Judiciary cannot usurp powers of the Legislature – Aluthgamage-CJ should bow before the law:
Posted on January 9th, 2013

Ridma Dissanayake-Courtesy The Daily News 

The government is following a very democratic procedure in its investigations into the impeachment charges brought against Chief Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayake, Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said.

Several parties are trying to portray the impeachment as a challenge posed to the independence of the Judiciary and thereafter they say it would cause a conflict between the Legislature and the Judiciary, he said.

“They also say it will harm the country’s stability,” the minister said.

Those opposing this impeachment are the very persons who supported the LTTE to divide the country, in collaboration with local and international forces arrayed against Sri Lanka, the minister said.

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP M Sumanthiran who represented the LTTE in Parliament and Neelakanthan and Neelakanthan Associates who appeared for the LTTE, when they were taken into custody, are the persons who are today talking against the impeachment motion brought against the Chief Justice. These elements are all out to undermine the stability of the country with the assistance of several forces, he said.

Addressing a press briefing at the Mahaweli Centre yesterday, Minister Aluthgamage said: “As a government and the ruling party of the country, we are against the involvement of the Judiciary in the affairs of the legislature.

“The Opposition UNP also does not approve interference by the judiciary in matters concerning Parliament. All major political parties speak with one voice on the matter. It is only bankrupt political parties who are clamouring to change this procedure.”

The minister said for three decades, the LTTE was trying to divide the country.

“But with the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, his government and the dedication of War Heroes, they failed to achieve their goal. The Forces acting against the country allowed peace to last only for three years. They are now back to their old ways trying to bring instability to the country with the help of international forces hostile to Sri Lanka,” he said. The Judiciary has no power to usurp the power of the legislature.

The Chief Justice should understand that. The legislature represents the people’s sovereignty. Dr Bandaranayake is only a government employee. Hence, she should bow down to the law of the country, the minister said.

Ports and Highways Deputy Minister Rohitha Abeygunawadena said the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) was not a court but only an investigative body.

“It only conducted investigations into the complaints against the Chief Justice,” he said.

“All parties who believe in the President and his government are looking forward to see how the President solves this issue. They are confident that President Rajapaksa will solve this matter in the most appropriate way as he dealt with the LTTE,” the deputy minister said.

MP Thilanga Sumathipala said President Mahinda Rajapaksa has the supreme power to remove the Chief Justice from her post through his own decision.

“But he did not do so, but allowed for the democratic procedure to take its course. This was done in a a transparent way. We are a law abiding government and we believe in the rule of law. But the path followed by Chief Justice Bandaranayake is unbecoming of person of her stature,” the MP said.

He said arrangements have been made to debate this issue in Parliament. Sumathipala said all 225 Parliamentarians will get the opportunity to vote on this issue and it will decide if the Chief Justice is innocent or not.

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