Can corruption be condoned?
Posted on December 15th, 2012

Editorial – The Sunday Observer

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), which is governed by the law of the jungle, is now weeping buckets of tears over the independence of the Judiciary.

The JVP, true to form, faulted President Mahinda Rajapaksa as he intends to appoint an independent committee to seek expert opinion on the verdict of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake.

Having examined the verbal and written evidence against Dr. Mrs. Bandaranayake, the PSC has found her guilty of charges 1, 4 and 5. Although the charges 2 and 3 have not been proved, the PSC had decided that in view of the very grave nature of the charges 1, 4 and 5 it would be a futile exercise to seek evidence to convict her on charges 2 and 3.

The PSC, in its verdict on December 8, declared that charges 1, 4 and 5 have been proved and the serious nature of such charges warrant her dismissal from the post of Chief Justice.

The charges levelled against Chief Justice Bandaranayake include over 20 undeclared bank accounts in the assets and liabilities, taking over the Ceylinco case heard by another Bench, buying an apartment from the company on Ceylinco Attorney papers, undeclared foreign currency deposits to the tune of Rs. 34 million and Rs 19,362,500 in undisclosed funds.

President Rajapaksa said on Tuesday that an independent committee will study further the report submitted by the PSC before he takes any final decision on the matter.

The President told a ceremony after opening the new building of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Colombo that he would seek the advice of an expert panel and take the right decision in keeping with his conscience.

This indeed is a sincere and candid statement from the country’s First Citizen, a lawyer himself, by profession. Unlike earlier leaders during UNP regimes, President Rajapaksa has always upheld the independence of the Judiciary. Although some UNP leaders show extraordinary concern about the Judiciary, it was the UNP regime under J.R. Jayewardene which humiliated the Judiciary by getting its goons to pelt stones at judges’ residences.

In the present scenario, the President need not appoint any new committees or seek advice as Dr. Mrs. Bandaranayake could be impeached with a simple majority in Parliament following the PSC verdict. Nevertheless, the President is keen on making the process more transparent as he has nothing to conceal.

This is precisely why the President decided to seek the advice of an expert panel so that he could take the right decision that would mete out justice to one and all. As an illustrious leader who had won successive mandates from the masses and knowing the people’s pulse, President Rajapaksa would seek the advice of another expert committee for the purpose. There is no legal obligation on the part of the President to appoint such an expert committee, but he is determined to do so to arrive at the most appropriate decision after the PSC verdict. The President’s exemplary act is worthy of emulation.

In point of fact, it was the Opposition which originally demanded that action be taken against the corrupt deals of Dr. Mrs. Bandaranayake’s husband, the former Chairman of the National Savings Bank (NSB) who was accused of controversial transactions to buy shares of The Finance Company.

The Opposition, initially, lodged a complaint with the Bribery and Corruption Commission which was unknown to the Government. The Opposition later said that taking legal action against the then NSB chairman was insufficient as his wife holds the senior most post in the Judiciary and expressed its reservations over an impartial judgment.

The JVP is now making a shameful attempt to misinterpret what President Rajapaksa had said and his decision to seek the views of an independent expert panel.

Parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake and his JVP cohorts fail to realise that the masses have not forgotten their notorious track record.

The JVP, which had reposed more faith in the bullet rather than the ballot, made two unsuccessful bids to overthrow the democratically elected government through armed struggles.

Certainly, one cannot rule out the possibility of the JVP resorting to it again. They know only too well that the masses have rejected them lock, stock and barrel. Even its minuscule vote base is fast eroding as people have realised their true colours.

Does the JVP have a moral right to wax eloquent on the Judiciary as they themselves introduced the law of the jungle during their 1988/89 era of terror? They butchered many political, social and religious leaders in broad daylight, declared unofficial “ƒ”¹…”curfews’ and torched many State properties, including SLCTB buses. The JVP, which now makes a song and dance over farmers’ problems, set many regional agrarian centres ablaze.

Such an unlawful bunch of hardcore criminals who had brutally massacred many distinguished leaders are now pontificating on the independence of the Judiciary. It is evident that the JVP is only attempting to gain some political mileage out of the situation for its survival.

Sarath Fonseka is no different. These are the self-same people whose political nudity has been fully exposed at each and every election. They are deeply cognizant of their gloomy political future. The JVP is now exploiting every avenue to put its political agenda in motion.

Simultaneously, the reactionary forces against the Government are throwing in their weight over the impeachment motion. The traitors who did their damnedest and made every effort to capture power at any cost during the 2010 Presidential election are again at work to make the optimum use of the impeachment motion to achieve their hidden agendas.

The LTTE rump, a section of the Tamil Diaspora, some Western politicians and those who thrive on INGO funding are all out to belittle Sri Lanka’s heroic 2006-2009 battle against terrorism. These sinister elements are also capitalising on the impeachment motion against Dr. Mrs. Bandaranayake and the PSC verdict.

Dr. Mrs. Bandaranayake is perhaps not aware of the real motive of these traitors and NGO agents who are out to exploit her case to achieve their narrow political goals. With all due respect to the office of the Chief Justice, the Judiciary and Parliament, we wish to stress that the current course of action against Dr. Mrs. Bandaranayake is a disciplinary hearing against a senior most judicial officer in the land and not against the office of Chief Justice.

This is not even remotely connected with the independence of the Judiciary. Moreover, the Government has taken many steps to uphold the independence of the Judiciary. Do the lawyers who shout themselves hoarse at Hulftsdorp expect Parliament and the Executive President to turn a Nelsonian eye on the improper conduct of Dr. Mrs. Bandaranayake?

The serious charges levelled against Dr. Mrs. Bandaranayake are abominable to say the least. It is further aggravated when the country’s Chief Justice is enmeshed in such scandals. Such unbecoming conduct would undoubtedly cast a slur on the Judiciary.

It is an open secret that Dr. Mrs. Bandaranayake had been granted a special discount of Rs. 1.6 million when she purchased an apartment from Trillium Residences under the power of attorney given to her by her sister in Australia. The non-declaration of assets and liabilities and being biased over the legal action against her husband at the Magistrate’s Court in Colombo and the other two charges against Dr. Mrs. Bandaranayake have been proved by the PSC.

The street demonstrations by lawyers and press conferences held by opportunist politicians in the Opposition would in no way help exonerate Dr. Mrs. Bandaranayake.

Those in the legal fraternity and Opposition politicians should not consider the PSC findings as something against the Judiciary. This is chiefly against acts of corruption, dishonesty and improper conduct.

The demonstrators should bear in mind that the impeachment motion against Dr. Mrs. Bandaranayake is by no means against the office of the Chief Justice or the Judiciary.

3 Responses to “Can corruption be condoned?”

  1. jay-ran Says:

    How can LYING AND STEALING OTHER’S WEALTH BE good for aChief Justice as these two acts VIOLATE TWO MAIN BUDDHIST PRECIPTS NAMELY, Musa Vada Vera Monie Sikkha Padam Samadiyami and Adinna Dana Veramanie Skkha Padam Samadiyami?

  2. Orpheus Perera Says:

    Mrs. Bandaranayaka received power of Attorney to buy the property for her, so that she does not have to answer to Australian Taxation department. The property concerned should have gone under the hammer and sold to the highest bidder so that the investors get the best value from commission salvage the left overs of the bankrupted company. The way I see it is that Shirani Bandaranaike in Sri Lanka tried to hoodwink the investors of Golden key card and her sister in Australia to hood wink the ATO. Clever people!

  3. aloy Says:

    According to this article, if it is correct, the total amount diposited in foreign currency is equivalent to Rs. 53 million. This works out to be about US $ 400,000. This is a lot of money for an engineer working in Australia to save after spending for house morgages, childrens education and other expenses unless she owns a company or has been doing real estate recently.
    It is good to know in what capacity this engineer sister has been working and for how long, and exclude the possibility of money laundering.

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