A reply to the Editor of “ Ceylon Today” on his Requiem for Justice.
Posted on December 11th, 2012

By Charles.S.Perera

The Editor of the Ceylon Today wrote on the 9 December, 2012, a Requiem for Justice.  But he  made  a mistake .  The Justice in Sri Lanka is still alive and vibrant.  The Ceylon Today is already an outmoded journal with its name itself being an indication of trying to bring back some thing which is no more- “Ceylon”.

What is dead like a Dodo is an independent  national  media in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka should have a national media to defend  it against the  rapacious West which is prowling like a beast of prey  to divide Sri Lanka,  make it poor, and dependent on the rich nations of the West. Nonetheless, Sri Lanka which  takes life afresh  from the attacks of  its antagonist, is like the mythical Phoenix  capable of rising even if it is reduced to ash. So do not write requiems for what is still not dead.

The dead are those men and women in black cloaks who are there  to defend the  Justice they practice as a profession without making it a means  to make unjust benefits in the name of Justice. The Requiem should have been for them.

In the Requiem for Justice,  Ceylon Today states, “”¦. with the lop sided Parliamentary Select Committee, devoid of any neutrality, probity or decency,  finding the Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, guilty of three of the five charges that were probed. This is deemed sufficient cause for impeachment.”

The Editor of  Ceylon Today is completely ignorant what is an  Impeachment, how it works , and how it arrives at a conclusion.  Ceylon today speaks as a defender of  the Impeached Shiranee Bandaranayaka and not  as an independent national  electronic news paper, informing  a public of the results of an inquiry into charges against a Chief Justice, and finding her guilty of certain financial transactions.

The Editor of Ceylon Today cannot sit on  judgement of an Impeachment already inquired into by a democratically elected Parliamentary Select Committee following the age old Parliamentary traditions of old democracies.

How such traditions could be called  lopsided is known only to the Editor blinded by his devotion to an impeached Chief Justice.  The Parliament of Sri Lanka had appointed a Select Committee according to the Constitution.  The members of it were Parliamentarians elected by the people.  Four of them leaving the Committee for personal reasons abandoning their responsibility to carry out  the duties they had been called upon to perform by the Parliament, do not still make that Parliamentary Select Committee  lopsided.

As pointed out the Members of the Select Committee who are Members of  Parliament appointed by the people cannot be accused as , “”¦. devoid of any neutrality, probity or decency”, unless it is a means to derogate the members of the Parliamentary Select Committee  to defend the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayaka  found guilty of three charges in  the Impeachment Motion.

The Select Committee has presented its report to the Speaker and the speaker has  stated that it will be presented to the Parliament for a debate.  Therefore there is no reason for the Editor of the Ceylon Today to  jump to conclusions and write requiems.

The Editor gives as reasons for his Requiem, ” “¦.. the calculated nature of the whole process, the verdict shouldn’t have really come as a surprise. With the seven/four composition of the PSC, “ƒ”¹…”guilty’ was a given.  But the unholy haste with which the verdict was arrived at, especially in the backdrop of the high octane dissent, displayed by the so called, chief accused and the “ƒ”¹…”independent’ segment in the PSC, which saw both parties stage a “ƒ”¹…”walk out’, does compel one to pen a requiem for justice. “

Guilty or not guilty  is not dependent on the Seven/four composition of the PSC, the “unholy” haste with which the verdict was arrived at, or  in the running away of the defendant, or the walk out of the four Parliamentarians more devoted to an accused CJ rather than respect to their responsibility as Members of the Parliament.

The Chief Justice was found guilty on the evidence placed before the PSC according to which there is reason to believe that CJ is in fact guilty.  But her walking away from the Committee  without defending herself could be interpreted as an act due to  her  “guilty” consciousness. A person who is honest and confident that  she  has not done any thing in breach of the law will stand and defend herself.  The running away without defending herself  gives the impression that she ” ran away”  as she was guilty and had no defence to offer.  In the light of that  there appears to be no reason for the Editor of Ceylon Today to write a requiem.

The unwise Editor of Ceylon Today  writes:

” For, what transpired was not justice, but a witch-hunt that gave a vindictive government what it wanted “”…” warped legitimacy to get rid of a pesky roadblock that was becoming increasingly difficult to manipulate. Witch hunts don’t require such niceties as fair trial, or due process.  And the Chief Justice certainly didn’t get any.  According to reports, she was not only not apprised of the procedure and not given time to respond to the mushrooming charges, she was also not allowed to call any witnesses nor given a list of the witnesses of the PSC.”

The Editors Requiem for Justice does not seem to haveo musical notes. The Chief Justice’s denials become “high octane dissent” then the Chief Justice becomes a” pesky road block” and the charges against her become” mushrooms”

However the Editor wriggles to defend the Chief Justice  spewing venom at the PSC. The Editor is utterly regardless of objectivity , decency of respect to institutions. The whole impeachment process  was for him ” a vindictive government’s witch hunt “. It is very high handed on the part of the Editor of a Journal in Sri Lanka to denigrate official processes of Sri Lanka carried out correctly in terms of its Constitutional, and democratically. It is unethical and abusive to the extent of being treasonable.

The devotee of the Chief Justice the Editor of Ceylon Today  goes on with his punditry in his Requiem:  ” Credit should be given to the four opposition members for identifying the witch hunt for what it is, and walking out after submitting a missive, which in essence was a virtual indictment on the PSC. The issues raised by the opposition group expose the PSC probe for what it was “”…” a farce. “

It is a pity that this man in his ” high octane” defence did not give enough thought to the procedural law  followed by the PSC , its outcome, and where it would end.  The investigation procedure of the PSC is not decisive, it is only the  phase of  verifying  the charges, call for evidence  and ascertain the validity of the charges and come to conclusions and prepare a report to be presented to the Speaker.  The speaker presents it to the Parliament for a debate. The Parliament debates  on it and  puts it to  a vote.  The vote may go against the Chief Justice or in favour, and that would be the final decision.

That is what the Editor had  failed to understand.  In that misconception he writes attacking everything in the most lowly manner like a “bull  in a China Shop”

If the Editor had understood that fundamental fact about an Impeachment ,  he would not have praised the four opposition party members  selected for the  PSC, who “empty headed” as they were, acted most disrespectfully towards the Parliamentary traditions in not conducting themselves as honourable Members of Parliament elected by the people to act as such.  In doing what they did they were  not only disrespectful to the august assembly, but also breached the trust and confidence  the people had placed on them when they voted to elect them to the Parliament.

Our Editor of the  Ceylon Today states , ” Denial of the rights and privileges guaranteed under the Constitution to, of all people, the Chief Justice of the country, is a travesty of justice and treachery of the highest order.”

Impeachment has different procedures but that does no mean that there is a denial of justice to the defendant.  There is the right of defence but the CJ Shirani Bandaranayake preferred to flee the  PSC rather than stand there and speak in defence of the charges against her.  That is no reason to run down a democratic process undertaken by the Parliament of Sri Lanka, like any other Parliament in the  world.

The Editors Requiem goes in vehemence condemning  every thing except  defending the  acts of the CJ who more or less accepted the charges by  fleeing  from the PSC without making even a  statement denying the charges against her, and defending the ignoble members of the PSC who walked  away along with her shamelessly  discourteous to democratic Parliamentary procedures which they as Members of the Parliament are  required to uphold.

The editor says, “Such an unprecedented measure to be exercised by the PSC would no doubt go down in the annals of Sri Lanka’s parliamentary history as an extremely disgraceful deed and the seven government members of the PSC would have to bear the stain of that treacherous act. “

What would  go down the” annals of history of Sri Lanka” would be the way the media in Sri Lanka had at no time come forward to write  in  defence of the  National interest rather than defending individuals against the President and a government who  brought real peace into the country after 30 years of utter suffering and  take Sri Lanka progressively forward against all threats and  barriers put before them.

The Editor condemns the procedure followed by the  PSC, stating that , ” The PSC, in fact, is a “ƒ”¹…”Grand Jury’, in the style of American Judicial System and in terms of the letter submitted by the Opposition Group of MPs in the PSC, a prima facie case had to be established prior to the “ƒ”¹…”real’ proceedings commence.”  Here too the Editor is going on misconceptions. An Impeachment Motion had been submitted to the speaker of the Parliament with 14 charges against the Chief Justice.  It was on that the PSC carried out the investigations  and came to the conclusion that she is guilty of three of the 14 charges.   The PSC had done what it had been called upon to do despite the four  Parliamentarians walking away  from the PSC to make political mileage, as the Editor himself says: “By withdrawing from the proceedings of the PSC, the Opposition MPs extricated themselves from that ignoble act of disloyalty to their electors and the Constitution.”.

That was a shame, but the political parties to which these four “traitorous” Members of the PSC belong , are in dire need of  political support and they seek cheap popularity  by attempting to “muddy “the name of the President and the Government from every situation that come their way..

The Editor uses words haphazardly to make his Requiem sound better, but they are hollow words.  He says, ” Long before the PSC began the “ƒ”¹…”Kangaroo’ proceedings, the final outcome had been decided and the seven government members told how to proceed. ”

Finally he appeals to the , ”  “¦.so-called saviours of Parliamentary Democracy, fairness and balance, rise to the occasion, show some gumption and make a strong case for justice and fair play.  For what is at stake is the slaughter of justice.”

It is strange  this  pleading of a media to do justice and fair play in  defending  a Chief Justice  who on the face of the charges brought against her has been found guilty.  The Sri  Lanka Media has a better cause to defend and that is the progress and development of the country which cannot be denied from what Sri Lanka has achieved  shortly after the end of  a long thirty years of terrorism, poverty and meanly treatment by the West.  There may be money in attacking the government , but the country wants patriots who will defend the country and keep away the enemies who are aiming to make Sri Lanka another Libya, Syria, or an Egypt.

This reply to the Editor of Ceylon Today is suffice to answer  the JVP member of the PSC Vijitha Herath disrespectful  to the office he holds as the Member of the Parliament, and displaying his immaturity of understanding the need  to keep the secrecy of procedure that was not open to the public, had said  that the report submitted by the Chairman of the PSC was a “lie”

And also to Tilvin Silva of the JVP who said the report  presented to the Parliament was prepared by the “Royal Family”. These statements of Vijitha Herath and Tiulvin Silva need no comments as they  have perfected the art of lying  to hide facts to suit their anti-government Agenda, hoping being what they are they will be popular with the masses !!!

11 Responses to “A reply to the Editor of “ Ceylon Today” on his Requiem for Justice.”

  1. Marco Says:

    Oh dear!
    The President wants to appoint an “independent” panel to review the PSC report

  2. Marco Says:

    Mr Editor – i dont blame you not publishing my comments

  3. A. Sooriarachi Says:

    With all these serious allegations, if impeachment of the C J is blocked or discredited, then justice is denied to the citizens of the country.

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    Here is write up on the newspaper “Ceylon Today” extracted from the internet. Nowadays when people use the word ‘Ceylon’ for things other than Tea (Ceylon Tea being the accepted word for trade purposes), and some other trade items, we do not feel comfortable. as there are strong odors of neo-colonial attitudes associated with such terms.

    “Ceylon Today”
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Type Daily newspaper
    Owner Tiran Alles
    Publisher Ceylon Newspapers (Private) Limited
    Editor Hana Ibrahim (earlier)
    Founded 18 November 2011
    Language English
    Headquarters 101 Rosmead Place, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka
    Sister newspapers Mawbima
    Official website http://www.ceylontoday.lk
    Ceylon Today is an English language Sri Lankan daily newspaper published by Ceylon Newspapers (Private) Limited. It was founded in 2011 and is published from Colombo. Its sister newspaper is the Mawbima. Ceylon Newspapers (Private) Limited is owned by politician Tiran Alles.[1] The first edition being published on 18 November 2011.[2]
    Editor in chief Lalith Allahakkoon was sacked on 13 June 2012.[3] His replacement was Hana Ibrahim. Ibrahim was a trusteethe of the Free Media Movement (FMM) and tried to prevent the FMM from reacting to Allahakkoon’s sacking.[4] Ibrahim later resigned from the FMM”.

    Since some of the westernised Colombo folk have got involved in this latest fracas in Sri Lanka, some of their Colombo friends are rushing in to help. In a Democracy, Justice must be done and must seen to be done by the masses of Sri Lanka. In a Democratic country, the Law of the Land must be seen as applied equally to all, or it is not a Democracy. It is “We the People” that matter. It is time we cleaned up our Democratic Institutions, if Democracy is to win the day here. Or “Ceylon Today” will have to write a ‘Requiem to Democracy’.

  5. Fran Diaz Says:

    Correcting an error: please delete word ‘earlier’ against name Hana Ibrahim.

  6. Dham Says:

    What happened to 13A rush ?

  7. Kit Athul Says:

    As always, Charles comes out with relavet logic. Let’s begnin with who owns the website “Ceylon Today” ? Ranil’s uncle, an old man one foot in the grave. The Sinhala version is called “Lakbima or Maubima” Nothing gets published without Dr. Jayalath Jayawardens ok it.But clearly this websites are fully funded by Indian RAW. I live in US so I have no way of proving that the websites are owned by RAW. The word CEYLON has to be propergated so, because if MR government is toppled then. Tamil Nadu Tamils wants to change name to CEYLON and rewrite the constituton as the British had it before. (Do INDIAN RAW live in a imaginary world? I do not know).

    Marco, it is a waste or time putting comments to the website Ceylon Today. Sit and think for a littel while! next, now every one is focused on the the Judiciary. this is because since PRAMADASE impeachment there were no such activity. Are you old enough to remember? If it was Pramadase not MR, then by this time he would have killed at least three people. Throwing trash at MR is the norm today; but don’t as Charles clearly ointed out our Judiciary system is working and it is been tested to the highest level.

    Mr. Sooiarachi, do you belive that CJ and her husband are not crooks? It was published all over how they manupulated the bank accounts? Anti MR statements will not solve this puzzle

  8. Marco Says:

    If you read most of the Editorials in the past few days, they were not dissimilar except for Daily News.
    It now appears that our President has “second thought” of the findings of the PSC and even questioning the 117 MP’s who signed the Impeachment order.

  9. Marco Says:

    Kit Athul- i’m old enough to remember Uncle Dudley

  10. Fran Diaz Says:

    Yes, what happened to the 13-A debate ?

    Bread & Big Circuses have overtaken it ?

  11. Kit Athul Says:

    Fran Diaz, thanks for the ownership details of Ceylon Today. Marco, thanks for your answer. I know you are an experience person. Now how killed the 13th A RUSH? Might be MR himself??

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