In short, 300 judges from all Courts all over the Island gathered yesterday afternoon at 3 pm at the Superior Courts Complex in Hulftsdorp. The CJ explained her position to them as they have been calling her from time to time, and she believed it was best to get their opinion on the proceedings regarding her impeachment now going through the PSC.
All members of the JSA endorsed the following:
“Called the PRESIDENT to stop the attacks on the Judiciary in the state media. The JSA noted that insults being hurled at the Judiciary and the Chief Justice were detrimental to the country’s judicial system. It called upon the Government to ensure that the inquiry was a process that ensured a fair trial and upheld the tenets of Natural Justice.”
This is NEWS and slotted into back pages of today’s press excluding the ADA Sinhala paper that put it as its headline. If one read the Sunday Observer the whole paper was littered with personal attacks on the CJ. Mahindapala’s article was harsh as were others, including the President’s own insinuation that WAR LOSERS are using Hulftsdorp, saying some represent NGO and foreign govts in the same breadth. The typical attack on them as the bogey men of MR!
Obviously if the PSC was a court, then these attacks would be illegal as proceedings are taking place and innocence must be presumed until proven guilty and proceedings of an ongoing case cannot be reported upon. Clearly by this act the Govt. is making the assumption that it is NOT a properly constituted court and therefore can sling mud as they please on the respondent to the impeachment motion. Conversely any decision will not be binding!!
It is now clearly WAR between the legislature and the judiciary, and the Govt. has added fuel to this by not sitting on the fence, but making damning statements on the 14point impeachment allegations in public by virtue of its ownership of Lake House, and the use of its surrogates in other media too, though I must admit they are far less direct and cussed.
The CJ has just arrived at Parliament with a huge support base outside greeting her arrival, let us see what the next chapter in this war of attrition holds.