February 17, 2017 12:08 pm
For the first time since being elected to office, President Maithripala Sirisena has revealed the real reason behind the decision to remove Sri Lanka’s former Chief Justice, which was incidentally the first time he used the executive powers as the President.
“I remember a story which I have not told the public before. 24 hours after I took office as President, the one who held the highest position at the Supreme Court at the time came to meet me,” he said, after declaring open a new building at the Warakapola Base Hospital on Thursday (16).
The President said that he thought the chief justice came to wish him, but then the latter told him that he heard a rumour that there was a plan to remove him from the post.
Sirisena said that the top judge in the country said that he wanted to let him know that he would do anything that he asked. “What he meant was that he was ready to give court rulings as per my wish.”
“That explains how court rulings were given before my time.” The President said that he told him that they had not yet decided on whether to remove him from that position or not. He left that day and returned the very next day, he said.
“That is when I realized that keeping him in that position could threaten the independence of the country’s judicial system.”
“So I decided to remove him. That was the first time I exercised my executive powers as President,” he revealed.
He made these remarks participating in a ceremony to vest the newly constructed state-of-the-art six-storey clinical building at the Warakapola Base Hospital with the Public.
President Sirisena said that those who question as to what the present Government has done should understand clearly the difference between the past system of this country and the present situation.
The President further said that he will make the change that the country needed, facing whatever the challenges come before him.
The change that has emerged in every sector of this country is very clearly visible and an independent judicial system has been established in the country, the President said.