There is no mistrust in the PSC despite appointing an independent committee
( December 13, 2012, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) President Mahinda Rajapakse stated that he is appointing an independent committee not because he has mistrust in the Parliamentary Select Committee.
The president made this statement during a meeting with the heads of media at Temple Trees today.
President Rajapakse also stated that he will consider the independent committee after he receives the report of the PSC regarding the impeachment.
It is normal practice for the president to appoint a committee to study a report once he receives it and in accordance with that an independent committee will be appointed to inquire into the PSC report.
President Rajapakse also denied reports of receiving a phone call regarding the impeachment from the president of the United States.
He further stated that as a democratic country all actions have been taken according to the constitution.
Responding to questions raised by journalists regarding the appointing of an acting chief justice, President Rajapakse stated that all actions will be undertaken within the legal framework.
He further stated that when appointing Dr. Shirani Bandaranayaka to the post of Chief Justice, only seniority was considered and thereby the policy of not interfering with the independence of the Judiciary was upheld.
The Chairman of the PSC Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa was also present at the meeting with the heads of media.
He stated that the Chief Justice was given privileges beyond that of what is normally given by a PSC.
Although the constitution and the standing orders state that only one attorney at law is allowed to accompany the person being impeached, the Chief Justice was allowed to bring in a team of Attorneys at Law.
The minister also stated that all the documents pertaining to the charges brought against her were presented to the Chief Justice’s legal team and that she was asked to produce evidence as well.
Minister Yapa further stated that despite being given privileges beyond what is traditionally allowed she walked out of the PSC proceedings.
Speaking further the minister added that it gives the opinion that she was prepared to walk out of the proceedings from the beginning.
He also stated that the Chief Justice was never verbally abused or treated in a malicious manner and that since the activities of the PSC was recorded from the beginning, evidence can be produced at any time.