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President criticizes HRC for interference in Govt’s decision on law and order and CC for its yard stick for promotion of judges

President Maithripala sirisena 700 021

President Maithripala Sirisena has criticized the Human Rights Commission for interference in the decisions of the government to establish law and order in the country.

He also criticized the Constitutional Council for its yardstick for promotions of judges and its rejection of his proposals for the posts.

President Sirisena made these observations addressing the House during the debate on the Order under the Transfer of Offenders Act. ‘During his address, President Sirisena said:

“I request Human Rights Organizations not to object to the move to implement the death penalty as it is done to control the drug menace and underworld activities in Sri Lanka. The country is now proliferated with various drugs including marijuana, cocaine, heroin and Ice. Come what may I would put into practice the decision I took to implement the death penalty within next two-three months.

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka is appearing for whom? Special Task Force is a highly capable unit. So, we have extended the tenure of the STF Commandant, Senior Deputy Inspector General M. R. Latheef by a year. I am happy the Cabinet stood together to make this unanimous decision. STF supports us taking action against the drugs and the underworld. But the Human Rights Commission is questioning us why we have used the STF in the Angunakolapelessa Prison, sending us a long list of questions.

The Human Rights Commission delays our police and the tri-forces from going abroad for training and also taking part in the United Nation’s peacekeeping missions. I am sad the death of the two servicemen who died in Mali during the UN peacekeeping mission was also due to the delay at the Human Rights Commission. Those two Sri Lankans were to return to the island six months ago.

The Human Rights Commission will not allow us to change the groups by finding background details of the servicemen. The Human Rights Commission objects to sending our servicemen based on their investigations results. If the Human Rights Commission didn’t bother us and allowed to proceed with the exchange, we would have easily avoided the death of the Major and the Private.

The death penalty is active in most parts of the world, and leading countries use it. Small people like us are threatened to enforce rules and regulations. The human rights organisations should allow us to discipline the country, without appearing on behalf of the criminals. I request them all not to put forward human rights to protect those who commit crimes.

Last but not least, I should explain the situation in promoting the judges. The Chief Justice sends me the suitable names and I send those names to the Constitutional Council. For the first time in history, the Constitutional Council has rejected judges. Reason for rejection is not informed to the respective judges or me. This has led to upset the judges in all courts starting from the Magistrates Court. Their promotions get rejected without a reason, regardless of their commitment and the best behaviour.

Based on a comment I have made with this regard, the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has sent me a letter which runs into four pages. But what is the yardstick used by the Constitutional Council to assess the abilities, capabilities, and commitment? According to this letter, the seniority is not considered in promoting the judges but the abilities, capabilities, and the commitment is assessed by the Constitutional Council.

The entire judiciary of this country will be at a crisis if the promotions are refused based on the judgements given before by these judges. If we are to protect the independence of the Judiciary as expected by the country and the world, we should be reasonable. The Chief Justice or I should be informed in case a person is not suitable for the promotion with the reason.

“I came to know that my absence for over three months was discussed in the House. I admit it as a mistake on my part.”





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