Dappula de Livera Called upon to Explain – What Special Interests did Messrs G L Peiris and P B Jayasundera Have to Intervene in the Proceedings that You Could Not Take Care of?” Part 2
Posted on June 1st, 2021

by The Sri Lanka Study Circle (Sheets 5- 8 of 14 sheets or Part 2)

/ Contd from sheet 5 (or Part 1)

Abandoning your responsibility as AG when Messrs G L Peiris and P B Jayasundera intervened in the hearings as intervenient petitioners

You are also called upon to explain, why you acted the way you did at the Supreme Court hearings when the Port City Bill was taken up?

The Constitution of this country has specifically entrusted you with the role of ensuring that Bills placed before Parliament are not in violation of the Constitution. It is your sacred Constitutional duty to do so diligently with all the legal acumen at your disposal.

It devolves on you to defend the Constitution whenever it needs to be defended in any Judicial forum; you could be described as the helmsman of the Constitution.  

When therefore 19 persons petitioned the Court against the Constitutionality of the Bill, not only were you regulatively and constitutionally required to defend the Constitution and the interest of the Government – both objectives being mutually inclusive – but indeed you were the best person to do so considering your opinion that the Bill did not violate the Constitution in any way.

It came as a surprise, to you too it so seemed, when two members from the Government side – Messrs G L Peiris (a member of the President’s cabinet) and P B Jayasundera (the Secretary to the President) – applied to the Court for special leave to intervene in the hearing.

To many it seemed as if the sacred precincts of the Judiciary had been invaded by the Executive.

And, what was even more surprising was when, contrary to practice, these two persons had two private lawyers to represent them. Representing Mr. G L Peiris was Mr. Gamini Marapona who, we learn now, has been tipped to be the ‘Chairman’ of the Port City Commission.

Did it not cross your mind, Mr. de Livera, that this may have been a subtle attempt by these Executive minions to impose undue influence on the Judicial process?

Though not entirely convincing, your performance that followed, conveyed the impression that you were somewhat miffed by the turn of events.

But at the end you relented with hardly a bleat and permitted Messrs Peiris and Jayasundera to take on the ‘prima donna’ role while you seemingly sulked and slinked to the background. Indeed, your performance was bizarre for more reasons than one and had many, smelling a rat.

What surprised many was how easily you relented and like Esau, the biblical character, forsook your rights enshrined in the Constitution, allowing Messrs Peiris and Jayasundera from the Executive Arm of Government to take centre stage; thereby you seemed to undermine the repute of your office and your department while leaving the people of the country, in abject despair.

Theoretically, you were the person most competent to refute the arguments of the petitioners and you were the one Constitutionally entrusted with that task.

We ask you, What special interests did Messrs Peiris and Jayasundera have that you could not have taken care of?”

 And, What were your submissions and responses in Court to this intervention by the ‘Executive’ duo with their private lawyers?”

It is customary that the AG appears gratis for those on the Government side.

The implication of employing private lawyers meant that the cost of their fees would be an additional financial burden on the people; unless of course in hind sight, it is a case of these lawyers appearing pro interesse suo.

UNHRC and the establishment of a parallel AG’s department

A thought crossed our minds; it was in Geneva, just earlier this year, that the UNHRC attempted to establish a parallel AG’s Department in Sri Lanka and failed.

If anyone, holding a prominent position, intentionally undermines the repute of the AG and the Department, such conduct would only aid the Americans who are bent on establishing that parallel Attorney General’s Department in this country.

Reports are circulating that the Americans are passing Human Rights resolutions against Sri Lanka in their Senate; there are also unconfirmed reports that you are being short listed by the Americans for a post in this parallel AG’s department, the Americans wish to establish.

We would appreciate if you would, in your response, shed any light to this persisting rumour, regarding such an appointment.

/Contd

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