- Created on Thursday, 13 December 2012 15:44
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UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake’s call for an international panel of judges of Commonwealth countries to enquire the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice deserves condemnation by all patriotic masses.
The impeachment motion against the Chief Justice and enquiry by a Parliamentary Select Committee appointed as per the provisions laid down in the Constitution has been carried out as per the provisions of the Constitution and the UNP’s call for an international panel of judges of Commonwealth countries tantamount to expressing no confidence in our own constitution and disrespect to the constitution enacted by President J.R.Jayawardene’s UNP government.
This was stated by the Deputy Minister of Economic Development Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene addressing a media conference at his Ministry today. The Deputy Minister pointed out how the former Prime Minister Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike acted when a Commission was appointed by the J.R.Jayawardene government with the objective of disenfranchising her civic rights. He said that she only requested to appoint a panel of three Supreme Court judges and the government rejected this request and appointed three members as per the government’s choice. Due to this she gave written evidence against her case and never requested for an enquiry by a foreign panel of judges and respected the constitution.
Deputy Minister Yapa recalled that it was the UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake and Parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake who profusely criticized the Chief Justice Mrs. Shirani Bandaranayake in the Parliament a few months ago and demanded to impeach her and Attanayake’s sudden 180 degree turn around is surprising.
The Deputy Minister also said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s announcement that an independent committee will be appointed to review the Parliamentary Committee report is highly commendable although the Parliamentary Select Committee has carried out its task in accordance with the constitutional provisions. He said that the President has the prerogative vested in him by the Constitution to appoint commissions on any matter and the President’s magnanimity has been shown by his decisions to appoint an independent committee.
Responding to a question raised by a media personnel that why the impeachment action has been taken when Sri Lanka is to be taken up for discussion at the UNHRC Commission in March next year, the Deputy Minister said that the government always focus attention on the needs of the country and not to please outside forces and pointed out that it was on this principle that the government shun outside interference during the last stages of the war and won the war.
Responding to another question that certain conventions signed by Sri Lanka requires enquiries such as impeachments by an international panel, the Deputy Minister explained that the constitution is supreme and the provisions in the international conventions can be overlooked if it contravenes with the constitution. Similarly he said that changes to the constitution needs to be made if such changes demand for the benefit of the people. He pointed out that many countries including the United States and India have changed their constitutions to address the needs of the people and said that India has changed its constitution more than 200 times. (niz)