Peace for the World

Peace for the World
First democratic leader of Justice the Godfather of the Sri Lankan Tamil Struggle: Honourable Samuel James Veluppillai Chelvanayakam

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Selected Tweets: Colombo Telegraph Unblocked

By Colombo Telegraph -March 31, 2013 
We were unblocked from yesterday morning after we managed to persuade that “since we are not financially motivated, we will re-activate our which the government cannot block without blocking Word Press and that we will also upload our full content to the Facebook.”
We take this opportunity to thank all our friends who called Sri Lankan government authorities regarding the block. And also thanks to all those who tweeted. We publish below a few selected tweets including Sri Lanka’s credible Twitter users such as Groundviews, BBC’s Charles Haviland and Nalaka Gunawardene.


PM to take call on boycott of Commonwealth meet in SL: Narayanasamy
ZeenewsSaturday, March 30, 2013,
Chennai: With Union Shipping Minister GK Vasan joining the chorus for boycott of Commonwealth meeting in Colombo over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office (PMO) V Narayanasamy on Saturday said Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will take a final call on it after holding discussions with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid. 

"As far as the Commonwealth meeting is concerned, it is going to happen in November 2013. The Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a resolution, send it to the Government of India. The DMK leader also made such a request by passing a resolution in their general council. The DMK party also made the request. Vasan also said that clearly this is his personal view," Narayanasamy told media here. 

"As far as the Government of India is concerned, there is still time. The Prime Minister will discuss the issue with the Foreign Affairs Minister and (then) the Prime Minister will take a final decision on that," he added. 
Vasan yesterday said the venue of the Commonwealth meeting should be shifted if there is no change in Lanka's approach towards ethnic Tamils. 

"It is my personal opinion...I feel in the coming days, if there is no change in the approach of Sri Lanka (towards ethnic Tamils), the countries that voted (in favour of the US sponsored-resolution in UNHRC) should jointly make efforts to shift the venue of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to some other country," he said. 

The Congress leader further said the Prime Minister should attend the meeting on the basis of the collective decision. 

Vasan's remarks came days after the ruling AIADMK and M Karunanidhi-led DMK in Tamil Nadu demanded that India should boycott Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting scheduled to be held in November in Colombo. 

The Tamil Nadu Assembly had adopted a resolution, moved by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, earlier on Wednesday urging the Centre to take firm steps against Colombo till the ''suppression'' of Tamils was stopped and those responsible for ''genocide and war crimes'' faced a credible international probe. 

The resolution came close on the heels of Jayalalithaa writing to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying India should boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting to be held in Colombo in November this year. 

The 30-year-long civil war between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels of LTTE who at one time controlled large swathes of the north of the island state is estimated to have left tens of thousands of people dead or injured. 


Elpitiya ‘Liberated’ By BBS: No More Muslim Shops!

By Colombo Telegraph -March 31, 2013

Shops operated by Muslims in Elpitiya to vacate the premises soon, the Colombo Telegraph learns.
Colombo TelegraphAll 13 shops of the Muslims in Elpitiya are legally owned by Sinhalese but have been given on annual rent. The legal agreements are renewed every year. According to the Colombo Telegraph sources the Bodu Bala Sena has approached the legal owners of the Muslim establishments in Elpitiya and directed them not to extend their leases. All Sinhala owners of the shops have informed the Muslim businessmen to return the vacant shops, after the conclusion of the annual rent. Elpitiya will then be “liberated” according to Bodu Bala Sena.
Bodu Bala Sena conducted a meeting on 29th March in Elpitiya. BBS ordered all Shops and Restaurants to close from 11.00 a.m. and shop owners were asked to attend their procession white cloth and join their public meeting in the town. There are 13 shops operated by Muslims and they remained closed throughout the day, in expectation of violence.
Buddhist Monk Galabodaaththe Gnanasara - BBS
Related posts;



The Sunday LeaderBy Indika Sri Aravinda-Sunday, March 31, 2013
Minister of National Language and Social Integration Vasudeva Nanayakara is to submit a Cabinet paper seeking a ban on extremist groups, including the Bodu Bala Sena, Ravana Balaya and Sinhala Ravaya.
The Minister told The Sunday Leader that the Cabinet paper is being drafted and will be submitted in two weeks time.
He said that the Cabinet paper will seek to bring in new laws to crack down on such groups in the wake of the recent religious tensions in the country.
Nanayakkara accused the Bodu Bala Sena, Ravana Balaya and Sinhala Ravaya of spreading hatred and disharmony among religions and other communities.
He also accused the police of failing to take action against such groups despite them openly advocating hatred.
Nanayakkara also said that he had written to President Mahinda Rajapaksa regarding the hate campaigns targeting Muslims in the country.
“Under our constitution anyone can follow any religion they want. If people feel threatened then they should complain to the police and the police must take action or they can go to Court,” he said.
His comments came in the wake of the recent attack on the Fashion Bug store at Pepiliyana and hate campaigns targeting other Muslim establishments.
The Bodu Bala Sena denied any involvement in the Pepiliyana incident but the monks had openly spoken against the clothes store at a public rally recently.
The latest incident led to Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader and Minister of Justice, Rauff Hakeem requesting President Mahinda Rajapaksa to convene a cabinet meeting to discuss the rising religious unrest and civil disturbance in the country.
Minister Hakeem has also contacted all the Muslim parliamentarians including Senior Minister M. H. M. Fowzie (who is currently out of the country) and Ministers Rishard Bathiutheen and A. L. M. Athaullah for the meeting in this regard.
An SLMC statement on Friday said that the Minister had expressed his displeasure and had condemned the attack on a private business site. He believes that this was seemingly carried out as a sequel to the ongoing attacks on the religious places and hate campaigns against Muslims and other religious minority communities in the country.
Minister Hakeem also said he was dismayed at the ineffective response of the law and order machinery in containing the spread of such violence and unrest that fuels insecurity and peace of all minority communities in Sri Lanka.

Diaspora want Chennai as venue of CHOGM

Sunday, 31 March 2013 
Even as the demand for Delhi to get the CHOGM meet shifted out of Colombo is gathering strength here, the Global Tamil Forum GTF) in London has expressed the hope that the pressure from Tamil Nadu would move the Indian government to initiate measures
to isolate ‘intransigent’ Colombo in all international democratic institutions.
GTF spokesman Suren Surendiran said Tamils worldwide were grateful to chief minister J Jayalalithaa for taking a “strong position” as reflected in her letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on CHOGM. It would be best for the Tamil interests if she now came out with a statement offering Chennai as the venue for this November meet of the heads of Commonwealth nations.
“By doing so, Madam Jayalalithaa would be providing real leadership on this issue. Whilst appreciating that CHOGM is about 54 countries and not just Sri Lanka, the world Tamils want to ensure a successful meet in Chennai and not in Sri Lanka. This will be logistically, practically and morally feasible and acceptable to all concerned”, Mr Surendiran said in an interview from London.
He said India should lead by example as the regional power by imposing travel sanctions on the current regime and the military leadership until the question of accountability for what happened during the end of the armed conflict is fully addressed.
“Sri Lanka is simply does not deserve the honour (to host CHOGM) as it has broken the very values that the Commonwealth
stands for. We have seen enough evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed and there are plenty more proof to come. There is enough evidence of human rights abuses there even now”, the GTF spokesman said.
He said it is not true that CHOGM should be held only in a national capital.The 2010 meet was at Perth and not the Australian capital of Canberra. And President Mahinda Rajapaksa was planning to hold CHOGM in his hometown Hambantotta and not in
Colombo. “Chennai is a million times more acceptable than any Sri Lankan venue. We are sure that no peace-loving Indian, not just the protesting Tamil, would want to see his Prime Minister attending CHOGM in Sri Lanka”, he said.
CHOGM hosted in Chennai would strengthen the cry for justice for the Tamils of Sri Lanka whereas allowing it to take place in Sri Lanka could “whitewash the terrible crimes against humanity done by the government” there, Mr. Surendiran said, addingthat the Tamil Diaspora in the UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Malaysia and elsewhere “will impress upon our vernments
to seriously consider the change of venue from Hambantotta to Chennai should Madam Jayalalithaa make such offer”’
Courtesy – International

Recognising Ourselves As Our Worst Enemies

By Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena -March 30, 2013 |
Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena
Colombo TelegraphWith a foreign policy in tatters, the judiciary and the legal system in deep crisis and the state of the economy looking more perilous with each monumentally wasteful government extravaganza, the seasonal call of the koha heralding the Sinhala and Tamil New Year sounds more eerily mocking than musical.
Racist extremism has no boundaries
On the domestic front, a superficial bubble of postwar development waits in suspense as it were, to be pricked by the sharp pin of anti-minority extremism at the hands of militant Sinhala Buddhist forces implicitly protected by powerful government figures. The latest target of such extremist forces is the Muslim community. If Muslim politicians, professionals and business leaders believed that they would be spared from the tide of racist extremism evidenced against the Tamil community, this was the year of reckoning.
It was, of course, sheer foolishness to believe that extremism will rage against one minority and stop short at the boundaries of another. The rationale that Muslim nations supported Sri Lanka even against a West (as is sought to be told by the government’s favourite storytellers) intent on taking revenge against the country and that therefore, the Muslim community within the country would be spared the evils of extremist violence, was soon proved to be quite wrong.
On the international front meanwhile, Sri Lanka is more isolated than at any other point since independence, with this government placing excellent weapons of attack into the hands of the pro-LTTE diaspora. In sum, not a happy recipe, one would reckon for New Year cheers.
Do we realise the importance of institutions?
Yet now more than at any other point, as Christians celebrate Easter and Sinhalese along with Tamils prepare themselves for the traditional Avurudu, thoughtful introspection is needed. This process involves the far more difficult task of shifting the target of criticism away from Sri Lanka’s political leaders towards ourselves. This column has (for a decade and a half) been consistently focusing on the importance of protecting institutions from the illintentioned attacks of politicians temporarily in power. Yet it is a pertinent question as to whether the sanctity of institutions are actually recognised or acknowledged in the public perception as vital to the functioning of the country.
The judicial institution of Sri Lanka is a case in point. This week, the report of a remote mission of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association was released roundly condemning the impeachment of the43rd Chief Justice of Sri Lanka and calling upon Sri Lanka to reverse the process.
This is the third report of the IBAHRI conducted by remote mission due to the refusal of visas to its members as contrasted to its earlier missions conducted in response to allegations of abuse of judicial power during the Sarath Silva Court (1999-2009). The severity of the report, justified as this is by the severity of the ousting of a sitting Chief Justice by military muscle, will lend its own weight to Sri Lanka’s exponentially growing international isolation.
The importance of a ‘non-politicised’ focus
That said, some positive signs do appear despite the gloom. This coming month, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) will embark on a new term under the Presidency of Upul Jayasuriya who, (unlike many other lawyers suddenly possessing a conscience only from December 2012), was as outspoken during that unsettling decade of the Silva Court as he is now.
His address on Saturday to the legal community took detailed note of the tremendous challenges before the BASL, reflected on public criticisms made thereto and promised strong and consistent ‘non-politicised activism’ in response. And the gauntlet was thrown down in no uncertain terms by the fact that an invitation was not issued to the 44th Chief Justice to attend the convocation as Chief Guest and indeed by the attendance of the 43rd Chief Justice at the ceremony.
Substantively, the emphasis on a ‘non-politicised’ focus in the BASL convocation address is immeasurably important. The struggle needs to be against political fronts of whatever colour. The manner in which Sri Lanka’s judicial institution was reduced to a pale shadow of a once proud precedent setting body respected in the Commonwealth is a clear illustration.
The sins committed by the administrations of Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa in respect to the country’s judiciary are well understood in the public mind. Yet a lesser known question is why the United National Front (UNF) administration did not live up to campaign promises during its brief tenure in office (2001-2003) in regard to correction of the (alleged) abuse of judicial power by an incumbent Chief Justice?
The answer to that question is simple. The UNF fell into the beguiling trap of believing that a Chief Justice amenable to a government in power would be useful rather than a Chief Justice who would fearlessly stand up for the rule of law against any government. In that sense, the late Justice Mark Fernando, known as one of Sri Lanka’s most erudite and honest judges, was disliked if not feared by both the UPFA of Chandrika Kumaratunga and the UNP/UNF of Ranil Wickremesinghe. We hearken back therefore to the importance of the struggle to preserve institutions against politicians of all colour.
Failing ourselves and vicious personal attacks
Indeed neither was this process owing only to the peccadilloes of politicians. Rather, the lack of courage of Sri Lanka’s legal community to speak out at that time sealed the fate of the Sri Lankan judiciary and years later, led to a sitting Chief Justice being abused by politicians. If not for our abject failures then, we would not have had to suffer such a calamitous fate now. The BASL faces therefore a formidable task in reversing the cumulative effect of this decade long slide into disaster.
Another case in point is the equally beleaguered state of university administration in Sri Lanka. While space prevents a detailed exploration of the relevant issues, it is an apt reflection that when measured critiques are made in the specific context of heavily contested appointments to the office of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo (see ‘The Collapse of Institutions’, Savitri Goonesekere, Colombo Telegraph, March 17, 2013), these critiques are met with vicious personal attacks.
What are we as a nation?
One would fairly question whether the fault lies verily not in our politicians but in ourselves as a people? True enough, politicians take deservedly a great deal of the blame for our current sorry state. But a larger question needs to be directed to ourselves; are our politicians and our political culture not a reflection of ourselves? If so, what does that say for us as a nation? Is there indeed, any entity that truly can be called a Sri Lankan nation?
These are good questions for those of us at least possessing a degree of objectivity and basic decency to ask each other.

Shirani B. attends BASL Convocation; Mohan Pieris not invited


Shirani Bandaranayake attended the Annual Convocation of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka in Colombo on March 30, 2013. She was invited as the 43rd Chief Justice of Sri Lanka. Mohan Pieris, the 44th Chief Justice, was not invited. Attorney General Palitha Fernando came to the venue but left before proceedings began.
Wijedasa Rajapakshe, UNP MP and President’s Counsel, officially handed over the Presidency of BASL to Upul Jayasuriya. While there were many empty seats in the auditorium at the beginning of proceedings, they filled up as the evening wore on. Among those present were foreign diplomat, senior members of the clergy and politicians. Mrs. Bandaranayake did not address the gathering. Retired Supreme Court Judge C.V Wigneswaran delivered a hard-hitting speech in which he said that, despite the many regrettable incidents that have plagued Sri Lanka’s legal system in the last three-and-a-half decades, the future of the profession did not look as bleak as it does today.
“For a person who is completing fifty years in the profession next year, of which twenty five were on the Bench, the trajectory of the Legal System has been depressing and most recently alarming,” he said. “We are at the nadir in every aspect of our profession. None so alarming as the systematic institutional erosion.” He also warned that the attach on religious freedoms radicalises the polity and unleashes dangers that cannot be controlled even by those who foster them. “The attack on the Temple of Justice removes the only rational and non-partisan check on Government and individual excesses, he said. “The combination of the two at present is both a time-bomb waiting to go off and a cancer spreading to other areas at the same time.”
Delivering his inauguration speech, Mr. Jayasuriya said the bond between the independence of the judiciary and the independence of our profession is so deep “that we may call ourselves twins”. “Indeed,” he said, “we stand or fall together.” He commented that a political judge or a political Chief Justice can cause more damage to the morale of the judiciary than an unscrupulous politician. He emphasised that it was the solemn duty of the Bar to face these challenges with firm resolve and to stand up to judges acting according to political dictates rather than the judicial conscience. He said they must defend judges who defy political commands at the expense of their civil liberties and sometimes, their very lives.
Justice Wigneswaran’s full speech:
Your Ladyship Dr.Mrs.Shirani Bandaranaike, President Mr.Upul Jayasuriya, Former Attorney General Mr.Sunil de Silva, my dear Brothers and Sisters!
It was not very long ago that I had the good fortune to address the Original Judiciary at their Annual Judicial Officers’ Conference. I  mentioned  then that it took eight long years since my retirement for them to remember me. It was indeed a pleasant surprise when your President- elect just a few days ago, last Wednesday, called on me to invite me to address you.  Despite the short notice it showed that the Legal Profession  still  appreciates  though rather belatedly the values and principles for which some of us stood for at great inconvenience, when in recent times such values are getting watered down or eroded around us.
I have no doubt kept away from such Inductions for some time preferring to lead a life of low profile and contentment but of course finding out from friends and others as to what was happening in the Legal Profession as well as in Courts.
Many of you might not know that I had been in the profession actively practicing for fifteen years before being called to serve the Judiciary in 1979. In 1977 I was one of the young Lawyers who went up to the late Mr. Neville Samarakoon, Queen’s Counsel, and invited him to come forward to contest the post of President, Bar Association. He said “Leave me alone! I like to lead a peaceful life!” He went on to elaborate    on  what he considered as essentials to his life-peaceful, which I believe is not relevant here!
But within a few months he had consented to shoulder the mantle of the Chief Justice of this Country. Soon after at a party I asked him “Sir! You were reluctant to contest the post of President, Bar Association but Destiny seems to have designed other plans for you.” He laughed, puffed at his pipe and said “When J.R. called me and asked me to accept the office of Chief Justiceship I told him “On one condition”. He asked what it was. I said “No interference of any sort”. “He agreed. So I agreed!”  he said. How thereafter President Jayewardene forgot his promise and interfered with the Judiciary and what that led to, are part of our unfortunate history.
Despite the many regrettable incidents that have plagued our Legal System in the last three and a half decades, the future of the profession did not look as bleak as it does today.  For a person who is completing fifty years in the profession next year, of which twenty five were on the Bench, the trajectory of the Legal System has been depressing and most recently alarming.  We are at the nadir in every aspect of our profession.      None so alarming as the systematic institutional erosion.
The powers that be in this Country are missing the wood for the trees, it appears. By interfering with the Independence of the Judiciary they are disturbing the course of Law and Justice in this Country for all time. To them, it appears, what are taking place in Sri Lanka are mere incidents or a series of incidents of inconsequential value. They are like the few trees visible to their eyes. But they do not appear to have any idea as to the avalanche that is to fall and pervade the entire Judicial future of this Country; the dangerous jungle into which we have stepped on. Bigoted and short sighted we are,we do not see the writings on the wall.
We must not flex our muscles when dealing with Religions or Courts of Justice. However provocative any Religious Organisation might appear to be, flexing muscles at them is not the proper procedure to be adopted. Especially when such Organisations have emotive votaries not only locally but also outside our Country. And again under the present context resorting to hoodlum tactics with Courts of Law too is also ill-advised
The attack on religious freedoms radicalises the polity and unleashes dangers that cannot be controlled even by those who foster them.  The attack on the temple of justice removes the only rational and non-partisan check on government and individual excesses.  The combination of the two at present is both a time bomb waiting to go off and a cancer spreading to other areas at the same time.
The absence today of one of the special Invitees, whose religion and whose profession are under attack, underscores the extent of the pressures exerted on even well meaning individuals, and the debilitating effect it has on their ability to act according to their conscience.  In this regard I must commend the Honourable Attorney General for discharging a customary obligation without fear.
We have seen politicians who fan religious fervour paying with their lives to the extremists they helped create.  I have seen politicians who tried to interfere with the Law and Courts of Justice, later falling prey to their own machinations. It is best to discuss matters of importance regarding any Religious Organization with their spokespersons or leaders rather than resort to violent tactics. So too it is best to allow the Judiciary to carry on undisturbed conforming to the delineations set out by Law for them. If we bend or seek to bend Legal Institutions to suit our whims and fancies however highly placed we are, then we would have to face such activities boomeranging on us.
For example Mr. J.R.Jayewardene bent the Constitution of this Country to suit him and his party. But those who have reaped the benefit of his tomfoolery are not those from his party. Those currently indulging in such indiscretions must take a lesson from what J.R. did and what is taking place today. It would be too late when the boomerang strikes us, to retrieve ourselves.
We Sri Lankans have a tradition of becoming very agitated and emotional about matters that affect our society, political or otherwise, and thereafter forgetting such matters completely. We are emotional but with short memories.  Perhaps this is an island trait of living for the moment.  But where did we inherit the trait of opportunism so pithily described in Sinhalese as Vaasi patheta hoiya? I found our Judges and others in the legal profession who vociferously stood by the wronged Chief Justice of this Country just the other day, suddenly taking an about turn. It is the highest court that has to take the greatest responsibility but how spectacularly they have capitulated.  The members of the original judiciary and the members of the Bar rightly feel frustrated.  Whether this disappointment will continue is to be seen. We must remember that we reap what we sow. President JR’s party inherited the effects of what he did in a negative way.
I believe I am senior enough to venture to make a few comments regarding our profession including the Judiciary. Let us remember that the profession is not different from each of us. We are the profession. And the profession is us. Therefore what each of us make of our professional life is the popular image we foist on the world at large. The popular image of our profession, I could assure you, is not at all complimentary. We are looked upon as parasites drawing the life blood of the society fattening ourselves but giving insufficiently in return.
Speaking of Judges sometimes they are found fault with for forcing settlements on parties when one of them has a very good case.  Either they prefer not to labour themselves with the process of going through evidence and coming to a finding or their sole concern is to show conclusion of cases for the record.  Sometimes Judges are criticized for having their favourite  lawyers  in Court. If so and so is retained the Judge would be favourable to us, is an oft quoted comment. Due to such state of affairs Lawyers bend in half to become favourites of the incumbent Judge. They are prepared to compromise their client’s case just to receive such judicial blessings.
No doubt a fair comment could be made in this regard if the performance of any Lawyer appeals to any Judge and it is borne out in Court.. But Judges must be careful that they do not go out of their way to show any partiality. In the provincial courts, when I used to preside, I did not allow Lawyers to see me in Chambers unless they were accompanied by the Lawyer for the other side. Otherwise all applications generally had to be in open Court. I kept a book with the Aaraachi in which every person who comes to see me in Chambers had to write down his name and inform what he wishes to discuss with me. I tried not to allow the anger certain Counsel may create in me in one case to affect me when the same Counsel appears in another case the same day. It would be as if he is appearing for the first time that day before me. These were simple means by which comments about familiarity or antipathy towards lawyers were to a great extent avoided.
Another area I have found to be wanting is the lack of interest shown by Co-Judges in Appellate Courts when it comes to writing Judgments. Since they decide on the Judge who would write a Judgment in advance, the other Judges show no interest to study the case or write either a judgment of their own or even a dissenting judgment. As a result Judgments are often scrappy and incomplete. If Co-Judges show interest the Judge who writes his Judgment would be more circumspective. Despite Justice Mark Fernando being a brilliant student of the Law I used to cross swords with him in his Chambers on many matters pertaining to our Judgments. Mark was such a patient Judge he would discuss any matter fully and completely and sometimes change his opinion if he saw merit in our arguments.
I do not wish to comment too much on our faults. But I must say I accepted this invitation to address you today to commend the Bar Association under the stewardship of Mr.Upul Jayasuriya for taking the correct legal stance with regard to the office of the Chief Justice. This Induction Ceremony has given Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranaike an opportunity to air her point of view to the Legal audience here and through the Press to the people at large. I hope no self – confessed relative of some ancient Sinhala King would take it upon himself to create hooliganism at this meeting since that seems to be the order of the day.
We must remember that the so-called Impeachment process against Chief Justice Dr.Shirani Bandaranaike was legally faulted. Both the Supreme Court as well as the Court of Appeal gave decisions in this regard. So long as Competent Courts of Law have held that the process adopted was faulty, then those who advocated such Impeachment should have gone to the relevant Court or Courts to have such orders or determinations quashed. They did not do so. By not doing so a dilemma arises. If the existing Orders are not reversed by a Fuller Bench and in fact do get confirmed in the future it would appear that all steps taken so far by the de facto Chief Justice would be illegal. Then irreparable harm and damages would be sustained by litigants whose cases were heard by a person who cannot be deemed to be the Chief Justice of this Country under the Law.
If the de facto Chief Justice continues to act as if his conduct is valid in Law and hears Applications, constitute Benches and makes Orders and Determinations so positively and confidently expecting a Divisional Bench to reverse the Orders already made, even if they do reverse the Orders already made in the future, then the integrity and impartiality of the Honourable Judges who make such orders would come into question. The delay has already given way to retirements and there is delay in those entitled to succeed, being brought in.
If in the future suppose a fuller Bench of the Supreme Court would not be called upon to review the already existing determinations of Courts, then it would become a mockery of the Judicial system. We would have taken steps acting contrary to the findings of a Court of Law but would continue not giving the slightest importance to the valid Orders and Determinations made by the Highest Judicial Forums of this Country.
Of course an application might be made to validate steps taken already, retrospectively.  Whether those who have knowingly violated the law should be given relief for their high handed act is a matter to be decided.  But eventually that would bring the entire profession and the judiciary into disrepute.
Thus there are inter alia three main possibilities and all three could lead to an impasse. If the Orders already made are upheld and not reversed, if they are reversed or if no application is made to reverse, there could be adverse consequences. A Democracy cannot be expected to flourish under illegalities and/or uncertainties.
Let me tell you something that I heard had happened in the North sometime ago. A District Judge had given an order with regard to a Land Case. The litigant who lost the case in the District Court went to a Kangaroo Court. The Judge there, a young Girl in her early twenties was given a copy of the District Judge’s Judgment.  She felt that the Judgment was correct and mentioned so in Court. But may be because the litigant who lost the Case in the District Court was an ardent supporter of their Militant Outfit she made some variations which gave such litigant some time to stay on, on the land. The person who won the Case at the District Court wanted to take writ out in the District Court. The lawyer told the litigant “You have a de jure judgment in your favour but the other person has a de facto Order in his favour. If you take writ out there is a possibility that you would be hauled up before the Kangaroo Court for contempt of Court. You must decide what you should do.”
We are more or less in this unenviable position. Could it be said therefore that the Parliament has become the Kangaroo Court in this instance arrogating judicial powers to itself ?
It appears that Law and its sanction is based today on force rather than consensus; forced legitimacy rather than consensual legitimacy. It is by conforming to the Law that we could vest consensual legitimacy on the  Law. Lawyers are an integral part in this process. By refusing to give legitimacy and sanction to the Orders and Determinations of the Superior Courts the powers that be are undermining their power and effectiveness. That such derogation is instigated by Parliament speaks ill of our Legislators.
I am glad that the Legal Profession has understood the seriousness of what is taking place and has geared itself to face the challenges. I thank your President-elect and the members of the Bar Council for having given me this opportunity to be with all of you and show my solidarity with what you are doing. Of course character assassinations through the Press, threats and intimidations, if not sheer physical violence, might be thrown at you by interested parties. But remember you are on a worthwhile journey. The journey to bring respect and legitimacy to Law and Order in this Country! The journey to oust force and coercion from the legal administration of Courts! The journey to consolidate our profession.
Mr. Jayasuriya! you have an unenviable task ahead.  The Bar has overwhelmingly thrown its support behind you.  I trust you will be a worthwhile repository of that trust.  Now, more than ever, is the time where party affiliations and personal differences have to be placed aside and the Profession be  given pride of place!  I wish you well in the new year of Office. God bless all of you! Thank You.

Mr.Upul Jayasuriya’s full speech:
Presidency of BASL to Upul Jayasuriya

BASL snubs CJ
By Stanley Samarasinghe-2013-03-31 

In a plain snub directed at incumbent Chief Justice, Mohan Peiris, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) had Peiris' predecessor, the 43rd Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, as the chief guest of the induction ceremony of the newly-elected BASL President, Upul Jayasuriya, and the executive committee, held at the New Town Hall yesterday.

Attorney General Palitha Fernando left the event, accompanied by the Deputy Solicitors General, minutes after the arrival of the former Chief Justice at the venue.
Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who is reportedly exploring a return to politics, was also present on the occasion.
Justice Minister, Rauff Hakeem, was a notable absentee. Among others who were present were former Attorney General, Sunil de Silva, and former Supreme Court Judge, C. Vigneswaran.

The centuries old tradition is that the incumbent chief justice is invited as the chief guest of the induction ceremony of a BASL President.
Jayasuriya, delivering his inauguration address said: "A political judge or a political chief Justice can, in fact, cause more damage to the morale of the Judiciary than an unscrupulous politician.

Yet, it is the solemn duty of the Bar to face these challenges with firm resolve, to stand up to judges acting according to political dictates rather than the judicial conscience and on the contrary, to defend judges who defy political commands at the expense of their civil liberties and sometimes, their very lives."

Justice Vigneswaran, delivering his speech at the ceremony said, "The powers that be in this country are missing the wood for the trees, it appears. By interfering with the independence of the Judiciary, they are disturbing the course of law and justice in this country for all time."

The BASL, in an earlier extraordinary meeting, held during the height of the attempts to remove Dr. Bandaranayake from the post of Chief Justice decided it would shun her successor, if she was removed from her office in violation of a Supreme Court determination.
Long, long rope for Lanka
Maja Daruwala
March 29, 2013
The Commonwealth secretariat recently confirmed that Colombo will be the venue for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting due to happen at the end of 2013. Earlier this week, the secretariat said that Sri Lanka (SL) would also not be on the agenda of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) which is due to meet next month. This is a surprising because SL has been violating the Commonwealth's Latimer House rules and usually if a nation breaches the rules, it is put under scrutiny for suspension or at the very least is referred to the CMAG. The House Rules are a set of guidelines on the good practices governing relations among the executive, parliament and the judiciary for the promotion of good governance, the rule of law and human rights.

The island nation has been flouting the rules for sometime; only recently it impeached its chief justice Shirani Bandaranayake illegally. But Kamlesh Sharma, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, failed to see that the impeachment is another step in a series of illegal actions taken by the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime. Sri Lanka has been refusing to allow an international inquiry into the accusations of human rights violations in the last days of its civil war in 2009 and is even reluctant to hold an internal inquiry.
After public outrage against State repression in SL, in March 2012, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) censured the country, albeit gently. However, a recent UN report points out that little has changed in SL since the 2012 resolution. Amid demands for more stringent action against the nation, another UNHRC resolution was passed in March 2013. Though the resolution failed to call for an international probe, it censures SL for lack of accountability, places the country under the scrutiny of the UN and intends to review the issue periodically over the next one year.
In such a scenario, the Secretary-General's stance undermines all such efforts. But the issue is being discussed at various platforms because the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting is slated to be held in Sri Lanka in November. Many Commonwealth members and civil society are demanding a change of venue. Canada, which accounts for the second-largest contribution to the Commonwealth's coffers after Britain, has said that it may not attend the meet if the venue is not changed. Britain has also voiced doubts about the level of its representation.
On its part, SL is using the race card to deflect external pressure. This posture is obscuring the true issue within the Commonwealth: does the Commonwealth have a core set of fundamental values like democracy, rule of law and human rights and who stands for them?
But SL's stance might not work. Several African and Caribbean members are questioning the value of the Commonwealth if the meet is held in Colombo. Others have offered to host the meet. India is also edgy about SL intransigence. In 2012, and again in 2013, it supported the UNHRC resolution against Sri Lanka. Despite increasing pressure, the Secretary-General is unmoved.
If those calling for a change in venue are defeated, the Commonwealth will have no meaning in the future. If they are not, then after the first shock to this old gentlemen's club a real organisation of the 1.6 billion people it represents will perhaps take shape.
Maja Daruwala is director, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
The views expressed by the author are personal