- Published on Tuesday, 29 January 2013 11:54
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President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that upon receipt of the parliamentary proposal on the impeachment against the former Chief Justice the final decision was taken after obtaining advice from a committee of experts. He said that the opinions of four veterans in the professional sectors were obtained and it included Mark Cooray who is a veteran in the legal profession and a resident in Australia.
The President made these comments in a discussion held with the Heads and Chief Editors of Media Institutions at Temple Trees last night.
The President pointed out that the constitution has vested powers in the Parliament to submit an impeachment motion to review about the discipline and conduct of higher judges.
He said that it was the United National Party and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna who made the first demand for impeaching the former Chief Justice. The media also expressed views in this connection against the former Chief Justice. The President emphasized that hence the government looked into this matter in a very considerate manner.
He said that some vested interests are attempting to present the impeachment as an action taken to fulfill his personal desire. These elements are even using this action as a medium to take to the international arena for their personal gains and disrepute the country. The President emphasized that despite whatever actions of the vested interests, Sri Lanka is acting under correct policies.
The President pointed out that development of a country also tends to develop the opinion of the people. He said that party politics should change accordingly and it is a positive sign in development. Responding to a question raised by media personnel the President said that a Parliamentary Select Committee has been appointed to look into the matter of amending the constitution. He said that there is no country in the world that has not amended its respective constitution. It is a normal situation to amend the constitution based on contemporary needs.
Responding to further questions by media personnel the President said that the most suitable person has been appointed to the post of Chief Justice. The President recalled how the United National Party during its tenure of offices appointed the members of its Central Committee and the lawyers who addressed its political meetings to the Supreme Court. The President said that however, this government has not appointed anyone involved in party politics to the Supreme Court.
The President said that all leaders of religions in the country have a responsibility of establishing religious reconciliation. He said the people of this country suffered for more than 30 years due to communal extremism and no one will be permitted to create such situations in the country once again. The President requested media personnel to refrain from spoiling the minds of the people with unwanted issues and perform the national duty of creating national and religious reconciliation.
Responding to questions about the visit of three US state officials the President said that there had been no pressure from them and their visit was approved by the government.
Referring to the Law College problem the President said that a report in this connection has been requested from the Police.
Explaining about the city beautification programme the President said that these activities are being carried out outside the Colombo city as well. He said that it is necessary to maintain the city gardens built recently clean and tidy.
Commenting about appointing Parliamentarian Sanath Jayasuriya to the Cricket Selection Committee the President said that he is a veteran in the game of cricket.
Speaking about the fees levied for registration on marriages the President said that this fee has been waived off for Adi Wasi people.
Ministers Basil Rajapaksa, Keheliya Rambukwella, Professor G.L. Peiris, Secretary to the President Lalith Weerathunga and the Secretary to the Media Ministry Charitha Herath also attended the meeting.(niz)