Feb 26, 2021

Action against Maithri, upto SC - Ali Sabry

Justice Minister - Ali Sabry PC said that the final decision on whether criminal or civil proceedings can be instituted against former President Maithripala Sirisena can only be made by the Supreme Court (SC).

The Minister responded thus to a question raised during a media briefing yesterday (25) as to whether the former President, who is now a Government Parliamentarian, is eligible for Presidential immunity.

“All I can provide is an opinion, which I will refrain from providing. The exclusive jurisdiction to interpret any Article in the Constitution and make a final decision lies with the SC. How Article 35 of the Constitution, which pertains to Presidential immunity, will have to be interpreted, has to be done by the SC.”

'I am not that stupid'
Meanwhile, the minister stated that he does not intend to repeal or amend the Viharagam and Dewalagam Ordinance during his tenure as the Minister of Justice.

He said, “As long as I am the Minister of Justice, we have no hope of touching the Buddhist Viharagam and Dewalagam Ordinance. I haven’t even dreamt of it.

We all acknowledge that this is a country with a history of 2500 years, based on Buddhist civilization. Can I bring laws against the traditional rights of the Sinhala Buddhist people in this country? I’m not that stupid.”

The Justice Minister further stated that steps have already been taken to ban the wearing of the burqa and to amend the Muslim marriage law.