Proving charges not a crucial factor: Susil
BY SANDUN A. JAYASEKERA
Jan 1, 2013
The impeachment inquiry by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake was not a legal probe but a legislative process and therefore proving of charges was not necessary, PSC member and Minister Susil Premajayantha said yesterday. Addressing a news briefing convened by the ‘People’s Movement for Justice’ at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Minister Premajayantha said after the two-day debate in Parliament on January 10 and 11, President Mahinda Rajapaksa will decide on further actions including the appointment of a panel to advise him on PSC findings as already declared by him.
Minister Premajayantha said the PSC inquiry was conducted adhering to the existing standing orders of Parliament and the process outlined in the Constitution.
Commenting on the large volume of documents given to Dr. Bandaranayake by the PSC giving only 24 hours to respond, Minister Premajayantha said most of the documents were known to her and they were not new documents and added that standing orders to impeach judges of the higher courts were introduced by late President J.R.Jayewardene in haste to unseat CJ Neville Samarakone.
“Until this camaraderie came into the opening no one wanted to amend these parliamentary standing orders if they are biased and violate the concept of natural justice. The irony here is that not any person, opposition or any other show us the proper way on how impeachments must be inquired against higher court judges,” Minister Premajayantha stressed.
Western Provincial Minister Udaya Gammanpila said impeachment motions against former judges of the higher judiciary including two Chief Justices were probed under the same standing orders and constitutional guidelines but no one protested.
Minister Gammanpila appealed to Mrs. Bandaranayake to resign from her post as the agitations against the impeachment had internationalized and politicized.
Responding to the reason for worldwide opposition to the impeachment, Minister Gammanpila said all these protests whether they were from the Commonwealth, the UN, the EU, US or UK, the tones were similar to the outcry Sri Lanka heard against the fight against terrorism.
He said the opposition which was in total disarray was attempting to exploit the impeachment for its advantage and added the government was ready to amend the standing orders if they violate the concept of natural justice.
Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka
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