QC Geoffrey Robertson you have got your facts wrong.
Posted on March 2nd, 2013

By Charles S. Perera

Geoffrey Robertson, you are a well known lawyer, but you are way off the mark in your defending Shirani Bandaranayake the impeached Chief Justice of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is being discredited and vilified in Geneva in view of a resolution USA is supposed to move against Sri Lanka at the UNHRCouncil for reasons, other than your blind defence of an Impeached Chief Justice.

The persons at the helm of the Sri Lanka bashing are mostly persons who have no first hand knowledge of ground reality during the Sri Lanka’s war against terrorists. They act on third party nformation from the expatriate Tamil Terrorist Front Organisations. Is it worth for a leading QC to get involved with supporters of terrorists and tarnish his image, even if he had been well paid for his intervention ?

You have been roped in by the Human Rights activists for your credentials as a Human Rights lawyer. The Human Rights watch and Amnesty International and rest of the horn blowers against Sri Lanka are sponsored by the expatriate Tamil Terrorist Front Organisations in the West.

It is a pity you jumped into the fray without ascertaining basic facts about Sri Lanka atleast from those who visited Sri Lanka to see for themselves what had taken place, such as the Australian Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison and opposition justice, customs and border protection spokesman Michael Keenan.

A prominent lawyer should not jump to conclusions on hearsay evidence. The government of Sri Lanka cannot be accused of undermining the rule of law without even having heard what the government has to say. It does not speak well for you Queens Counsel Geoffrey Robertson.

The information you had been fed with is utterly false. It was reported that you were saying, ” “fabricated charges” against Ms Bandaranayake were heard by government ministers in a secret star chamber with witnesses bullied and browbeaten.”

All that is nonsense , there was no ” secret star chamber” . The Impeachment was heard in the Parliament by a Parliamentary Select Committee. The witnesses were Judges and lawyers and they were not at all bullied. It is ridiculous to have made such statements by a lawyer of your standing who had been duped by people unaware of what had really taken place.

You have made damning statements against Sri Lanka which had acted in terms of the law and followed a well defined democratic process.

I am a Barrister at Law, qualified in Constitutional Law, I can therefore speak on what had actually happened. It is surprising to hear you make all those charges, on an incomplete brief provided to you by a group of people intent to discredit and accuse the Government of Sri Lanka which eliminated a ruthless group of terrorists that terrorised the country for thirty years massacring men women and children, using human suicide bombs to kill a President of Sri Lanka, a well known Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar , Many Ministers, Officers of the Security forces and even a Prime Minister of India.

You may perhaps be influenced by the Prime Minster of Canada Stephen Harper who also wants the Commonwealth Leaders to boycott the meeting in Sri Lanka. In case of Stephen Harper , he being a politician his “foolish” statement could be understood as, Canada has a large number of expatriate Tamils and is a coveted vote bank.

Harper himself is also guilty of violation of the Human rights of the aborigine Canadians who are still kept in reservations without abrogating a racist Indian Act of 1876 despite their demand.

But similar sentiments coming from you cannot be understood as you are not a politician but a “prominent” lawyer and a QC .

I will explain to you the case of the Impeached Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranaya on which you have precipitated into action making statements not in keeping with your status. They only tarnish your good image of a “prominent lawyer”.

This explanation from a confrere I am sure you can accept as the truth, unlike the hearsay evidence with which you had been briefed on the issue. Even the Colombo Telegraph which carried your Statement on the 23 February, 2013, is a web-journal strongly against the Sri Lanka Government, and well known to publish articles without verifying their contents as long as they are against the Sri Lanka Government.

A Chief Justice cannot be brought before a court accused of criminal charges. Sri Lanka is not what is called a “banana State” with half educated people in prominent places. Sri Lanka is a country with a 95 % literacy. We have very highly educated people and respected professionals of world Standard. Our lawyers are well qualified and one of them was for a long period of time a Vice President of the International Court of Justice in Hague. He is now a resident of Australia.

Therefore, you should not speak rashly of a people and a country as you have done. Now let us take the case of the Impeachment of the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake.

An Impeachment Motion signed by 117 members of the Parliament of Sri Lanka was handed over to the Speaker of the Parliament. It contained 14 charges against her. The speaker appointed a Parliamentary Select Committee of 11 members in terms of the Parliamentary Standing Orders, to inquire into the charges.

The Chief Justice with her lawyers appeared before the PSC. At the last hearing the CJ Shirani Bandaranayake walked away from the PSC with her lawyers refusing to defend herself. The PSC found her guilty of three first charges and therefore did not proceed with the rest of the charges and submitted its report to the Speaker of the House.

The Speaker on the receipt of the report of the PSC on the Impeachment Motion, kept it for the required cooling off period of one month. Thereafter the report was debated in the Parliament for two days. It was passed by a majority of 155 voting for, and 49 against it. Thereafter the report was addressed to the President who accepted it. And she was removed from the office of Chief Justice. The former Attorney General has since been appointed as the Chief Justice.

As you know an Impeachment is a democratic constitutional process. It is political and not legal. In fact the Parliament could have either consulted the Supreme court OR by standing Orders of the Parliament by the appointment of a Parliamentary Select Committee to here the charges against the Chief Justice in the Impeachment motion. The Parliament followed the latter procedure which was constitutionally quite in order.

 

The Parliament strictly followed the Article 107 (3) of the Constitution for an Impeachment of a Chief Justice.

The relevant article 107 of the Constitution reads:

Appointment and removal of Judges of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.

107. (1) The Chief Justice, the President of the Court of Appeal and every other Judge, of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal shall be appointed by the President of the Republic by warrant under his hand.

(2) Every such Judge shall hold office during good behaviour, and shall not be removed except by an order of the President made after an address of Parliament supported by a majority of the total number of Members of Parliament (including those not present) has been presented to the President for such removal on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity :

Provided that no resolution for the presentation of such an address shall be entertained by the Speaker or placed on the Order Paper of Parliament, unless notice of such resolution is signed by not less than one-third of the total number of Members of Parliament and sets out full particulars of the alleged misbehaviour or incapacity.

(3) Parliament shall by law or by Standing Orders provide for all matters relating to the presentation of such an address, including the procedure for the passing of a such resolution, the investigation and proof of the alleged misbehaviour or incapacity and the right of such Judge to appear and to be heard in person or by representative.

Now you have the complete picture and you could not have, speaking true to your heart said as it was reported , “the Sri Lankan government’s treatment of the judge “undermines the rule of law to such an extent that the country which suffers it will suffer the loss of that independent power which is essential to make democracy work”.

The Impeachment motion had been proceeded according to the Constitution and nobody least of all an eminent QC like you could have, being honest to yourself, pointed your finger and accuse the Government of Sri Lanka and say:

“Governments which respect the rule of law should not attend, Nor should the Queen or any royal family member provide a photo-opportunity for President Mahinda Rajapaksa. “Royal seals of approval serve the propaganda interests of people like this and no-shows by powerful nations would signal the unacceptability of their behaviour.”

Sri Lanka is not the only country that had Impeached a Chief Justice, and there are instances of Impeachments in the House of Parliament in UK, and in USA. It is worth quoting an incident in the Impeachment procedure of Renato Corona the Chief Justice of Philippine:

 

“At one point,Chief Justice Corona of Philipines tried walk out of the proceedings, and was prevented from doing so by the Senate president, who ordered the Senate doors closed and gave him a tongue-lashing. He rolled back in a wheelchair, with an attendant at his side. One of his lawyers said he was suffering from dizziness and could not continue. The judge adjourned the proceedings, ordering Corona to return to court next Wednesday.”

If you are honourable, of which I have not the least doubt QC Geoffrey Robertson, you should write back to England’s Bar Human Rights Committee, withdrawing your hasty accusation going on hearsay evidence and say that you do not see any reason why the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting should not be held in Sri Lanka as scheduled.

14 Responses to “QC Geoffrey Robertson you have got your facts wrong.”

  1. Chula Rajapakse Says:

    Thank you for explaining the process as it happened so clearly.

    Dr. Chula Rajapakse MNZM
    FRCP/FRCP

  2. Kit Athul Says:

    One point I like to raise is: Did Charles take the assumption that QC Geoffrey Robertson understand the Sri Lanka Constitution?? I dont think he does. Charles has given an excellent example of how the Chief Justice Corona of Philipines was removed and how the speaker locked the doors of the chamber. This was done according to Philipines law. Now lets see what this Bandaranayake woman did. (I have no doubt she hired the Geoffrey Q.C. to give her advice on what action to take and his advice was her to walk out of the hearing as chief justice Corona did) If the speaker did lock doors then she was go in to bathroom and lock her self in, until the hearing was ended, then state that she had a female condition and could not attend the hearing. Some how the speaker got wind of this and did not loock the doors, she and her attorneys walked out. Notion here is to see how an avaerage Sinhala understan the way in which the Sri Lanka constitution is ridiculed by anti-Sinhala elements who has their head quarters in Boston Massachusetts, and known as Global Tamil Forum (GTF) If her plan worked, then British Prime minister would call on the UN Security Council and condemn the action. Now let see how the timing of these statements by top EU government officials are issued. As soon as the speech by minister Samarasinhe ended; this PUNCK German Ambassador to the UN, Hanns H. Schumncher gave a press conference and told the reporters one must not critic Navi Pillai because she is doing a wonderful job for UNHCR. He does not want to know how she got this job or she used sex in exchange to the professors (Like what Monica Livensky did) to get her law degree? Or she had sex with uncle?

  3. Voice123 Says:

    Keep up the good work Charles. We need to OUTBLITZ Tiger propoganda on a big scale. People like you can show the way perhaps. We need to build up a formidable lobby of influential non-Sri Lankans of our own. Unlike the LTTE lobby we can do it without resorting to lies and propoganda. How LTTE lobbyists shamelessly lie is beyond my understanding.

  4. douglas Says:

    Dear Mr.Charles: At the outset, I must tell you that your presentation as a “rebuttal” to the report by Geoffrey Robertson QC has not at all measured upto the standard that is expected from a Barrister at Law and qualified in Constitutional Law. To summerize the whole presentation, I find it is written with “anger” and all the way it shows sheer “resentment” towards someone who does not fall in line with your trend of thinking. That, in my opinion, does not speak good of a “unbiased analyst” whom the general public want to rely and educate themselves.

    This report by Geoffrey Robertson is sequel to an assignment given to him by the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC). What was his assignment? Let me quote it:

    “The question I am asked to answer is whether the removal of the Chief Justice was a breach of the gurantee of judicial independence which Sri Lanka is bound to uphold, both by international law and by its membership of the Commonweaslth”.

    You being a Barrister of Law and qualified in Constitutional Law (that is what you say in paragraph 10), the above terms of reference should have been subjected to a very thorough analysis and if found good reasons rebuffed it at the very beginning. Leave aside that, you even did not care to make at least a passing reference to that very “core” which gave birth to this report.

    The next step you took was to telll us that this Geoffrey Robertson’s report was put out on “hearsay evidence and incomplete brief provided” and continues to tell that “the information you had been fed with is utterly false”. Mr. Charles: Did you read this introduction to his report? I quote:

    “I am in possession of all relevant documents – court judgements, “Hansard” of the Parliamentary Impeachment process, the fourteen charges against the judege and two voumes (some 1600 pages) published by Parliament which cantain the evidence. I have the statements by the four members who walked out of the Select Committee, its Minutes of evidence, and the findings of guilt on three of the charges……”

    Do you say all these are “HEARSAY and UTTER FALSE INFORMATION”?

    It is a waste of time to deal with your “REBUTTAL” but suffice to say that this presentation does not benefit the country at all. Further you have not done “justice” to your own profession.

  5. Voice123 Says:

    Douglas, he is trying. Its good that other learned people such as yourself are able to assist and encourage.

  6. Charles Says:

    Douglas,

    You are defending QC Geoffrey Robertson.

    I read you comment on the article on QC Geoffrey, in the Colombo Telegraph. I think you have “infiltrated” into Lankaweb as a government “basher” . You criticise the new Chief Justice. You did not like the Impeachment motion. And you would like Sri Lanka boycotted by the leaders of the Commonwealth. I went through many of the articles by different contributor to the Lankaweb, and I found that it is only into my articles you come to make you comments.

    If you are so clever ,why don’t you write an article yourself to show how articles should be written? You try to criticise not only the way I write but read even emotions with which I write.

    Each comment you make helps anti government forces and not other way round.

  7. Lorenzo Says:

    The TB germ (virus?) hides in the body for decades. When the immune system is weak, it STRIKES!

    Much like the traitors of SL. Some of them burn their OWN homes and offices, some shoot their own employees, some others come up with stupid videos and PHOTOSHOP images. ALL AROUND THE UNHRC TIME!

    GLAD we have identified the TB germs among us.

    In a way it is good to have things like the impeachment, UNHRC from time to time because those things THROW OUT the coward traitors OUT FROM THE WOODWORK!!

  8. douglas Says:

    Charles: Thank you. I have not “infiltrated”into Lanka Web. I have followed its policy of registration long time back and always respect its authority. Please read the Preamble of this web page beginning with:”We believe in Free Spech, Right of Expression that creates a Platform for Dialogue….”. This is in conformity with my thinking and that is the very reason I have joined it.

    My critical comments are always in keeping with correct thinking and convictions. If you have follwed my commnets on the Impeachment Motion, you would have observed that I confined myself only to the criticism of the “manner in which it was conducted.” Even in my comment on the article of QC Geoffrey, I began by saying “Notwithstnding of the Constitutional Empowerments…” and was thereto critical of the “manner in which the inquiry was conducted”. So I still say that “Inquiry” should have been conducted in a more “respectfull” manner to safeguard the “dignity” of the country.

    Over the last many years I have commented on very many articles and the readers will bear testimony. For your information, once, one of my comments was published in my name “Douglas”as an article in this web page. Anyway it is my prerogative to select the subject on which I am going to comment on and I will continue to do so.

    Sorry if I have hurt your feelings. But let us continue to engage in “constructive dialogue” If you do not like it, I will certainly refrain from commenting on your articles. But can you expect it when the articles appear in this web page? I doubt it. Thanks.

  9. Charles Says:

    Douglas : Any one has the right to express his opinion. Your comments had been to take the sting off articles, to mollify the effect to give credibility to your arguments.

    I have followed your comments on my articles on Impeachment. One of such comments ends:

    “That is what brought the whole Legislature, the country and it’s system of Governance to disrepute and “mockery”. Please think of it, independently without bias, and it will most probably dawn on you how and why this Impeachment became a “furore”.

    Your comment to QC Geofrey Robertson’s article which was published in Colombo Telegraph on 28 February, 2013 is as follows:

    We know that MR fell a “prey” to a cleverly “plot” hatched in his own back yard, by his own kind. To make matters worse they got him to appoint the most questionable man as the CJ.
    “Never mind the “Constitutional empowerments” to impeach the CJ; but the very process of the “concocted inquiry” was a mockery of the highest order. The most “irresponsible and digrading behaviour” of those seven stoogs must be condemned world over in the name of Law and Order and Rule of Law. In that context, it is nothing but right to teach a well meaning lesson to the authorities in Sri Lanka at least by the Commonwealth Nations.”

    (the word you used is Not “ Notwithstanding” but” Nevermind”)

    Your constructive dialogue is not second to those of Sumanthiran, Mangala Samaraweera, or that of Ranil Wickramasinghe who now even invites Shariah Law within UNP.

    Sri Lanka under the President Mahinda Rajapakse has done a commendable job. He may not have done every thing perfectly well. But who has ? And which other political leader is there to follow up ? Who has done as much as he has done before him ?

    The Impeachment Motion against the CJ Shirani Bandaranaike was done in perfect legality according to the Constitution of Sri Lanka. If there is any one to find fault with it, then it is some one who does not understand the fundamentals of Democracy, and has personal interest in the Impeached or discrediting the government.. The President Rajapakse and his government has up to now exercised Democratic Administration. He was not a Dictator or he did not even use his Executive powers to the detriment of the people and the country.

    You should if you are a real patriot, who doe not consider “Sri Lanka is a stinking rotten Jak fruit”, should be more constructive in the real meaning of the word, and accept that the government had always acted democratically . Truth will come out and it is already happening. In UNHRC in Geneva, Sri Lanka has still not been directly condemned for violation of Human Rights, except by Pillay and the Diaspora Tamils with UK Channel 4. Even Ban Ki Moon praised Sri Lanka for its positive actions.

    Douglas, I do not write to please you. Your critical comments do not even touch me. I am not hurt but I am sad that we have our own people to belittle what ever good our people are capable of doing

  10. douglas Says:

    Dear Charles: Thank you for re-publishing my comments made in other web pages. I do confirm those.

    But you conveniently did not publish my comments made on Sumanthiran, Mangala Samaraweera and Ranil Wickramasinghe. They are people whom I have discounted from the “public affairs” of Sri Lanka. I said that in no unertain terms.

    Thank you. (Period).

  11. Charles Says:

    Douglas: You cannot be proud of your comments I have reproduced. I posted them to uncover your false shroud of justice. Your “ correct thinking and convictions” do not run parallel to those of others. You lack the ability to evaluate correct actions taken by a government concerned about uniting communities and protect it self from ghouls marching in guise of saints.

    The manner in which the Impeachment motion was conducted was perfectly in order, and it does not contradict the precedents of similar Impeachment Motions in other countries. And no one unbiased against “my country and my government” could point a finger to say the Impeachment Motion was carried out without respect to the Constitution of Sri Lanka and damaging its dignity. My country is a sovereign State and it has the right to act in terms of its constitution and its own legal authority without fear or seeking fervour. It was not as you said a “concocted inquiry” was a mockery of the highest order.” Those are shameful woerds.

    QC Geoffrey Robertson is a lawyer and he has to be paid to defend his clients the Tamil terrorist Front Organistations.

    I did not find your comments made on Sumanthiran and the other.

    You can of course comment on the substance of the article I put up in the web without making it a personal attack.

    I close this exchange of views with this.

  12. NAK Says:

    QC Robertson must have ben in a mighty hurry for some quick cash. We can surely forgive him for that. What ever douglas say to justify his comments, it is well known,now accepted that CJ’s impeachment was a necessity. Douglas seem to forget that the Former CJ insulted the incumbent president through the judicial commission,which act itself is not impeachable but would force any President to find a way to sack her.

  13. douglas Says:

    NAK: I was more commenting on the “way the inquiry by the PSC was conducted” than it’s relevance or the constitutionalty.

    To me the more relevant event to “sack” her was the instance she made a request to appoint her husband to the post of Chairman of the NSB. This was divulged (at a press briefing) by no lesser person than a Cabinet Minister, Prof. Vitharana. When he asked the HE why this man was appointed to that post, the answer given was “How can I refuse when that request was made by Dr. Bandaranayake?”.

    Hope I have made my position clear and thank you for understanding me.

  14. A. Sooriarachi Says:

    Geoffrey Robertson has done a great disservice to himself and the British legal profession by releasing his unsubstantiated statement against SriLanka, with amazingly amateurish emotion and reasoning, devoid of anything factual and incorporating only the already discredited fabrications of groups hostile to SriLanka. He has mentioned 40,000 killed lie as a fact, when it was merely a figure thrown up by an angry Gordon Weiss when he had to leave his job as a UN spokesman in Colombo.. GR has completely ignored the actual charges the CJ was found guilty of and the fact that the panel had 12 nominated and not only the seven Govt MPs. There were so many inaccuracies in his statement, I wonder whether Geoffrey Robertson blindly signed a statement prepared for him by the LTTE diaspora!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

 

 


Copyright © 2018 LankaWeb.com. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress