Respecting judicial institutions
Ms. Vivienne Gunewardene who represented the Borella and North
Colombo electorates in Parliament several times, was a leader of the
Lanka Sama Samaja Party as well as of the Left movement. It was the Left
parties that carried out protests and agitations against the 1977 J.R.
Jayewardene government in its initial stages. Vivienne Gunewardene
representing the Lanka Sama Samaja Party was in the forefront of all
these demonstrations and agitations.
Once, while staging a protest at Kollupitiya, Vivienne and others
were assaulted by the Police. The Police personnel assaulted Vivienne
Gunawardene in a brutal manner and also dragged her along the road as
they would a dog. It is not a wonder that some police officers are
prepared to carry out or do any dirty thing on the instructions of
Finally, Vivienne and others filed a fundamental rights case against
this attack in the courts. The court verdict was given in favour of
Vivienne. The relevant police officer was fined and his promotions were
also suspended. Certain people in the J.R. Jayewardene government did
not like this court verdict. But it should also be mentioned that
certain people in the same government condemned the attack carried out
on Vivienne and others.
On the day the verdict of this case was announced the houses of the
judges who were involved in the case were stoned and the media reported
that the hooligans who attacked the houses behaved like wild animals and
jackals. In the meantime, based on a government order issued from the
top level, the fines imposed on the police officials were paid by the
government and the promotions suspended by the court were also provided
to the concerned police officials. This is how President J.R.
Jayewardene's regime respected the court orders.
Even President J.R. Jayewardene did not know to properly cage the
wild dogs running crazy with their heads swollen with arrogance of
power. Therefore J.R. Jayewardene became incapable of taking action
against those hooligans. Instead what J.R. said about them was that it
was their democratic right. This incident is even relevant today.
In the past the stones were pelted at the residences of the judges.
Today, however, the stones are pelted directly at the throne of justice.
Or else towards the courts itself. It is happening when the judges are
adjudicating. There is no doubt that what has been demeaned by these
acts is the divine symbol of duty and justice. In the meantime it was
reported in the media that the 'Mannar struggle' relating to attacking a
court had been carried out on the stewardship of a government
The magistrate of Mannar says that a government politician of Mannar
is involved in the incident. It is also said that the magistrate
received threatening telephone calls from this politician. However, the
relevant politician rejects all these allegations against him. If that
is so, is it the magistrate who lies?
This is something that has to be found out through investigations.
The idea one gets is that ‘if it so for the judges how will it be for
The background story relating to this incident is also very tragic.
The picture does not come out clearly merely by statements given in a
court. The Muslim community who left their residences, ancestral
villages and fishing communes due to LTTE threats are now gradually
returning to their old habitats. It is because of the peace that has
In this scenario, we can see that the old fishing communes still
remain under the control of old LTTErs. It is a different matter that
they have been rehabilitated now. But it seems that their extortion
practices are carried out still. Some hold demonstrations saying, “these
guys extorted from us during the time of LTTE and that they are doing it
now as well. This is a peculiar unjust system”.
We cannot say that it is because of this that fishing communes are
being destroyed and nets and other fishing gear are being plundered.
Rishard Badiudeen, who is a minister today, is a person who has spent
the golden period of his life in a refugee camp. All of them were made
refugees by the LTTE. It seems that the young Minister Rishard Badiudeen
is drawn to this matter due to an upsurge of feelings. It was people of
this nature who have suffered who had ventured to the courts. Therefore
it is necessary to have a political and social solution to these
problems. It cannot be obtained in a brutal manner by stoning courts and
by threatening the judges over the phones.
The leaders of the UNP government apologized for the misdeeds carried
out by a few people during the 17 year rule of that government. There
were even instances of punishing responsible persons.
There were even incidents of suppressing impartial investigations.
When things were thus we remember that Chandrika Bandaranaike
Kumaratunge parachuted from nowhere, presented the slogans 'Corruption
and Horror - Dooshanaya, Beeshanaya' and organized the people and
removed that government. It is a new lesson to those who are indulged in
politics. All good works done by the UNP, huge development and all
virtuous actions got suppressed. People did not care about those things.
Ultimately a piece of cloth unearthed from the mass grave of Suriyawewa
finished a government. It is the normal pattern of this political world.