Elevation of Shiran Guneratne to the Court of Appeal
Posted on July 27th, 2017

By Hemantha Warnakulasuriya Courtesy The Island


I was happy to receive the news that Shiran Guneratne had been nominated by Chief Justice Priyasath Dep to fill one of the 03 vacancies in the Court of Appeal. But, I was also deeply concerned that the evil forces, conspiring to destabilise the independence of the judiciary, would work overtime to prevent the Constitutional Council from approving the recommendations of the Chief Justice. These evil forces shouted themselves hoarse, in a most despicable manner, against the most Senior High Court Judge, Manilal Waidyathilake being appointed to the Court of Appeal. Waidyathilake is the most Senior High Court Judge; he was transferred from Kandy to take the position of the most Senior High Court Judge and sit in the Colombo High Court’s Court No. 1 in the Western Province. It has been the practice that before a Judge is elevated to the Court of Appeal, he is enabled to act as the most Senior High Court Judge in Court No. 1, Colombo.

Rumors are spreading at Hulftsdorp about the manner in which the evil forces conspire to have their favourites appointed to the judiciary. They insult the judges who have not found favour with them; they hound such judges by accusing them of being corrupt or branding them as loyalists of the previous government or making some other unsubstantiated allegations. The sinister elements who did not get favourable judgments rallied round to prevent Manilal Waidyathilake being promoted. If such a thing had happened during the time of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), and its head would have asked for the intervention of the executive to prevent such sordid manipulation of the judiciary and to stop that unwarranted interference. But now the Bar is silent.

We all rallied behind BASL President Upul Jayasuriya, who spoke out against the Executive for overlooking Sriskandarajah when the President of the Court of Appeal, which was responsible for squashing the Select Committee Report on Shiranee Bandaranayake, was appointed. Jayasuriya, after the untimely death of Sriskandarajah, said, “From this day his vision would move away from our sight, but his mission, though uncompleted, would linger in our hearts and memories. Until such time he would not have died in vain”.

A similar fate befell justice Guneratne for dismissing a Select Committee Report as regards former Chief Justice Shiranee Bandaranayake. But, justice prevailed and he is one of the most loved Justices of the Supreme Court.

We are thankful to the present Chief Justice for having recommended Gunerathne to fill one of the vacancies in the Court of Appeal, and silencing the web mafia.

One Response to “Elevation of Shiran Guneratne to the Court of Appeal”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    We agree with Hemantha. We are thankful to the present Chief Justice for having recommended Gunerathne. Constitutional Council must approve him without playing petty politics.

    The Select Committee Report as regards former Chief Justice Shiranee Bandaranayake was invalid and the good judge was courageous to say so. Had the government accepted it, many a problem would have been avoided.

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