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Wednesday, 16 January 2013

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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.

 

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