Blessing in disguise for restoration of meaningful democracy
| by Vishvamithra
( December 26, 2012, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) On going tussle between the Judiciary, Executive and the Legislative (absolutely nothing more than puppets conduct themselves according to the whims and fancies of the Executive President) is surely a step forward for restoring democracy proper in this inland nation. Particularly since the 1972 Constitution, separation power between the three organs of the government was not worth the paper (the Constitution) it was written. Since then the judiciary, headed by the CJ in most cases plainly deliver what the Executive desired and failed to uphold the role of the watchdog of the people, whose inalienable judicial power it exercises.
Incidence of betrayals of the people, who had placed their trust in the judiciary are in abundance in the recent history. Probably the best is the unbecoming conduct of Asoka De Silva J who was appointed over Srirani Bandaranayake J to approve the 18thamendment to facilitate MR contest for a third term with no issues whatsoever raised when contested before the Supreme Court. Then this very same person simply to please MR had audacity to declare that the Court Martial that found Gen Sarath Fonseka guilty for charges levelled against him without a fair trial afforded to him also a Court. For the job well-done Asoka Silva was given a special presidential advisor post on top of the full pension afforded to him. The judges in the Apex Court are given a pension of 100% salary drawn at the time of retirement for a reason; that is to lead a respectable and exemplary life after retirement sans becoming stooges of any politician or political party.
Next come Sarath N Silva J who let the MR off the hook, in a case where serious allegations were levelled against MR for defrauding tsunami funds. Sarath Silva J, removed all impediments faced by MR and simply allowed him contest the Presidential Election. Later bringing insult to injury Sarath Silva had the audacity to admit that he made a monumental blunder and that he was directly responsible for not dealing MR appropriately as required by law. He publicly admitted that had he acted according to law MR should have been behind bars. It is hard to believe the character of this person who appears to have lost all his senses when he make various public utterances, defending all actions taken by MR regime and the inquiry proceedings conducted by the PSC against the CJ that lacked transparency, fairness that is guaranteed to any citizen in this Country.
Yet, from the peoples’ view point what is unfolding before them seems to be good for the democracy. At least from now if the judges in the Apex Court have little bit of insight should realise their constitutional obligation to the people of this country and that the judicial power they enjoy emanates from the people (who enjoy the sovereignty over all three institutions) and not the Executive.
People with little bit if insight knows that there some public officers appointed to the Apex Court from the Attorney General’s department by the Executive in an effort to have some influence in the Supreme Court. Surely in most of these subservient officials lacks character, will and commitment required to uphold the judicial power of the people, particularly when it matters most like situations where there is serious threat pose to the democratic rights and fundamental freedom guaranteed by the constitution by the Executive or the Legislature.
In this backdrop the right thinking people earnestly believe that judges in the Superior Courts would learn a costly but good lesson from this impeachment saga that is not to betray the people of their rights when there is threat to their rights either by Executive or the Legislature. People cry nothing more nothing less that justice from the Supreme Court headed by the CJ that is to deal with any member or group in the Executive and the Legislature, who had taken a constitutional oath to uphold the rule of law and to perform their respective offices with utmost honestly and integrity, appropriately and as required by law without any fear or favour. Lessons to be learnt are many from neighbouring countries, particularly from Pakistan where the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice fearlessly discharge their constitutional duty to the letter, safeguarding rule of law, the democratic rights and fundamental freedom of the people.
Role vested in the Supreme Court headed by the CJ becomes heavier, particularly since the country is under siege by Rajapakse Wickramasighe top-secret pact that had effectively made the opposition redundant and impotent.