|Campaign organized by JVP led Peoples Movement for Democracy on 5th Nov 2012|
The UNP yesterday called for the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), due to hear the Impeachment Motion against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, be conferred with judicial powers.
Since the Members of Parliament who are to be appointed to the PSC, will in effect be performing a judicial role in determining the 14 charges that have been levelled against the Chief Justice, it should be granted appropriate authority to perform the task at hand, to ensure that justice was not only done but also seem to be done, General Secretary of the UNP Tissa Attanayake told a news conference in Colombo.
He said that considering the nature of the inquiry that the PSC will be called upon to undertake, including the summoning of witnesses, bank statements and other documentary evidence, judicial powers were required to perform its duty to the satisfaction of all concerned including civil society and the public at large.
The allegations ranged from purchasing property, local and foreign currency bank deposits, investments and questions pertaining to the declaration of assets and liabilities, the MP noted.
Attanayake, said that considering the complex range of issues involved, it was important that Commonwealth Parliamentary practices be followed during the Impeachment proceedings.
by Zacki Jabbar
We are compelled to raise our voice once again to protect the independence of the Judiciary.
By Karu Jayasuriya M.P.
(Brief Notes of the Media Conference held on 7th November 2012 By Hon. Karu Jayasuriya UNP Member of Parliament – Gampaha District)
1. We are compelled to raise our voice once again to protect the independence of the Judiciary. When we look at the behaviour of those who are in power in the present government and the way things happen, we witness a great threat to the independence of the Judiciary.
2. We do not intend to express our views on the “impeachment motion” which was submitted to Parliament yesterday.
3. But we foresee a dark future in the several recent attempts to interfere in matters pertaining to the Judiciary.
4. 17th Amendment was facilitated to bring about some controls to the unlimited powers of the Executive Presidency.
5. Institutions such as Public Service, Police and Judiciary were able to act independently through the 17th Amendment.
6. It was possible to establish independence and transparency in appointments for higher posts and discharging official duties, through the legislative council established under the 17th Amendment.
7. But this independence was completely destroyed by the present administration which came to power in 2005.
8. We heard the death knell of democracy and the beginning of the dictatorship through the 18th Amendment.
9. It is evident that present appointments are given at the pleasure of the President.
10. Appointments and promotions are given on political loyalties, instead of qualifications and capabilities.
11. As a result immense deterioration is visible in the Public Sector.
12. We see this deterioration in the Public Service, Police, Judiciary, University Education and many other institutions. Attorney General’s Department is under the Executive President.
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13. Some of the recent recommendations of the Attorney General’s Department were subjected to controversy. Society is excessively politicized. They experience the result of excessive politicization.
14. The country undergoes unprecedented wave of crime.
15. We see the hand of politicians and their henchmen behind child abuse, rape and robberies. We saw how the victim became the accused.
16. We see with sorrow how the efficient officers are being cornered and some officers those who are educated intelligent and impartial retire since they are unable to work according to their conscience and leave the country.
17. The judiciary is being threatened, whenever judgements are given contrary to the expectations. Politicians have become so adamant.
18. Character assassination is a key feature of the present government. Very low derogatory character assassinations are being carried out through libellous papers or under cover of the Parliamentary privileges.
19. It is regrettable that state media is being used for this purpose.
20. We observe with regret these actions which should not take place in a civilized society.
21. We raise our voice as members of the opposition and members of parliament not to protect any individuals. We want to protect institutions.
22. There would not be a democracy in the absence of an independent judiciary. Instead a tyrannical dictatorship will be formed like in North Korea and Zimbabwe.
23. The intelligent people in this country will not allow such a rule. We remind those who are in power, if an attempt is made to establish an obstinate rule intoxicated by power, one day they will have to face the reaction of the people.