LfD is disturbed by the emerging evidence of coordinated moves to undermine the independence of judiciary in Sri Lanka. The Statement issued by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on 16thSeptember 2012 clearly indicates that there are various attempts to interfere with the affairs of the Judicial Services Commission. After the recent determination made by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka on a Bill titled “Divinaguma” political leadership of the government has expressed its dissatisfaction over the decisions made by the Supreme Court. For example, the government has organized a public demonstration, where people were transported at public expenditure into a close location near the Parliament to criticize the Supreme Court determination. Recently, several programmes in the state media carried vicious and malicious programmes critical of the judiciary.
LfD sees this trend as a clear move by the government to intimidate the judiciary and undermine the Rule of Law and an attempt to make the judges vulnerable for governmental pressure. All public institutions are totally politicized and are at the disposal of the regime. The Judiciary is the only organ that has survived direct political interference. Therefore we urge the President and the government to respect the independence of the judiciary and take all possible steps to stop direct and indirect intimidation and incitements against the judiciary. LfD also urges the Government to ensure the State media will respect basic decency in journalistic ethics in their references to judiciary and judges. While expressing solidarity with the JSC, we remind the public that in any civilized society all individuals and institutions should respect the judiciary as the ultimate arbiter of all disputes between the State and the citizens.
Sgd/ Lal Wijenayaka