University academics tell public :
Assess the impeachment critically
Sri Lanka Open University Senior Lecturer and Lawyer Raja Gunaratne
requested the people to view the impeachment motion brought against
Chief Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayake more critically and
intelligently, taking into account that it was entirely a Constitutional
procedure. Addressing a press conference organized by the People’s
Movement for Justice at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute yesterday, he
said this procedure to remove judges in superior courts is similar to
others anywhere in the world.
Citing an example from the US Judiciary, he said according to the
stand taken by the US judiciary, the decision to impeach cannot be
re-examined by the court,since it would lead to instability while
adversely affecting the balance of the Executive, Legislature and
Judiciary. He also said impeachment motions had been brought against 61
judges at Federal and lower levels in the US as at 2009.
He further stated if amendments to the Standing Orders which apply
during an impeachment motion are needed, those could only be made after
the conclusion of the ongoing process. He said therefore such claims
could not be considered sensible at this stage since two judges of
Superior Courts had been removed in Sri Lankan history using the
existing Standing Orders.
Sri Jayewardenapura University Senior Lecturer Prof Sampath
Amaratunga observed if the Chief Justice is not guilty of financial
impropriety charges made against her, she could have easily proven her
innocence with correct data and accounts without walking out of the due
procedure. He observed the facts and figures relevant to financial deals
could have been presented instantly by the CJ if she had not been guilty
of them. He noted the persons who are holding the highest ranks of
public service must act honestly and fairly and be an example to other
Sri Lanka Open University Senior Lecturer Hemasiri Jayathilake
questioned how the Supreme Court being in the highest position in the
judiciary direct matters against the impeachment to the Appeal Court
violating the usual tradition. He also observed the Parliament judgment
on the impeachment is still pending and therefore it is wrong to go
before the court in this regard at this moment. He noted the legal
fraternity who are opposing the impeachment are aware of the
contradictions of their own moves, but deliberately doing so to cater to
the vicious plans of the Western elements who are against the country.
He said certain NGOs are also behind this conspiracy. He said certain
groups are ready to betray the country for personal gains and agendas.
He also said the CJ had been directly responsible for the injustice
caused to over 9000 families due to Gloden Key issue.
Colombo University Senior Lecturer Prof Premakumara de Silva said the
country should not be made unstable by giving way to conspiracies of the
Western powers who want to set up puppet regimes in Third World
developing countries. He said it was unfortunate to see that even the
persons in higher ranks have fallen prey to these conspiracies.
Kelaniya University Economics Department Head Dr Ajith Dissanayake
said it was pathetic to see how the persons who are holding higher ranks
in the judiciary mingle often with complainants and respondents. He said
it was a humiliation of the judiciary. He also observed it was a good to
see the government and the main opposition party, the UNP, stand
together with regard to certain matters pertaining to the judiciary. He
observed these two parties collectively account for 90 percent of the
Colombo University Senior Lecturers Nihal Hewage and Rohan Perera
were also present.