SPEAKER CAN SUMMON CPA HEAD FOR CONTEMPT
Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa can summon Center for Policy Alternatives
(CPA)Executive Director Dr Pakiasothi Sarawanamuttu before the House for
contempt of Parliament on account of his conduct challenging the Speaker
over the impeached Chief Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayaka, who was
removed from that position through a Constitutional process, Fisheries
and Aquatic Resources Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratna said yesterday.
CPA Executive Director Sarawanamuttu yesterday filed a petition in
the Supreme Court requesting the Court to issue an interim order to
prevent the new Chief Justice from assuming duties. He has named the
Prime Minister, the Speaker, Opposition Leader, two parliamentarians and
the former Attorney General as respondents in that petition.
Minister Senaratna said Dr Sarawanamuttu has committed a punishable
offense by challenging the House as with his action.
“Neither former Chief Justice Dr Bandaranayaka nor Dr Pakiasothi
Sarawanamuttu is above the law,” he said and added, they could be
summoned before the House together with the three judge Bench that
issued Writs on Parliament during the impeachment process.
He said they can be summoned before Parliamentary Privileges
Committee for contempt of Parliament. The Speaker can punish them, he
explained. There is no such tradition to Challenge the House in the
British legal system, which is the system followed in Sri Lanka, he
said. Even Sri Lanka Bar Association agreed with President Mahinda
Rajapaksam that they should respect the Constitution and not resort to
actions that would pave the way for destabilization after the
appointment of a new Chief Justice. It was but a few anti-government
elements, NGO operatives that sympathize with the LTTE, lawyers in the
North, the Tamil National Alliance(TNA)and a few foreign countries that
support the cause of division in the country , that became overjoyed by
the situation of the impeachment of former Chief Justice Dr
Bandaranayaka. The issues surrounding the administration of justice has
been solved as with the appointment of new Chief Justice Mohan Peiris
under the Constitution, he said.
“We asked External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunathilaka Amunugama
about various concerns raised by other countries over the removal of
Chief justice Dr Bandaranayaka.
Amunugama said that External Affairs Ministry informed them that as
far as they are concerned the issues surrounding the administration of
justice in Sri Lanka was now over.