A Statement from the Asian Human Rights Commission
It has been reported that the name of Mohan Peiris has been proposed as one
of the names for the office of Chief Justice by the Sri Lankan government. If
the role of the chief justice is to be that of a stooge of the government
perhaps there is hardly anyone more suited to the post that Mr. Peiris.
The proposal of Mr. Mohan Peiris belies the government's argument that
the reason to move for an impeachment against Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake was on
the issue of integrity.
What integrity can Mr. Mohan Peiris claim? He
has worked hand-in-glove in almost every activity that has ended in scandal in
recent times. Whether we are speaking about enforced disappearances or blatant
abuse of authority to forgive criminals and to prosecute innocent persons or
covering up any of the scandals relating to the government, Mr. Mohan Peiris has
a hand in all these matters. The whole world is aware of his attempt to cover up
the state's responsibility for the enforced disappearance of Prageeth
Eknaligoda. He blatantly lied before the United Nations Committee against
Torture and the world media saw him do so. Later, before a Sri Lankan court he
stated the very opposite of what he had said before this august treaty body of
the United Nations.
The manner in which he abused his position as
Attorney General is well documented, published and commented upon by many
persons. We do not wish to repeat here the long list of wrong doings that are
attributed to him.
The attempt to place Mr. Mohan Peiris in the position
of chief justice confirms the fears repeatedly expressed during the impeachment
debate that the aim of the government is to destroy the Supreme Court
altogether. What the public needs to fathom is the reasons for this scheme of
the Rajapaksa government to destroy the Supreme Court altogether.
obvious that the government is aware of what it is doing and what it intends to
do in the future and that it will cause serious violations of the rights of all
citizens. Naturally the citizens are going to be aggrieved and will want to seek
protection. The habit of turning to the courts for protection has been well
established in Sri Lanka and now the government wants to send the very clear
message that the courts are no place for citizens to contest the actions of the
The government also wants to suppress all judges who do not
fall in line with the government and perform the function of frustrating the
people's aspirations for justice.
The government wants the people to
abandon all hopes of finding justice in the courts and cultivating this sense of
hopelessness has become necessary for the very survival of the government.
It was the will of the government to impeach the Chief Justice, Dr.
Shirani Bandaranayake by hook or by crook. It is the same approach that the
government is following in trying to appoint their man to the post of Chief
The people do not owe the obligation of obedience and
cooperation for these kinds of schemes of any government and the only way the
people can protect their own self interests is to withdraw cooperation for such