Aug 20, Colombo: Bar Association of Sri Lanka President, Upul Jayasuriya plans to write directly to the Commonwealth Secretariat, calling for transparency and to release two legal opinions sought by the Commonwealth Secretariat on the impeachment of former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake which are reportedly withheld.
A report in Colombo Telegraph said that Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma might have covered up two key independent legal opinions on the legality of Bandaranayake's impeachment.
According to the report, Sharma might be withholding the content of those opinions even from the powerful Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) which in April discussed Sri Lanka's suitability to host the Commonwealth summit this year.
"We are stakeholders in this issue so whether the impeachment of Shirani Bandaranayake was wrong or right, we have every right to know," Jayasuriya told Colombo Telegraph website.
These key independent legal opinions were sought by the Commonwealth Secretariat from South African and British jurists.
However, responding to a request made by the Canada's High Commissioner to the UK to reveal the documents to the CMAG, the Commonwealth Secretary General has pointed out that the there was a longstanding practice of successive Secretaries-General that communications in support of Good Offices engagements were privileged and it would be "injurious to the discretion, trust and ultimately the effectiveness of the Secretary-Generalís Good Offices" if the sources and nature of privileged communications were revealed.