All parliamentarians, who had signed the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake and members of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) appointed to probe the charges levelled against her, should first declare their assets, Convener of the National Movement for Social Justice Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha thera said yesterday.
He said Dr. Bandaranayake had shown a clear record on her financial transactions through her lawyers, but most of ministers and MPs had yet to declare their assets.
The Thera made the observations at a media conference held at his temple, the Naga Viharaya in Kotte yesterday.
Mahanayake Theras of three Nikayas and the Catholic Council, including the Cardinal, had already requested President Mahinda Rajapaksa to withdraw the impeachment motion and no one had a good word about, Ven. Sobitha Thera said,reminding President Rajapaksa how he had acted when the J. R. Jayewardene government tried to impeach then CJ Neville Samarakoon. Young Rajapaksa had opposed that move, he said.
“We observed that MPs of the Sri Lanka Communist Party and Lanka Sama Samaja Party have not signed the impeachment motion,” Sobitha thera said, adding that even a government minister, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, had criticised it.
There were 11 members on the PSC and of them seven were from the government. It was clear that their decision would be final, the Thera said.
Attorney-at-Law J. C. Weliamuna said that the government used the Standing Orders 78 (A), adopted by the J. R. Jayewardene government, to impeach present CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake.
According to the impeachment motion, the CJ had been given only one week to file explanations, but a murderer got over one month to file answers in Court, Weliamuna said.
That move was not against Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake but against the judiciary Hereafter, no Judge would dare give a judgement against the government and that was what the government’s wanted, Weliamuna said.
“We asked other civil organizations to join us to pressure the government to withdraw this impeachment motion,” Weliamuna said.