Posted on January 13th, 2013

Editorial, The Daily News

The President has decided to remove Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake from her post on Parliament’s request after the Legislature voted, Friday, to impeach her. This is constitutional procedure, and hence one more indication that every aspect of this impeachment has been carried out scrupulously as per law.

Concerns of those such as the Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma’s are obviously rather superfluous in this regard. Mr. Sharma has said something to the effect that careful consideration should be given to all aspects of the impeachment before the next moves are made.

The constitutional procedure is in place to ensure that such due consideration is given, always, and that due process is being followed is an indication that ‘careful consideration’ that is a sine qua non in matters of this nature, is of course being given — with due cognizance also to all of the other associated aspects, such as the fact that a wish of the majority of the Legislature cannot by any means be taken lightly.

The impeachment drama was good newspaper fodder, but there is nothing near the critical mass of opinion against it to make it a pivotal issue that will change the course of future politics drastically in this country. Those such as Kamalesh Sharma know this, which is why their statements of ‘concern’ etc., sound as if someone has decided to go through the paces of making some kind of claim for the record.

It would have helped if these so called conscientious observers from abroad, treated these internal issues strictly as the business of the country and its people. But, it has by and large been accepted that the impeachment of the Chief Justice was done according to constitutional process, and that the impeachment motion’s substance concerned some obvious integrity issues about the person concerned – which made it a routine matter, that was upto the Legislature and the Executive to sort out.

There is not going to be any external intervention on this matter, and that should put the delirious minds of the Paikiasothys and the Weliamunas at rest. The UN rapporteur of the Independence of the Judiciary, Gabriella Knaul has already stated that she is not going to make a report on this issue, and will make something in the nature of a verbal intervention if the need arises at the UN Human Rights Council sessions.

How could the UN rapporteur do otherwise? In any respectable polity in which Rule of Law reigns, the integrity issues that stand against the Sri Lankan CJ’s name would have made impeachment a necessity, not a matter of choice. Good governance champions could therefore hardly with a straight face say that there is something wrong with the impeachment that’s now a fait accompli.

This impeachment should have gone down as a plus for good governance. Why it did not is a mystery, but this partly has to do with the fact that the issue has been shanghaied by local and foreign based political forces to further the ongoing vendetta against the administration that vanquished the Tamil Tigers.

It is unfortunate that whenever an issue gets politically hijacked, organizations such as the Commonwealth get swayed by the media treatment of the issue, rather than the situation on the ground. But, leaders should have the courage of their convictions, and this has been fortunately the strong suit of the Sri Lankans.

When something is done with the decisive no-nonsense practical deliberateness of the impeachment, people are compelled to sit up and take notice. The US for example, cannot help but notice that the impeachment is something that would have happened in that country, in exactly the same way – as the American procedure for impeaching a Chief Justice or a judge of the Supreme Court is almost identical to what has been followed in this instance. The other positive aspect is that the facts on the impeachment were stated logically, and those who needed to know were educated on the reality that this process was legitimate.

It was also entertaining that dissenting town criers provided some sort of accompanying music to the entire short lived drama. That’s called democracy, by the way.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.



Copyright © 2024 LankaWeb.com. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress