The first Prime Minister of the world was from Sri Lanka. She was Mrs. Sirima Bandaranaike. She turned out to be exceptionally good despite her lack of high qualification, which some claims make a good political leader. But it was one or two of those qualified Ministers who were around her with family connections, that did not allow her to go forward with her own progressive ideas.
Appointment of the first woman Chief Justice was a good move. But unfortunately she became excessively interested in personal aggrandisement and failed to be independent and have a simple Buddhist outlook. Those who supported her did not advice her well, thus making her unpopular amoung the ordinary people of the country. One has to earn prestige and respect, it is not some thing that could be demanded or obtain by force.
If the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake had not given into the excited coconut dashing black coats of Hulftsdorp and participated in manifestations, she would have averted the consequence of the Impeachment, and not lost respect and popularity. She could have either resigned , without demanding a ruling from the Court of Appeal on the Impeachment Motion. She attempted do exactly what the former Commander of the Armed Forces Sarath Fonseka did and brought on herself the disgrace of being impeached and hated by the people.
That is the past, now it is looking forward to see how the next Chief Justice is to be appointed. In America for the appointment to high office there is a special inquiry by a Committee of the Senate. In Sri Lanka where there is no such a committee the President should investigate into the back ground of the possible candidates for the post . The Minister of Justice is already a Muslim and there are serious allegations of his influence in favour of the Muslim law students. This may not be correct but nevertheless such suspicions should not be allowed to happen. If it is another woman that is under consideration every thing about her should be investigated such as her family connections, her past relationships, her political interests, her intellectual capacities, and ability take independent decisions.
If I were to file an FR Application, for instance against the Tamil National Alliance for breach of the Article 157 of the Constitution , I would expect the Supreme Court Judges to see whether there had been a breach of the relevant Article or Articles of the Constitution and make an investigation into it, without giving me moral advise such as that Sri Lanka is a multi ethnic Society, and that I should learn to live with other Communities in harmony.
That for me would not be good judgment by a good judge. I as a plaintiff may have already considered the fundamental issues such as Sri Lanka is a multi ethnic Society and that we should learn to live in harmony with every other Community.
But the TNA if it is working on a separatist Agenda without any respect to the Constitution of Sri Lanka they had taken an Oath as Members of Parliament to uphold, the judges should investigate whether there had really been such a violation of the Constitution. Because I had taken the trouble to take an action to stop such separatist moves that TNA is taking openly making it difficult to unite the Communities or reconcile the Communities after a 30 years of ruthless terrorism
Giving advise on moral issues is good for a lower court taking up divorce cases or land disputes, but not for the Supreme Court which has to decide on more important issues such as the breach of relevant Articles of the Constitution.
I have heard that the Supreme Court Judge Shirani Thilekawardena had in a such a serious case of a FR application gave the plaintiff a lesson on morality, advised him to live in harmony with the other communities and asked him to withdraw the FR application. That is bad justice, a case as described in the paragraphs above should be decided on facts placed before the judge, without being philosophical looking at it in a spiritual dimension. That is perhaps for religious dignitaries and respected elders of the Communities to do, but not for Judges.
There had been lot of talk about Sri Lanka Government not respecting the rule of natural law and not respecting democratic principles. But in reality Sri Lanka is an example of democracy- not as pontificated by the West or the self interested politicians of the opposition, but as a country risen out of the “ ashes of terrorism” to build a new country, a new Nation with the people of all Communities as partners.
Sri Lanka is a new Democracy, where we will not identify ourselves with our Communal belonging , the religion we profess, or the language we speak, but as one people of a democratic Sri Lankan Nation , while at the same time respecting each other’s cultural and religious roots.
The object of all of us should be whether we be Sinhala, Tamil , Muslim or other is to work together for the development of our country, our motherland into a prosperous Nation with its people living in prosperity, peace and in harmony with each other. The Tamil National Alliance if they continue their separatist politics will not belong to this Sri Lanka we want it to build.
In order to arrive at that we should all make sacrifices, become altruistic, giving up selfish notions of acquiring wealth, prestige, honour and respect individually for each one of us, but give the whole country and all its people those self same desires we may have individually for ourselves.
Therefore, in selecting the next Chief Justice, we should have the satisfaction that the choice that has been made is in keeping with that concept of democracy unique to our country to build a single nation of all Communities.
That works only if every one works together with that objective in mind. We should do what is necessary, because it is necessary for our country and its people , and not because of the fear of being interfered in to by the Western Nations accusing us for not doing things that they want us to do.
It is essential that the Judiciary, the Executive and the Legislature remain separated and the Judiciary is independent. But that independence of the Judiciary should not be to go against the Executive and the Legislature, but to work together to build our Nation that had been denied that independence of taking decision and developing the country in our own way, since its independence.
The countries of the West are decadent, they accuse us for violation of human rights, they accuse us for elimination of terrorism, they accuse us for developing our country the way we want, they accuse us because we make new friends, they accuse us because we establish diplomatic relations with countries they do not like.
The West only accuses us as they have their own agenda of keeping the developing nations poor and dependent on them. The West accuses us because they want to remain the only leader of the world. The West accuses us because they think our relation with China, Russia, Iran, Korea etc, will be detrimental to their own leadership in the world, and that our strategic position in the Indian Ocean will be used by our friendly nations to keep the West in check.
America says, “The United States, along with our partners in the international community, continue to urge the Government of Sri Lanka to uphold the rule of law and respect the principles of democratic governance.”
And Britain says, “ it is committed to support the concept of responsibility to protect, which was supported by all UN member states in 2005.”
They may pass another resolution against us at the UNHRC in Geneva. They are working for their own benefit, with their own Agenda. We are a Nation Marching forward. We want a different democracy from that which is professed by the West offering their dreaded R2P, which they offered with success to Libya not so long ago. The West wants to offer their protection sending if possible drones and NATO Air Forces !!!
The West which proposes their democracy for others, is utterly undemocratic towards developing nations. They want to change regimes to put in place puppet governments which could be manipulated and held under their pseudo Chritian Democratic norms.
We can be a great Nation, the President Mahinda Rajapakse and the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse have gone a long way forward in developing Sri Lanka. All politicians of the opposition should get together with the government in it development projects.
The Government Ministers and Government Members of Parliament should be honest and should not leave room to be accused for corruption an malpractices. If they get Commissions from development projects, and purchases made abroad such commissions should be declared and use them for development purposes.
The Lawyers, judges, University Professors, Teachers, Students, Trade Unionists and politicians should be aware of the necessity to be independent of the West yet have good relations with the West without being their acolytes.
The Judges, Lawyers, University Professors, Teachers, Doctors, Public Servants, Private Companies, Institutions, Students, Trade Unionists and Politicians should understand the necessity to be united for the common good of the country and its people.
We all want Sri Lanka to be a developed country and a prosperous Nation with its people living in peace and harmony with each other.