Shirani says rule of law brutally mutilated

Former Chief Justice (CJ) Shirani Bandaranayake says the very tenor of rule of law, natural justice and judicial abeyance has not only been ousted, but brutally mutilated.

In a statement after she forced to leave her official residence today after being sacked by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the former Chief Justice said that though she was accused and arbitrarily convicted by the Parliamentary Select Committee, she had been vindicated in the bastions of the law.

“I stand here before you today having been unjustly persecuted, vilified and condemned. The treatment meted out to me in the past few weeks, was an ordeal no citizen let alone the Chief Justice of the Republic should be subjected to,” she said.

Bandaranayake was not allowed to hold a press conference in the official residence of the CJ just before she left.

The police also made attempts to prevent her from speaking to the media near the gate or on the road even as she left the official residence.

Her vehicle was followed back to her house in Rajagiriya by the police and men on motorbikes dressed in civil clothes.

Her son, who drove the vehicle, told reporters who followed the vehicle that the former CJ and her family were at risk.

Bandaranayake said in her media statement that it is not only the office of Chief Justice, but also the very independence of the judiciary, that has been usurped.

“I have suffered because I stood for an independent judiciary and withstood the pressures. It is the People who are supreme and the Constitution of the Republic recognizes the rule of law and if that rule of law had prevailed, I would not have been punished unjustly,” she said.

She also insisted that the accusations levelled against her are blatant lies and that she is totally innocent of all charges and had there been a semblance of truth in any allegation, she would not have remained even for a moment in the august office of the Chief Justice.

“Since it now appears that there might be violence if I remain in my official residence or my chambers I am compelled to move out of my official residence and chambers particularly because the violence is directed at innocent people including judges, lawyers and committed members of the public,” she said.

Report and pictures by Easwaran Rutnam