Ready to accept any challenge: Thalatha Athukorala

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During an event held in Ratnapura, Minister of Justice Thalatha Athukorala commented on the visit by the UN special rapporteur Clement Nyaletsossi Voule.

She said that they are ready to accept any challenge that comes their way and that no matter what foreign forces come their way, that they will not surrender.

The Minister said that they could come to the country and inspect any time they want but they cannot tell us what to do since it is decided by the President, the Prime Minister and the government of Sri Lanka. She added that the independence of the judiciary is something solely decided by the Chief Justice.

The Minister of Justice expressed these views against a backdrop where much criticism is raised about the meeting between the UN special rapporteur Clement Nyaletsossi Voule and the Chief Justice.

The people do not have an issue with regard to the Minister’s view on the matter. However, do the statements of the Minister reflect the reality of the situation.

A letter sent by an additional secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was recently submitted in parliament.

The letter noted that the country’s chief justice and several high court judges have been summoned by the UN special rapporteur. The special rapporteur had met with the Chief Justice when the speaker’s intervention prevented him from meeting the high court judges.

People do not question the fact that anyone can visit the Chief Justice who heads the judiciary. But it is questionable that an official who represents the Ministry of Foreign Affairs uses his office to summon the head of the judiciary before a foreign representative.