Points to link between Raj Rajaratnam and CB Governor

Opposition rakes up ouster of CJ Peiris


By Shamindra Ferdinando

A group of Opposition political parties yesterday alleged that the circumstances under which President Maithripala Sirisena had dismissed the then Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, PC was contrary to parliamentary norms.

Democratoc Left Front (DLF) leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara, MP said that President Maithripala Sirisena had arrogated to himself the powers of Parliament as well as the judiciary.

MP Nanayakkara was addressing the media at Abayaramaya, Narahenpita. The MP strongly disputed President Maithripala Sirisena’s claim that Mohan Peiris had never held the post of Chief Justice.

President Maithripala Sirisena issued two letters. One letter was dispatched to Mohan Peiris. The other was issued to Shirani Bandaranayake.

In the letter to Peiris, President Sirisena said that his purported appointment had no legal validity and was therefore void. The letter said, there was no vacancy created for the position of Chief Justice because Shirani Bandaranayake had not been removed in accordance with the terms of the constitutional provisions by an address of Parliament. Peiris was therefore asked to take note that he was not the lawful Chief Justice of Sri Lanka.

The second letter to Bandaranayake was a copy of the first. It also included a covering letter, signed by President Sirisena, informing the ousted Chief Justice that his appointment was void. The letter asked her to kindly resume duties as lawful Chief Justice of Sri Lanka. Copies of the letters were also issued to the Supreme Court Registrar.

Stressing that the President’s action was a threat to parliamentary democracy Nanayakkara said that the genuine Opposition would take up the issue in Parliament. The country couldn’t forget the fact that the Chief Justice had been removed close on the heels of President Maithripala Sirisena inviting UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to succeed Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne. The government in power today was a minority one hell-bent on pursuing an agenda inimical to national interests regardless of the consequences, he said.

Referring to recent statements attributed to one-time Premadasa loyalist, R. Paskaralingham, now an advisor to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, MP Nanayakkara said that obviously Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s authority was being challenged.

Pointing out that Paskaralingham had been interfering in major matters, Nanayakkara asserted that the UNP government was in crisis due to failure of its mini budget. Although some had portrayed Minister Karunanayake as Robinhood or Saradiyel because the UNP gave the impression that the new government would take money from the super-rich to provide assistance to the poor, today the ruling coalition couldn’t achieve its objectives. The MP alleged that the government had ultimately given in to the super rich and the judiciary had been moved against a major budget proposal and the telecom sector, too, was planning to take legal action.

Nanayakkara also lashed out at Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for having appointed Singaporean national Arjuna Mahendran as Governor of the Central Bank in thouth Mahendran had disparaged Sri Lanka’s economy in 2005. The MP alleged that the government was yet to conduct a proper inquiry into allegation that Mahendran’s son in law had benefited from controversial bond issue. The MP said that Mahendran had been involved with Raj. Rajaratnam, the hedge-fund tycoon and Galleon Group LLC co-founder at the centre of a US insider-trading crackdown. Rajaratnam was found guilty of all 14 counts against him in the largest illegal stock-tipping case in a generation.

Rajaratnam, 53, engaged in a seven-year conspiracy to trade on inside information from corporate executives, bankers, consultants, traders and directors of public companies including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. He had gained USD 63.8 million, prosecutors said.

MP Nanayakkara said that Mahendran had been involved with Rajaratnam. The MP said that Prime Minister Wickremesinghe should be held responsible for the rip off in the bond issue.

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