Posted on January 7th, 2013

Chaminda PERERACourtesy The Daily News 

* Constitution clear on the matter

* Walk-out rumours false

Parliament will debate the Parliamentary Select Committee report that probed the charges against Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake on January 10 and 11, and the vote will be taken after 6 p.m. on January 11th.

Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that a majority of party leaders have agreed to hold the debate on January 10 and 11.

Speaking at an SLFP press conference at the Mahaweli Centre yesterday, Minister Sirisena said no party representative walked out of the meeting, contrary to rumours to that effect.

Scoffing at the various media reports that Opposition leaders walked out of the Party Leaders’ meeting, the minister said representatives of all political parties dispersed together at the meeting’s conclusion.

Nowhere even in the Supreme Court judgment was it stated that Parliament should not debate the PSC report, Public Administration Minister W. D. J. Seneviratne added. The Constitution has clearly pointed out the procedure to be followed by Parliament for removal of judges of the Superior Court and Parliament has followed this constitutional process. Addressing the press conference at the Mahaweli Centre yesterday, Minister Seneviratne said that the Legislature has followed this procedure earlier too, under Standing Orders.

He insisted that this type of procedure can be adopted by Parliament only as per Standing Orders. Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena asked to what extent people consider the Supreme Court ruling to be ethical and justifiable when the Supreme Court itself is a stakeholder in the matter.

He added that the Supreme Court has the exclusive right to interpret the Constitution when a problem arose. He said that the judiciaries of many countries stay away from matters when it becomes a stakeholder in the issues at hand, and gives room to the legislature to find a solution.

The minister said the Legislature in which the people’s sovereignty lies is allowed in such instances to arrive at a solution on its own. The minister insisted that Parliament is the supreme institution representing the people’s sovereignty and the procedure followed by Parliament is in conformity with the Constitution.

He said the SLFP is working towards the protection of the supreme power of the Legislature while protecting the independence of judiciary.

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