Published on - 10/26/2007
THE CEREMONIAL OPENING of the modern state-of-the-art multi-storeyed courts complex in Jaffna is historic not only for Jaffna but to all Sri Lankans, Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva PC said.
He was speaking after opening the Jaffna Courts Complex on Wednesday. Judicial officers of the Jaffna District, Senior and Junior members of the Jaffna Bar and senior citizens of the Jaffna district participated.
Religious dignitaries of the Jaffna district escorted the Chief Justice to the venue in procession.
\'I have been associated with this project for over five years. from the very inception of planning, securing funds, designing the building, commencement of construction, ensuring construction is carried out, procuring furniture and equipment, having them safely transported and installed and now by opening the majestic buildings.
This indeed a rare achievement in public affairs. It is a dream come true and the result of a collective effort in which everyone involved gave of their best and worked with wholehearted and sincere commitment,\' the Chief Justice said addressing the gathering at the opening ceremony.
Construction was carried on during a period characterised by intermittent outbreaks of hostilities of what is now described as an \'area war\' in which artillery fire has been the dominant means of onslaught. It is a miracle that the building remained unscathed.
A hidden hand sheltered them from damage and destruction, the Chief Justice added. War invariably brings in its wake bloodshed, destruction, grief and acute suffering on the one hand and mistrust and hatred amongst people on the other.
Whereas, peace and justice elevate the human mind, promote respect for human dignity and rights and facilitate economic well-being and prosperity, he said.
The Chief Justice emphasised that this is not mere idle talk or rhetoric intended to embellish the occasion. \'It is the firm lesson of truth that we have to learn from history.
The worst devastation and carnage in modern history resulted from the Second World War. Western Europe and in the east, Japan were the seats of war and suffered most; millions were killed and there was damage and destruction unprecedented in the known history of the world.
You know well that Japan was subjugated by dropping atom bombs, the cruellest and the worst instruments of destruction ever invented by man\', he said.
The Chief Justice said in the post war period, the instruments of war were removed in their entirety from Western Europe and Japan.
\'Instead firm foundations were laid for peace and harmony. Europe that was divided was brought together not by drawing larger boundaries or by erecting fences or in the jargon best known to you by building bunkers or defining units of devolution of power. But by assuring freedom and human dignity to the people,\' he said.
\'In 1950, the Treaties of Rome assured to the people of Western Europe four freedoms. Free movement of persons, free movement of goods: free movement of services and the free movement of establishments. On the other hand, there was a firm guarantee of Human Rights and an unassailable systems of justice were installed based on the rule of law\', he said.
\'They did not erect barriers. On the contrary they removed barriers. \'What started as the common market has now grown to be the European Union whose currency is the strongest in the world. On the global scale, trade barriers have been progressively reduced and you know the results.
Japan has grown to be a model of peace and order, and has become an economic giant of the world. Just to complete the record I want to state that according to the Mid Year Fiscal position report 2007 presented to Parliament for January to end of May 2007, Japan is the largest aid donor to Sri Lanka contributing as much as 41 per cent of the total aid committed to Sri Lanka.
The next largest contribution of 34 per cent is by the Asian Development Bank. All Western nations including the USA contribute less than 6 per cent. They only come with the cane to castigate and discipline us. To teach us to respect our people\'s rights\'.
\"These buildings are a monument to our effort sincerity and commitment. We hope and pray that they become the citadel of Justice. Justice does not and cannot stand on its own. It is only one of the requisites that contribute to spiritual and material human development. Justice is linked mainly with peace and we have set down as the theme of this event Peace and Justice,\'the Chief Justice added.
The Chief Justice said the restoration of peace has to be addressed with the highest degree of sensitivity taking into account the concerns of all parties.
The Chief Justice added: \'I think it is appropriate to mention here that last week I met the President at as social event and the President was pleased to inquire from me about the ceremonial opening of this Court Complex and our programme in Jaffna.
\'The President assured me that the Government would give every assistance to the programme envisaged. The President also said of his own accord that there has to be an overall settlement of the issues that brought about the sad state of affairs in our country.
Continuing in this vein on his own accord, he said: \'We have to offer the 13th Amendment \'plus one\' as a measure of goodwill and the desire to resolve this difference\'.\'(Courtesy : Daily News)