Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksahas stated that the stand taken by the government to deal with the dispute that arose over the reinstatement of Shirani and the removal of Mohan Peiris has been welcomed by the legal fraternity. Wijedasa Rajapakse made these observations in his address in the Parliament. He told the House:
‘ I thank the Opposition for asking a debate on this matter. We respect democracy and the right to express dissenting opinions. The Prime Minister could not attend the sittings today since several diplomats have called on him. However, he agreed to facilitate the debate as the opposition wanted an earlier date.
There had been defects in the procedure followed at the impeachment of ex-Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. It was passed with heated debates. We started Parliament sittings this year with new hopes.
Let us unite and work for a better future of the country. It is our duty as policy makers to implement what is good for the country. Some opposition MP hurt our feelings today, but we endure them in the name of democracy. We are endeavouring to build a new political culture. Please do not disrupt this process. The legal advice given to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was flawed. The letter sent to the President on January 11, 2013 had a serious defect. Nowhere in it, had it being indicated that a resolution was passed to remove the Chief Justice.
It only asked to appoint a PSC. Therefore the supremacy of Parliament had not been challenged by the corrective measures that we had taken. The letter to the President was written after the passing of resolution. Without a resolution to remove ex-Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, the President cannot remove her. We have no personal favourations or grudges on Shirani Bandaranayake or Mohan Peiris. We wanted to correct the flaws in the legal procedure. We gave a chanc e to Mohan Peiris to take up a diplomatic post and retire honourably.
There are serious charges against Mohan Peiris. The entire administration of Law College was in chaos in the past years. The students came to meet me after I assumed duties and we solved most of those problems. However, the judgements given by Mohan Peiris would not be affected in any manner as that provision is clearly mentioned in the Constitution itself. None of the Judgements will be invalid or null. There were over 130 judges of courts at the welcome ceremony of Shirani Bandaranayake. This implies that the legal fraternity overwhelmingly welcomed the move by the government.I invite all Parliamentarians to unite to fulfill the aspirations of the people. Let us unite and implement the 100 day programme.’