Striking judges to resume work on Monday
By Jale Richard
Judges and justices across the country who have been striking for almost four months will unconditionally resume work next week, the Chairperson of the Justices and Judges Committee said yesterday.
Justice Bol Lul Wang, the Chairperson of the Justices and Judges Committee said the general assembly of the justices and judges decided to call off the strike unconditionally to save the citizens from suffering.
In May, the judges across the country laid down their tools demanding for the resignation of the Chief Justice Chan Reech Madut, accusing him of mismanaging the judiciary. They also demand for increase of their salaries, and improvement of general working conditions. Since the strike, the judges’ demands have not been met according to Justice Wang.
However, yesterday after meeting the President, justice Wang said they believe the President will work on their demands.
He said the President promised to look into the issues, including the issue of their colleagues who were dismissed for championing the strike.
“We trust the promises of the President and we hope he is going to work on our issues,” Wang said.
“It is the decision of the general assembly after we have felt that the strike has gone for almost four months,” he said.
Wang added the general assembly decided that even though their demands have not been met, they should consider the suffering of the citizens.
“It is our voluntary decision to resume the work, not from pressure from anybody but it is us who considered that the citizens have been suffering for about four months and they cannot continue to suffer again,” he said.
Wang said they have left the issue of dismissing the Chief Justice to the President because it is his powers to either dismiss or not.
He said before resuming their work, they will meet the Chief Justice in order to create a normal working condition between the judges and the Chief Justice.
Wang said the judges also asked the President to consider reinstating the dismissed judges because they need them for the work.
“It will be the same situation but what can we do? Our demands are there in the office of the President, and we said it clearly that without those things provided, the work will not smoothly be delivered,” he said.
The secretary general of the committee, Judge Arop Malueth said even if their salaries are not paid, they will resume work because their strike was meant to reform the judiciary.
“Now we have seen the suffering of the people and we have seen that nothing has been done, we are saying it is up to the leadership of this country to work on our demands,” said Malueth.