The Silva Factor: What went wrong?

| by  Upasiri de Silva.

( January 10, 2013, Sydney, Sri Lanka Guardian) After reading Basil Fernando’s fine article about “Who is this Silva”, I thought of writing what I know about this controversial Silva who seems to be loosing his memory very fast. I had the opportunity to read all the controversial statements of former Chief Justice Sarath N Silva, about the impeachment of the present Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake. This happened, after he met his old friend President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a funeral house, it is my firm belief that Sarath N Silva is trying to do another “Helping Hambantota” Teledrama to save this King Kekille, trapped in this impeachment drama. I also had the opportunity to read all other articles written by many other well respected writers, criticizing Sarath N Silva’s bias opinions about the present controversial impeachment motion against the Chief Justice Bandaranayake. After considering all these opinions, I thought of writing these few lines to prove that Sarath N Silva may be loosing his memory very fast, and he is forgetting those who helped him to become the Chief Justice in 1999.

................... Summery : Play the Video ...............


In 1999, I met Sarath N Silva, the then Attorney General, at a friends’ house, as my family and I was invited by this old friend of mine who was then holding a very coveted position as the  Secretary to President of Sri Lanka, Mrs. Chandrika Kumaratunga. My friend invited us for lunch at his residence in Rampart Road Kotte on the first death anniversary of his dear wife, and our good friend. After we reached my friend’s house we realised that the entire Cabinet Ministers including the President Chandrika Kumaratunga, and few old friends of ours were at my friend’s house. My friend greeted us and introduced the other person he was in conversation at the time as we reached his house. That other person was Sarath N Silva the AG. After a brief conversation  my friend  introduced Sarath N Silva to  President Chandrika Kumaratunga to appoint him to replace the retiring CJ, G.P.S de Silva. Following week Sarath N Silva was appointed as the CJ.
Who helped this Silva to be the CJ?
Sarath N Silva’s appointment as the CJ was manipulated by the then Secretary to the President Chandrika Kumaratunga. But when the same Secretary (then he was retired)  on holiday from his outpost in Australia as the Sri Lankan High Commissioner for Australia  telephoned the same Sarath N Silva, from the Presidential House, to get some information about the on going SC case to decide on the actual date the then President Kumaratunga should relive as the President. This Silva refused to answer the man who helped him to be the CJ. This retired Secretary telephoned him 5 times Sarath N Silva refused to answer the phone call or to pick up his mobile phone to say hello to the man who elevated him to the position of CJ. The judgement was released the following day and President Chandrika Kumaratunga lost one year of her 12 years of Presidency, as this controversial CJ gave the wrong judgement according to many learned lawyers and Judges.

Ironically, I was with the retired Secretary in the President’s house, seated in the long (bench type) seat in the great hall.  On that day,  I was invited by the President to discuss about the Tsunami Housing Reconstruction programme, after reading my front page article in the Sunday Observer,  exposing the international donors. International donors were trying to evade constructing the promise houses waiting for the GOSL to settle the then on going LTTE terrorist activates. They were purposely delaying to construct the house they promise for the South as their only desire was to transfer those houses to East and the North. 
President Kumaratunga accepted the court order
Sarath N Silva further hammered President Chandrika Kumaratunga who appointed him as the CJ as recommended by her loyal Secretary, by fixing  the Presidential election in 2005. This Silva later admitted publically as a political pronouncement with no legal basis. But, President Chandrika Kumaratunga bow down graciously to the Rule of Law and accepted the judgement with good faith, not like the present incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
President Kumaratunga never asked her MP’s to shout that Parliament and the Executive is Supreme and Judiciary can’t give orders to the Executive. She never ordered her MP’s to make speeches or Three Wheeler Drivers to stage protests.

Sarath N Silva held the mantle during seven years, under President Kumaratunga and the balance three years he served under his old friend President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Altogether he was the CJ for 10 years. According to many his period was the darkest days of Hulftsdorp. According to what I heard from many Lawyer friends he was a corrupt Chief Justice, who judged cases filed against him without any shame and jailing his accusers.

Sarath was not a Lily-white.

Lawyer Upul Jayasooriya says he was involved in drafting both impeachment motions against Sarath N Silva. According to Upul Jayasooriya, during the first impeachment motion parliament was prorogued. Upul says there were 65 charges against Sarath N Silva. When the second impeachment motion was tabled, President Kumaratunga dissolved the parliament, and save this Silva.

As I worked for the THRU (Tsunami Housing Rehabilitation Authority) I knew his judgement on Helping Hambantota was politically motivated ignoring the Rule of Law. I had a very good knowledge about those people who used that money and who was responsible for syphoning approximately Rs.15 million from Helping Hambantota Fund.. Due to the urgent political requirement none  raised any issues with that Judgement, but every one was aware that Sarath N Silva gave the wrong judgement to save his friend from total annihilation from politics..
Judgement on P-TOMS
Sarath N Silva should read his own Judgement he delivered when the 42 JVP MP’s requesting the SC to declare P-TOMS violates the Fundamental Rights of those MP’s as the Bill is unconstitutional.  This Bill P-TOMS was tabled in Parliament and was passed with a majority vote as a appropriate bill. This Bill was proposed to the Legislature by the Present President Mahinda Rajapaksa when he was the Prime Minister. If Judiciary is not able to pass judgement on Bills approved by the Parliament how come this Judgement is valid?

It was an open secret that Sarath N Silva advised the then President Chandrika Kumaratunga to get the Bill signed by the Secretary of the Disaster Management Ministry, knowing that he has no authority to signed that Bill, as the then government was not very happy to hand over the US $ 210 million to the LTTE. This judgment delivered by Sarath N Silva proves that what he is preaching now is to help his friend, and bad in Law.

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