‘Probe must be held into Ranjan’s phone tapes’ | Daily News


‘Probe must be held into Ranjan’s phone tapes’

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Lawyers’ Association yesterday said the Judicial Service Commission and the Supreme Court should hold a formal inquiry into the contents of the former State Minister Ranjan Ramanayake’s telephone conversations to allay the fears in the public about the independence of the judiciary.

SLPP Lawyers’ Association, Secretary, Attorney-at-Law Athula de Silva said that independence of the Judiciary is a key component of the good governance. “However, the previous regime which came to power to restore the good governance has now destroyed its main concept of independence of the Judiciary. The UNP did not come to power promising the end of war, ensuring the national security and growing the national economy as these had already been achieved by the former Mahinda Rajapaksa regime before 2015,” he said.

“Even though all these have been accomplished before 2015, the UNF government came into power on concept of Yahapalanaya created by an NGO camp during the previous Presidential election,” he added.

“However, when looking at the past, yahapalanaya has been totally destroyed during the last five years. Today the very word ‘Yahapalana’ invokes laugh.

Athula de Silva said that phone clip controversy is not an isolated incident created by Ranjan Ramanayake but rather the work of the entire UNF government led by former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. “This clearly shows how they have made influences on the independence of the Judiciary,” he said.

“Former State Minister Ramanyake is one of the persons used to destroy the independence of the Judiciary. However, the role he played has already exposed to the country,” he said.

“The FCID was also a political extension of the previous government which decided what cases should be filed against the opponents especially the family members and relatives of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and SLPP Parliamentarians.

“As part of this, the Judiciary was pressured and the influences made to several judges were recorded in the Ramanayake’s phone.

“Because of these incidents, the trust placed by the people on the independence of the Judiciary has disappeared. Therefore, the culprits should be brought to book to reinsure the trust of the people on the Judiciary. If the trust placed by the people on the law enforcement authorities is broken, the trust in the government is also destroyed. Therefore, relevant authorities should be intervened to correct this situation immediately,” he added.

“Doubts have also arisen about the independence of the Independent Commissions set up by previous government. Parliament should have an impartial investigation how these Commissions have acted during the past four and half years,” he added.

SLPP Lawyers’ Association Vice Secretary Indilka Jayathileke said that Ranjan Ramanayake’s episode shows how far the country has walked towards the major collapse during the past five years. “The Judiciary, legislation and executive have not been challenged like this under any other previous regime. Therefore, these institutions should be transformed into reliable and independence institutions immediately,” he added.

“Ranjan Ramanayake and CID Inspector Nishantha Silva in one telephone conversation talked about the transfers. They agreed at one point that it was good thing to have an Independent Police Commission. This gives rise to suspicion that Police Commission has not been acted independently.

SLPP Lawyers’ Association Vice President Nilantha Wijesinghe said the previous government only prosecuted Rajapaksa family and its relatives for the past five years. “It was failed in preventing the Easter Sunday attack although all the intelligent reports were received. The economy also collapsed,” he said.

“The government should formulate a proper mechanism to give promotions for judges. Former CID Director SSP Shani Abeysekera has violated the Police Ordinance. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen the Police Ordinance further to allow the CID officers to work independently. He said that no one can pressure the Judiciary or the judgments given by courts. However, those who are victimised by the courts verdicts should be given redress,” he added.

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