Colombo says cannot interfere with Fonseka Court's decision

[TamilNet, Friday, 20 August 2010, 01:46 GMT]
Chief Government Whip, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, said in Sri Lanka parliament that the government is ‘helpless’ and cannot reverse the military court ruling made against former army Commander General Sarath Fonseka. "The Court arrived at the verdict applying laws of State to the conduct of General Fonseak, and Sri Lanka Government or the legislative body, the parliament cannot do anything about it," Sinhala dailies Lakbima and Dinamina said quoting Minister Gunawardena.

“One cannot change the rule of the law to suit the needs of some just because they are close associates or friends of ours, so the rule should apply to everyone,” the Chief Government whip asserted.

He, however, noted that if it was necessary, the aggrieved party could appeal the ruling made by the military court via appeal court.

Gunawardena made these comments in response to a question raised by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake who questioned whether Fonseka would lose his pension privilege owing to the verdict made by the military court.

International Bar Association Human Rights Institute (‘IBAHRI’), and the International Crisis Group (ICG) recent reports, however, challenge Minister Gunawardene's attempt at taking a moral high ground on the independence of Sri lanka's judiciary.

IBAHRI report said, among other concerns, "[t]he lack of independent oversight and practice of executive presidential discretion over judicial appointments makes the judiciary vulnerable to executive interference and jeopardizes its independence."


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