Sri Lanka Brief
NewsRanil as PM requested Commonwelth Judges in 2003: Everyone is bound by SC interpretations: UNP .

Ranil as PM requested Commonwelth Judges in 2003: Everyone is bound by SC interpretations: UNP .


The United National Party (UNP) said today everyone was bound to accept a Supreme Court ruling on the impeachment process if it were based on constitutional interpretations.
UNP Vice President Lakshman Kiriella told a news conference that the Supreme Court had the sole and executive province for the interpretation of the Constitution.
Mr. Kiriella said the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary, which were the three pillars of governance, should exercise their powers as determined by the Constitution.

“In my view, it is the Constitution that is supreme though some individuals argue otherwise. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, in his ruling on the Divi Neguma Bill, clearly articulated that the Supreme Court enjoys the sole and exclusive powers to interpret the Constitution,” he said.

Mr. Kiriella charged that the ruling party members of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) which probed charges against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake took ad hoc decisions, and even slandered her in the filthiest language.

“I have been in Parliament for the past 24 years. The use of obscene language against the Chief Justice was the most indecent moment I witnessed in my life as an MP.  The Chief Justice was also not given adequate time to present her case,” he said.

Referring to the move to impeach former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva during the UNP Government, he said the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe sought to appoint a panel of judges from the Commonwealth countries to examine the charges.    

“This resolution was brought in 2003. Mr. Wickremesinghe approached the Commonwealth Secretary through Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in London for this purpose,” he said.

The then Commonwealth Secretary Lord Brenman had proposed the names of ex-chief justices and senior judges from India, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.  A copy of the letter sent by the Commonwealth Secretary was given to journalists at the news conference. (KB)

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