BASL endorses President’s decision - Secetary
The Secretary of Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) Sanjaya Gamage
yesterday said they welcome the decision by President Mahinda Rajapaksa
to appoint a committee to further study the report on the impeachment
motion. Gamage said , the President had said he will appoint an
independent committee to advise him on the impeachment of Chief Justice
Dr Shirani Bandaranayaka “The BASL upholds the President’s decision,”
Gamage said and added that the decision is consistent with a BASL
resolution adopted on Saturday at the Association’s special general
meeting,which was held to discuss the state of the judiciary in view of
the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice.
Gamage said one of the three resolutions adopted by the BASL on
Saturday, one is to urge the President to reconsider the impeachment
President Mahinda Rajapaksa had said the independent committee that
will be appointed to advise him on the outcome of the impeachment motion
will not be a a challenge to the Parliamentary Select Committee(PSC)
that heard the allegation leveled against Chief Justice Dr Shirani
The impeachment hearing was carried out by the PSC according to the
constitution, President Rajapaksa told media heads at a meeting at
The BASL Secretary said they expect the President to take appropriate
action. “It was commendable on the part of the President to appoint an
independent committee on the matter.”
Gamage said the BASL is not against the impeachment process against
the Chief Justice which is a constitutional process, but they are
concerned about the conduct of a fair process before she or any Supreme
Court judge can be removed from office.
Asked how the tense situation arose at the BASL meeting, Gamage said
there were some resolutions submitted by certain members of the
Associations that BASL could not proceed in accordance with the BASL
“Two parties have tabled resolutions and they expressed their views
about them. After considering their proposed resolutions, the head table
presented three resolutions. The resolutions were adopted with their
approval and consent,”he explained.
“The tense situation arose after the resolutions had been adopted and
not before,”he explained.
The resolutions include not to welcome a new Chief Justice if the
current Chief Justice is removed without a fair trial.
“This does not mean that we are going to boycott courts or anything
that would cause unrest in the judicial sphere. It is our custom to host
a dinner for the newly appointed Chief Justice. We will not host the
customary dinner in case the current CJ is removed without a fair
trial,” he explained.
Asked if any political influence had manifested around the BASL
because its President Wijeydasa Rajapaksa is a member of the Opposition,
Secretary Gamage said, although Wijeydasa Rajapaksa is a member of the
Opposition, he cannot have any political influence on the BASL.
“He can only act according to the BASL constitution and the will of
the BASL members,” he said,
Asked his views on BASL Vice President Anoma Goonathilaka’s
announcement that she would resign from BASL because of the disgraceful
manner in which the yesterday’s meeting was conducted, Gamage said , she
has not tended her resignation letter to him so far.
“The BASL special general meeting was conducted in a fair manner, “he