Posted on December 30th, 2012

Chamikara WEERASINGHE-ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Courtesy TheƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Daily News

* Bona fide protests against CJ

* ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Been proved she wronged usƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢

Though some politically partisan persons and NGO elements have sadly resorted to criticising Golden Key depositors in public through statements claiming Golden Key depositors are playing a supporting role for government, it is far far from the truth, depositors claimed yesterday.

Action taken by the Legislature to impeach Chief Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayaka due to her financial irregularities and professional misconduct was an absolute necessity, Golden Key depositors said.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-We staged our first demonstration against Chief Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayaka opposite the Supreme Court on October 10 last year,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ said GK All DepositorsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ Association president Dushanthi Hapugoda.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Over 1,000 depositors held this demonstration against her for taking over the Golden Key Fundamental Rights case to be heard by a Bench headed by her, from Supreme Court Judge Shirani Thilakawardena who had been hearing the case for a long time,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ Hapugoda said. This was against an order given by the former Chief Justice.

Former Chief Justice Sarath N Silva had ordered that the (GK) case should be heard until its conclusion by the panel of judges comprising Shirani Thilakarawardena. The Chief Justice went on to appoint another Bench, she said. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Besides, she had taken over the case on the basis of a single petition filed by a Golden Key depositor against thousands of depositors. Chief Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayaka heard the case much to the detriment of the justice system not to mention the depositors, while she was having financial dealings with the Ceylinco directors,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ she said.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The impeachment made her admit that she had such dealings. That is why she stepped down from the G K case,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ she said.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Should she have taken over the case to be heard by her Bench in the first place under the circumstances?ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ asked Hapugoda.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-She was close to throwing out our case before her misbehavior charges revealed her financial irregularities, and the connection with Ceylinco due to the impeachment motion,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ Hapugoda said.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”We had suspicions about the manner in which Chief Justice Dr Bandaranayaka heard our case. It sent shivers down the spine how she acted the way she did on the Bench pushing the case against us to the advantage of the respondents.Had she allowed carrying out the orders given by Judge Thilakawardena at previous hearings, Golden Key depositors would have received 45 percent of the money they had lost, by now,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ she said. Legal Academic, former special adviser to late President JR Jayewardene and consultant to several European companies on international law, Asala Senanayaka said: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-It is evident that Golden Key depositors have suffered immensely due to lack transparency and accountability in the litigation process They have been forced to seek the support of the government to find a solution to their problem.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-They have lost confidence in the apex of the justice system — the Chief Justice. There was nothing else they could do than seek justice from the Legislature,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ he said. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The government is expected to restore that trust,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ Senanayaka said.

It is only just and fair that the government takes fast action to help the aggrieved GK depositors without delay to help them out in a desperate situation,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚he said.

As in the Bernard Madoff fraud case in the US, the government can take steps to take over the personal assets and company assets of Golden Key directors, to solve the GK depositorsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ problem. This way, it will be able to pay the depositors without having to close down a single company, said Senanayaka. This could be done through a Monetary Board. The government can make use of the Monetary Board Act to take control of the situation, he said.

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