This freedom of religion is granted to all sects of Islam – the Sunnis, Shias, Sufis and other groups such as the Ahmadiyyas who are not recognized or are actively persecuted in several Muslim countries ( http://tinyurl.com/7ejea3n ) ( http://tinyurl.com/7yvj5fc ).

    – The Government of Sri Lanka allows in Islamic preachers such as Zakir Naik (who are banned from the Britain and Canada on account of propagating extremism), and provides them with the freedom to assemble and organize conferences in the island ( http://tinyurl.com/84cvthl )

    – The Muslims of Sri Lanka are supported by the Government of Sri Lanka through a special Department of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs which attends to their needs. This includes the the funding of several Arabic collages, paying the salary of many Madrassa teachers, and ensuring a similar syllabus is followed in the diverse Madrassas found throughout the island.

    – The Government of Sri Lanka recognises Islamic Law. Muslim Personal Law is recognised in the country’s judicial system and applies to its Muslim citizen. This includes the right of Muslim men to legally have more than one wife.

    – The Government of Sri Lanka has recognised the importance of Sharia for Muslims and has set up government-sanctioned Qazi courts in several Muslim areas to intervene in personal disputes between Muslims.

    – The Government of Sri Lanka is officially involved in organizing Muslim pilgrimages to Mecca, including the appointment of several travel agents to arrange the pilgrimage and the use of the national airline SriLankan Airlines to facilitate the pilgrimage. The Government of Sri Lanka actively engages with the Government of Saudi Arabia to increase the quota allowed for Sri Lankan Muslim pilgrims, has built a government resthouse for Sri Lankan Muslim pilgrims and subsidies the pilgrimage itself ( http://tinyurl.com/7bh5g9p )

    – The Government of Sri Lanka sponsors several daily Islamic programs, both on national television and on national radio ( http://tinyurl.com/7s4ulze )

    – Muslims employed at Sri Lankan Government Institutions are allowed to leave work for Friday prayers. During Ramazan, the Government of Sri Lanka officially requests all private institutions in the island to afford this privilege to their Muslim workers as well ( http://tinyurl.com/7atqxuk ) and to provide salary advances.

    – During the entire period of Ramazan, the Government of Sri Lanka officially broadcasts the Azan on national television and on national radio ( http://tinyurl.com/764zarz ) and organizes Ifthar ceremonies with its Muslim members of parliament.

    – All mosques in Sri Lanka have the right to broadcast the Azan over loud speakers 365 days a year, even in areas where the majority of the residents are non-Muslims. During Ramazan, this right is extended past midnight.

    – Muslims in Sri Lanka have the right to slaughter animals publicly, without licence, in the streets or in their backyards in accordance with their religious duty during Eid Ul Adha (the festival of sacrifice), despite objection from some non-Muslims.

    – The Government of Sri Lanka’s official newspaper The Daily News affords a special section for Islam on its Monday edition ( http://tinyurl.com/896xg9a )

    – The Government of Sri Lanka funds and runs several Islamic Government Schools, and provides to all Muslim students studying in other national schools the option of choosing Islam as their subject for Religion. It funds the curriculum and the printing of free textbooks on Islam for Muslim students.

    – The Government of Sri Lanka affords national holidays to the following days that are holy to the Muslims: Milad un-Nabi (Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad), Eid ul-Fitr, Eid al-Adha. This is more national holidays for Islam than is accorded by Saudi Arabia.

    – The Muslims have their own political parties which take part in elections such as the SLMC (Sri Lanka Muslim Congress), and he ACMC (All Ceylon Muslim Congress) as well as many politicians in the two major political parties in the island, the SLFP (Sri Lanka Freedom Party) and the United National Party (UNP). Muslim parties have been a part of successive Sri Lankan governments, and in the past have been king makers on several occasions.

    – Several Muslim politicians have been voted into power from areas that have an overwhelmingly Sinhalese majority.

    – The Government of Sri Lanka provides free cloth to school going Muslim girls so that they can wear a hijab if they so wish. This is in recognition of their religious obligations ( http://tinyurl.com/8ymokvg ) . Followers of other religions are not provided with this benefit.

    – The Government of Sri Lanka officially recognizes Sharia/Islamic Banking and has incorporated this as a legitimate banking means into its national banking structure.

    – Muslim men are allowed to wear the skull cap, and Muslim women are allowed to wear the hijab in photos for the national identity card in respect of their religious injunctions ( http://tinyurl.com/7snxtgj ). Non Muslims are disallowed from having any embellishments.

    – Muslim men and women are free to wear their religious clothing in public and as employees in all Government Institutions. Their right to wear religious clothing at government institutions has been supported by the Sri Lankan courts.

    – The Government of Sri Lanka provides special identity cards for members of the Muslim clergy to facilitate their travel through security checkpoints and ensure they receive government subsidies

    – The Government of Sri Lanka has opened a Department of Arabic & Islamic Civilization in almost all national universities to provide information on Islamic and Arabic culture both to Sri Lankan and foreign students.

    – The Government of Sri Lanka closely supports the right of the Palestinian people to an independent state. The current Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rakapaksa is the founder of the Sri Lanka Palestinian Friendship Association.

    – Muslim owned businesses flourish in Sri Lanka, and are largely patronized by non-Muslims. The Sri Lankan Muslims play a central role in the country’s economy and business and are renowned for their acumen in this area.

    – All pork-based medicines are not imported into the country by the Government of Sri Lanka,and are banned in government hospitals because they are not compatible with Islamic belief. This is despite the fact that often the non-pork based medicines are more expensive and the vast majority of patients are non-Muslims.

    – The Government of Sri Lanka officially recognizes the Halal label and liaises with the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama for certification.

    – The Muslims of Sri Lanka have a long history of peaceful co-existence with the majority Buddhists, since the arrival of the Islam to the island many centuries ago. Muslims fought against the colonials and were provided refuge by Buddhist kings in Central Sri Lanka when they were persecuted by the Portuguese in the maritime provinces. Muslims were provided land in Eastern Sri Lanka where they could live without persecution from the colonials. This relationship continues today with Buddhist monks actively involved in organizing Islamic classes for wayward Muslim children ( http://tinyurl.com/88ogawo ), and in the past Buddhist temples like the Ridi Vihara have donate land for the construction of a mosque ( http://tinyurl.com/7zb9pxk ) and supported the education of Muslim children.

    – Sinhalese Buddhist researchers like Dr Lorna Dewaraja have spent great time and effort documenting the peaceful history between the Buddhists and Muslims of Sri Lanka ( http://tinyurl.com/7bndb3m )

    – Buddhist sacred spaces such as Kataragama and Sri Pada provide space for Islam, especially Sufism (http://tinyurl.com/7wzxrkz )

    As can be seen, Sri Lanka looks after the collective and individual rights of Sri Lankan Muslims quite appreciably.

  9. Lorenzo Says:

    “There is a rumor that some Sharia Law courts are now operating in Sri Lanka. Is this true ?”

    Yes. It is well known. Sharia Law courts decided to slash some Muslim women for adultery (Gurunegala) and some Muslim girls for using Facebook (Kathankudi). They also decided to kill a Muslim school girl for having an affair with a Christian boy (Amparei) and kill a police officer (Puttlam). They also do peaceful things.

    “Also, the UNICEF has “put out a figure of 40,000 child prostitutes in Sri Lanka”. Is this true ?”

    No. Now UNICEF has nothing to do in SL after the war. They want to create some new “projects”.

  10. Lorenzo Says:

    Dilrook and Mario,

    I disagree.

    CJ has committed some SHADY acts. She MUST account for them.

    CJ is NOT above the law. People cannot appoint CJ but people elects the MPs who judge the CJ. We need to have some patience. As long as SB is the CJ, there is no chance of scrapping 13 amendment.

  11. Fran Diaz Says:

    Lorenzo,

    Thanks.

    ————

    Although not strictly a part of the 13-A as such, child abuse has to be addressed.

    Here are some figures re child prostitution (from Wikipedia). In this particular article, it says that UNICEF & the ILO both agree with the figure of 40,000. Note please that 40,000 is the number of civilians dead from the ltte ‘Human Shield’ in the last few days of the final war. What is it about Sri Lanka, and the number 40,000 with the International fora !

    This is an unpleasant topic to be sure, but we would like to get to the bottom of all this. From which community mainly are these poor young souls coming from in Sri Lanka ? What figures are we to trust, if not those of the UN ? Is Sri Lanka authorities carrying out their own research on such topics ? Why isn’t there a Socio-Economic research centre for the
    Sinhale carrying out such research – aren’t the children of this country the future citizens of Lanka ?

    Asia
    In Cambodia, it has been estimated that about a third of all prostitutes are under 18.[5]
    In India, the federal police say that around 1.2 million children are believed to be involved in prostitution.[6] A CBI statement said that studies and surveys sponsored by the ministry of women and child development estimated that about 40% of all India’s prostitutes are children.[6]
    An article in the Gulf Times revealed a major sex trade in mostly Nepalese boys who were lured to India and sold to brothels in Mumbai, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Lucknow and Gorakhpur. One victim was lured from Nepal at the age of 14, sold into slavery, locked up, beaten, starved and forcibly circumcised. He reported that he was held in a brothel with 40 to 50 other boys, many of whom were castrated. He escaped and made his way back to Nepal. Two Non Government Organisations, one that work with homosexuals in Nepal, and one that works to rescue and rehabilitate trafficked women and children were co-operating to help these boys.[7]
    In Indonesia, UNICEF estimates that 30% of the female prostitutes are below 18.[8]
    In Sri Lanka, there are nearly 40,000 child prostitutes, according to UNICEF and ILO.[9]
    In the Philippines, there are 60,000 to 100,000 prostituted children, according to UNICEF and non-governmental organisations.[10]
    In Nepal, according to research conducted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) on 440 prostitutes from Kathmandu, approximately 30% of them were found to be children.[11]
    In Bangladesh, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimated in 2004 that there were 10,000 underage girls used in commercial sexual exploitation in the country, but other estimates placed the figure as high as 29,000.[12]
    There are estimated to be at least 70,000 prostitutes in Vietnam, and 20,000 of these are children.[13]
    In Afghanistan, Bacha Bazi is a form of child prostitution employed by Afghan warlords where small boys are regularly bought and sold into sexual slavery.

  12. Fran Diaz Says:

    This is why I sent in a comment to these columns earlier on another related topic that the UNFPA has made it a Human Right that women have free access to birth control material. Rather than have unwanted children who are poverty stricken and who end up as child prostitutes, it is far better to give free birth control material to women in the developing world. It is HUMAN RIGHT OF THE FIRST ORDER TO PREVENT UNWANTED PREGNANCIES & UNWANTED CHILDREN. It would be the hallmark of a civilised society to provide such free access to birth control material, at least for women. It is also preventive care against the Aids disease, which is widespread in India.

    Children are not pieces of flesh to be bought and sold. They are our future citizens and must be cared for and loved.

  13. Lorenzo Says:

    Absolutely. ZERO TOLERANCE of this dirt.

    STRANGELY the 40,000 figure comes close to the number of children from Tamil Mahaveer families!! 89,000 Tamil Mahaveer widows and 40,000 Tamil Mahaveer family children (<18).

    This is part of a bigger plan. Then they will say the missionaries are saving them and sell other children!!

  14. mario_perera Says:

    Dear Lorenzo,

    Thank you for your candid comments that always go to the heart of the matter in question.

    The principal issue here (as regards the CJ’s misconduct) is about ‘the right of the kettle to call the pot black’. It is said that in the country of the blind, the one-eyed is king. But in this particular case ‘the blind are showing the one-eyed the way!

    The CJ is made to appear before a higher court. The CJ is not above the law for sure. But what about her judges? The CJ, it is argued is the highest reference for Justice in this country. Now she is being tried by a still higher reference, the parliamentary panel. The CJ is being depicted as being daubed with mud. But her judges, the ones of the higher court,the parliamentarian justices, are covered with a substance that stinks more than mud.

    Misconduct refers principally to moral turpitude. If this is so, the parliamentary justice are submerged in immorality. Where is the morality behind this issue? ‘Medice cura teipsum’ (physician cure thyself) is very appropriate in this circumstance. What when doctors with communicable diseases take to treating patients… When the word ‘misconduct’ is applied to the CJ, it becomes a serious matter, almost one of life and death. But when her judges are shown to be wallowing in misconduct, it is treated as a public JOKE. The day in day out misconduct crying to the heavens for vengeance is that of the hooligan from Kelaniya while his peers stand not only helpless but totally supportive, being of the same breed.

    Emperors without clothes are teaching others how to dress. The public lesson dished out to the gullible is that ‘there can be no legality without morality but there can be immorality without legality’. The CJ’s impeachment is a box office draw on this subject.

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  15. Lorenzo Says:

    Dear Mario,

    Makes perfect sense.

    ‘Medice cura teipsum’
    I can’t disagree with this. No one can. The 118 includes Mervin, Wimal, SBD, etc. who are not clean.

    Our whole system needs restructure.

    With all due respect to all, shall we please start with the CJ?

  16. mario_perera Says:

    Dear Lorenzo,

    “With all due respect to all, shall we please start with the CJ?”.

    You and I are ‘outsiders’ to this issue. We start nothing, and we end nothing. We are only exercising our democratic rights as citizens o express our opinions. You say ‘shall we start with the CJ?’. Formerly the CJ was ONE. He was literally the CHIEF Justice. There were no doubt threats of impeachment against the one or the other, but they remained threats for one or other reason. In this particular case, judges have been appointed to judge the CHIEF Justice. This puts in question the word ‘CHIEF’. Realistically speaking we have now concretely (previously it was mere theory) been taught that there are CHIEF JUSTICES above the so called Chief Justice. So it is reasonable and quite rational that we start with the CHIEF JUSTICES. It is therefore quite appropriate that matters relevant to THEIR integrity be probed into first, before they stand in judgment against the accused nominal chief justice.

    Once again returning to your statement: shall we start with the CJ? I must say that you and I have no practical issue against her. There was never a Lorenzo vs Perera case pending before her! The issue cropped up as a result of a difference between her and the ruling clan. Prior to that everything was tikety-poo and plain sailing. So this act of the MR clan is NOT one on principle but an action ‘ad hominem’, a pure vindictive measure.

    Going down memory lane, Dr.SB was taken from her chair in the law faculty and placed on the Supreme Court Bench. By whom? By the then Minister of Justice of the CBK government, no other than Prof.G.L.Peiris. I remember there was a big uproar by the bar at this appointment. Then she was appointed Chief Justice. By whom? By President Mahinda Rajapakse. I know that in the USA there are several committees appointed to enquire into the integrity of persons appointed to the Supreme Court, and especially to the post of Chief Justice. Here it all happens by the stroke of a pen.
    Indeed in this country ‘the pen is really mightier than the sword’!

    President MR appointed as Chief Justice a lady who had previously been appointed S.C.Justice by his predecessor CBK on the strong recommendation of a person who was then Minister of Justice and who is now Minister of Foreign Affairs. Up to now everything ‘seems ‘ well in the best of worlds. At that time no one cared to look into bank accounts or similar improprieties. They did not count, so how could one care? So is the case with ALL government appointments to high posts. Things go wrong when the relationship between appointer and appointee go wrong.

    Now when did they begin to count? When the CJ took a stand against a Government Bill. It was then that hell’s fury was unleashed. It was only then that the idea came of looking under her table. The conclusion arrived at from findings made under the table is that she is not suitable to continue as Chief Justice. In her case what should have been done before was deemed fit to be done after. This should serve as a lesson, though very late in the day, for the appointment of future justices and chief justices. This lesson should be applied forthwith to the parliamentary panel now sitting in judgment over her. Only so can justice really be done. The principle applied as regards the impeachment is: set a crook (crooks in this case) to nab a crook.

    The entire outlook and procedure as regards this impeachment is hypocritical and flawed. It is very obvious to any neutral observer that what is taking place is a ‘personal vendetta’.

    Much is said about the sovereignty people. We know through experience that the so called sovereignty of the people is pure foam without substance. People, the men on the street, are swayed by day to day needs than by political theories and principles. Once in power successive governments care two hoots for the sovereignty of the people. Is it because the people are sovereign that drug and vice traffickers sit on parliamentary benches? Eject or jumper seat occupiers of present day parliaments, do they stand for the sovereignty of the people. No need to fool ourselves with such pompous arguments. Once elected the people’s sovereignty is conveniently thrown into the garbage pit. How many presidents were elected on the promise given to the ‘sovereign electorate’ that the executive presidency would be abolished? What happened there after. Such exalted ideas are instruments of knaves to make a trap for fools.

    Let us face the impeachment issue fair and square. There is absolutely no involvement of the sovereignty of the people here. Just a CAPRICE of the ruling family and its cohorts of con-men.

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  17. Lorenzo Says:

    Dear Mario,

    You have explained it well.

    There is another connected development.

    “Rule of Law Index 2012” INDEPENDENT INDEX ranks SL ABOVE ALL other south Asian countries!!

    SL ranks 47 out of 97 in access to justice.

    SL has the BEST rule of law situation in south Asia in 2012. Of course we can and we MUST improve. Aim higher than this underdeveloped region.

    Lets hope SL RETAINS it in 2013.

  18. Lorenzo Says:

    Mario, thanks for taking the time to respond.

  19. mario_perera Says:

    Dear Lorenzo,

    It is I who must thank you for enlightening me on so many issues.

    With gratitude

    Mario

  20. lingamAndy Says:

    Mario Perera Kadawata
    Just a CAPRICE of the ruling family and its cohorts of con-men.- Any way out from this family ???

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