Mr. Geoffrey Alagaratnam PC
Bar Association of Sri Lanka
153, Mihindu Mawatha
25 November 2015
Dear Mr. Alagaratnam,
RULE BY LAW, BY YOUR MEMBERS
Earlier this year, your Association published the article :
‘HOW DIFFERENT IS RULE BY LAW FROM RULE OF LAW?’
The opening line in that article which included the picture of former President of Sri Lanka, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa was:
The parallel of this question arose in my own mind yesterday, when Mr. Sankarshana Aindri Parathalingam PC, also (like Mr, Rajapaksa) assisted by his son Mr. Nishkan Parathalingam tried to exert superiority in the Civil Appellate High Court of Jaffna. The alarm bells started ringing within me – at ethical level – when I observed that Mr. Parathalingam who appears for me in another Appeal matter in Colombo, declared to the Jaffna Courts without any prior notice to me or my instructing solicitor in the Colombo matter, that he was appearing for my opposition in this Jaffna matter. These alarm bells are based on my true contribution to social values.
When I engaged Mr. Parathalingam PC to represent me in Court, there was a relationship formed on that basis – with him as my senior in Court for legal presentation in that Court. For presenting the Truth of my experience – I am of higher status. When we are conscious of our respective positions and their duties, we respect the Legal structure. To my mind, it is a network of relationships. As I said to an Associate in my Management Service, when explaining this ‘conflict of interest’ - I cannot be doctor to Yaman (Lord of Death) as well as to Life at the same time. Looks as if Mr. Parathalingam PC is able to, through Rule by Law.
The disappointment from the above observation was worsened when Mr. Parathalingam PC, kept suggesting dates for the next hearing without waiting to hear the suggestion by the Judge. Our lawyer was not present yesterday and I was the only person for my side. Yet, I was not asked whether any of the dates discussed were suitable to me also? My participation was limited to standing up as if to say ‘Present Sir’/uqfEq[f _ya!
Initially, Mr. Parathalingam stated 01 March 2016 would suit him. This would not have suited me because we are scheduled to leave for Australia the day before. But given that I was not facilitated to have my say – with Mr. Parathalingam bulldozing to have his way – I prayed quietly to the contribution I had made to the same court Administration – earlier this year, when I was not only heard but facilitated with more time to reformat my Application for Leave to Appeal, to suit the format of the Jaffna Court system. I had prepared mine as per the Australian system where I, as a lay litigant, was never knocked back on the basis of ‘format deficiencies’. The Jaffna Courts also facilitated me to re-submit the Application through a local lawyer and this is exactly what I did. To my mind the original application I submitted is the true and effective one and is the root of the lawyer’s format. Mr. Parathalingam failed to recognize this contribution by me even when I stood as a lone person yesterday – effectively as a lay litigant. In contrast – the Australian barristers who represented my opposition – consented to any corrections in format – suggested by the Judges. Mr. Parathalingam, PC - failed to demonstrate International standards in his conduct opposite a lay litigant. In fact he assumed superior position to myself by completely ignoring the rights of his opposition. Are we deserving of International solutions including the Hybrid Court system - when even those of highest professional status in the legal family, are found to be lacking in their bar- table etiquette?
It is important during these times of International Conflict and Terrorism fears, that we prevent abuse of power through hasty application of Public status. Mr. President, ultimately – the Court, like the Parliament, is limited to its own contributions to Common values when judging us – the People. The ultimate Judge is the Lord. We, the litigants – have the duty to bring our Truth to the Common Court. Often, the Courts – including the Australian Courts, fail to identify with our Truth even when it is delivered in the language of the Law – as interpreted by us. But, to the extent we are true to our own conscience – our declarations of Truth are heard by the Lord of Natural Justice. That is how, I believe I also contributed to the fall of Mr. John Howard, former Prime Minister of Australia (Gaja Lakshmi Paramasivam v John Howard S51 of 2001 in the High Court of Australia) who was present at the spot of 9/11 attack.
Truth empowers us to work the system through its roots. We thus become the root-cause of manifestations including through the Judicial system but not limited to the judicial system. To the extent our contribution is through the administrative system followed by the judicial system, our returns are regulated through the Common National and/or Global pathways. The height of the status of the matter is determined by the level of the Common Law used by us and not our personal influence with others in the system. The returns including through the system of Natural Justice happen as per those positions through which we processed our work – even though we may have been dismissed by the occupiers of that position and declared ‘failures’ by the Judicial system. The rest of our contribution would be towards Energy without face / form and is independent of the official system and would be the origin of our ‘service’ to wider world/society. Such contribution supports us anytime anywhere.
I believe that I have contributed to complete my relationships in the official systems of Administration in Sri Lanka, and in Australia. I have contributed beyond those official systems and hence am able to quickly work out my role as per the system of Natural Justice which is the most challenging power of all and yet is freely accessible to all of us through our own conscience – our own judge within. The three levels at which our real returns happen are:
(1) At the Administrative process level – where we enjoy Equal status to other parties concerned – irrespective of our respective official status.
(2) At the Operating Position level in Court. The status at this level, is as per Truth that the litigants bring to Court and as per legal skills in the case of Lawyers. If Mr. Parathalingam PC, had, during his preparations, allocated equal status as his legal knowledge, to the Truth brought to Court by his side as well as myself and my husband – the sole respondents in the primary matter – he would have at least consulted with me before suggesting a date and also would have refrained from using his legal knowledge to effectively suppress the Truth. What he did yesterday is an extreme example of Rule by Law.
(3) At the Completion level in Court when the matter is submitted to the system of Natural Justice as per our True Purpose – the Causal Force that has not been recognized by the official system.
Yesterday, Mr. Parathalingam PC, went outside his position as an Equal to me in that Civil Appellate High Court of Jaffna, when he not only proposed his own dates – as if I was a nobody – but also went on to explain to the judge the approach he was proposing to take to have my Applications dismissed. Had I not studied the relevant processes at the primary level and later when I as a lay litigant prepared the Application within a very narrow span of time due to the Resource problems in Mallakam District Court – I could not have followed his argument. Yet, in a Democracy, Truth and Law must meet at the 50:50 point – Truth being given first right of presentation. Hence the principle of Customer is Right in Democracy. Yesterday, Mr. Parathalingam PC confirmed that in Mr. Parathalingam’s mind the customer was dead. The supplier was all powerful as a monopoly.
The three parties in a Court are the Applicant, the Respondent and the Judge. Each party has the responsibility to relate mentally to the other parties concerned as per their respective positions in that court for that matter. I do not know the reason why I must have seemed a ‘nobody’ to Mr. Parathalingam PC. It could be because I am a woman about whom he knows very little except through instructing lawyers. Since Mr. Yogendra represented the other side during the primary hearing – it is quite possible that Mr. Parathalingam PC blindly copied Mr. Yogendra’s assessment of me outside the legal boundaries. It is in Public records that Mr. Yogendra kept referring to me as a non-family member going after other people’s money, during the primary hearing. He stated as part of his application that I was previously married with three children from that marriage and that I was now married to the 5th Respondent – the brother of the Deceased whose Estate is the basis of this matter:
When I was giving evidence also Mr. Yogendra continued to repeat the above and I had enough steadiness of mind to say to him AFTER I stepped down from the witness box, and AFTER disciplining my own lawyer that I was not a woman for sale. But after yesterday’s conduct by Mr. Parathalingam PC, I now feel that they were actually talking about themselves – going after ‘other people’s money’. Money that is received but not earned by true commitment to the Institutional structures – is ‘other people’s money’. They would have prevented this if they had allocated my status as Equal to all other respondents on the basis of the LAW rather than their personal thoughts. Position allocation prevents discrimination for selfish purposes which damages our society. In Sri Lanka, this kind of accumulated unjust discrimination forces resulted in suffering through war against the Government and by the Government against its own People. Ultimately it is People against People.
Mr. President, Mr. Parathalingam PC, has, through his conduct, demonstrated that he considers himself to be the king of the Court he is in. To my mind I am the queen of Lay Litigants. I am not likely to be certified a winner by a weak court but once we the citizens find that we practice the law more than the Judiciary – we become the trainers of the Judiciary in social justice. Just Society ought to be the ultimate goal of the Judiciary. To your question ’ – members of your own Association - Mr. Parathalingam PC and Mr. Yogendra Attorney at law, have confirmed in conduct that the Ruler is supreme. Hence what right did the Bar Association have, to criticize the former President of Sri Lanka for dismissing the Chief Justice?
Each time the Judiciary interferes with Administration to damage a true Administrator – the Judiciary earns the punishment of acting in breach of the Doctrine of Separation of Powers. The punishment may not happen directly but would eventually devalue the whole Judiciary. As per the Association’s article mentioned above :
[In September 2005 the Council of International Bar Association passed a resolution in which it said: “The Rule of Law is the foundation of a civilised society. It establishes a transparent process accessible and equal to all. It ensures adherence to principles that both liberate and protect. The IBA calls upon all countries to respect these fundamental principles. It also calls upon its members to speak out in support of the Rule of Law within their respective communities.”]
If you fail to demonstrate this Equal status to access your services I would conclude that the Bar Association Sri Lanka itself is practicing Rule by Law while preaching to others to practice Rule of Law. The Ruler is Supreme – when Truth is stronger than the Law. In Democracy we refer to such persons as Facilitators. In religion they are Divine Beings.
Today, 25 November 2015, we Hindus celebrate Karthigai Festival – honoring Lord Muruga with six faces. As per my discovery, the six faces represent our five senses plus the common surface memory to render 360 degree view of the manifested Truth. In terms of the Judiciary – this 360 degree view is complete only when there is impartial observation of all parties to the matter – including the Court Administration representing the common surface memory of the Court itself. Legal experts and the Judiciary are not entitled to take higher position than a lay litigant or witness until we have crossed this border of Fundamental rights. At the secondary stage – Democracy provides for the lay participant to make her/his contribution through her/his Truth-based belief at Equal level to the Lawyers who are closer relatives of the Judges than are lay litigants. The Public who may not be represented by any particular subject in court – are present through the Common Policies of the Government. A lay litigant who is committed to Common Principles and Policies invokes the Public in that Court as an invisible witness. That was how the Pandava Queen – Throupathi – who was demeaned by the Opposition with majority power – invoked the Lord in her heart – to confirm her chastity. A society that fails to honor its women is condemned to lawlessness. A woman/Shakthi is one who has by her/his conduct earned higher status than s/he officially enjoys. Such an ethnic minority is also Shakthi power of this Nation – as has been proven through the defeat of the former Executive. It would therefore be prudent of the Bar Association to not under-estimate the power of the lay litigant – especially a lady lay litigant.
CC: All Concerned