Sri Lanka judiciary's failure led Tamils to take arms - Ranil
[TamilNet, Friday, 10 January 2003, 17:20 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe said Friday that the failure of the country's judiciary to fulfill its duties and responsibilities to safeguard the right of various ethnic groups has led the Tamils to launch an armed struggle for a separate state.
The Prime Minister made this observation Friday when inaugurating a three day conference of Chief Justices of the world at Colombo Hotel Oberoi. Chief Justices from nine countries including Nepal, Bangladesh, Tanzania, South Africa, Uganda, Phillipines and Karnataka state in India participated at the conference.
Members of the Free Media Movement held an agitation against the Sri Lanka Chief Justice, Mr.Sarath N Silva, in front of the Hotel Oberoi and handed over a memorandum to one of the conveners of the conference. The memorandum alleged several irregularities committed by the Sri Lanka's Chief Justice. Mr.Sarath N Silva did not attend the conference.
Sri Lanka's former judge of the Supreme Court and former vice president of the International Court Professor C.G.Weeramantry presided.
Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe further said," action against frauds in the judiciary should not be restricted to agitation on the national level. Attention of the Asian countries should be drawn to forming a national charter on the freedom of courts and human rights. Struggle against fraud in the legal field should not be restricted to national level and time has come to launch action on regional basis."
Referring to the Indian judiciary, the Prime Minister said the Indian Supreme Court has rendered an immense service in the past five years to safeguard the rights of civilians. This has caused considerable impact to create an Indian identity. " However the situation in Sri Lanka is completely different," said Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe.
" It is questionable whether the Sri Lankan judiciary fulfilled its duties and responsibilities to safeguard the rights and freedoms of various communities in the country. This has led the Tamils to launch an armed struggle to create a separate state in the country," said Mr.Wickremasinghe.