15 December, 2019

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Back To The Dark Ages: Sirisena-Rajapaksa Constitutional Conspiracy   

By Ruwan Laknath Jayakody

Ruwan Jayakody

Executive Pandemonium-ist aka President and Leader of the United People’s Freedom Alliance and Chairman of the coalition Government partner, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, Maithripala Sirisena in a dictatorial and what will eventually turn out to be an exceedingly foolish show of power befitting his predecessor whom he ousted on 8 January of 2015, to usher in the flower power of yahapalanaya (good governance) and its grandiose rhetoric, has usurped a sitting Prime Minister, Leader of the United National Front for Good Governance and coalition Government partner, the United National Party, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and sworn in his former nemesis, Parliamentarian and former despot par excellence, Mahinda Rajapaksa, a man whom Sirisena claimed would have ensured that the then common candidate, Sirisena himself, was six feet under had Sirisena not prevailed at the last Presidential Election, and a man who along with his cronies, whom Sirisena claimed was also responsible for grave crimes and large scale financial corruption, as the Prime Minister.

This is a betrayal, pure and simple, of the January 2015 majority mandate.

More dangerously, this arbitrary action which involves to quote Shakespeare’s Richard the III’s opening monologue, a dangerous induction, constitutes a blatant violation of the supreme law of the land, the Constitution, and the corruption of the social contract which he swore to uphold and protect.           

Article 42(1)(4) of the Constitution holds that the President shall appoint the MP who in his opinion, “is most likely to command the confidence of the Parliament”. As the Bar Association of Sri Lanka puts it, there is no impediment on the President forming an opinion and even though a citizen may challenge the President’s appointment in the Supreme Court, Article 4(c) on the judicial power and the people’s sovereignty provides an exception to judicial intervention when it comes to the privileges, immunities and powers of the Parliament and its Members and therefore, how the latter premise affects the matter at hand concerning the appointment of Rajapaksa remains a question. However, the President cannot appoint a MP as the Prime Minister when there is a sitting Premier. He can do so only if the sitting Prime Minister is removed.     

Article 46(2) holds that the Premier will be in office unless he resigns in writing to the President or ceases to be a MP. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe on the same day stated that he was and is still the Prime Minister. 

Further, the Constitution makes numerous references to such persons holding high office being unable to function in office owing to physical incapacity or being declared mentally unsound or having a conviction for moral turpitude or if that person’s civic rights have been revoked. These are the only grounds for the Prime Minister’s removal. Wickremesinghe has suffered neither and nor is he guilty of either. 

It is true that Sirisena’s initial appointment of Wickremesinghe, as per an agreement between the duo pre-8 January 2015 was unconstitutional as the latter did not at the time command the confidence of the legislature but two wrongs don’t make a right, plus Wickremesinghe has since faced and survived a no-confidence/faith motion. Therefore, for all intents and purposes, Wickremesinghe has the numbers and commands the confidence of the House. Article 42(1) states that the Cabinet of Ministers (maximum of 30 Cabinet Ministers and a maximum of Deputy and State Ministers of 40) is responsible for the direction and control of the Government. A national Government as per Articles 46(3)(4) and  46(3)(5) is where a recognized political party or independent group which together with other recognized political parties or independent groups obtains the highest number of seats. It is therefore Rajapaksa who will have to show his numbers when the Parliament sits next. 

On the other hand, a MP can as per Article 38(2)(iv) write to the Speaker, give notice of a resolution of impeachment , alleging misconduct or corruption involving the abuse of the powers on the part of the office of the President. If the resolution is signed by a two thirds majority of the entire Parliament, then the Speaker has to submit it to the Supreme Court for inquiry. If however, half of the whole legislature has signed it, then the Speaker should be satisfied in person that the allegation warrants an inquiry by the apex Court. If the Court finds in the affirmative, the Parliament has to vote with a two thirds majority of the entire Parliament to pass the said resolution of impeachment. This arduous measure has not been invoked. 

What has happened however is that the President as per the powers vested in him through Article 33(2)(c) has prorogued the Parliament. This means that the ungodly hour of horse trading is at hand and already crossovers have taken place from the UNP to the Sirisena/Rajapaksa faction.  

Executive President Sirisena has shown his true ‘plots have I laid’ face akin to that of Richard the III – ‘subtle, false and treacherous’. In this context, nothing other than the fate of democracy is at stake. The solution: dissolve the Parliament and declare a General/Parliamentary Election.

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Latest comments

  • 17
    2

    Srilanka is Srilanka. Buddhist Fundamentalism is Buddhist Fundamentalism. Power Changes but nothing happen. Blood bath every 5 or 10 years is the characteristics of this island.

    • 5
      2

      Ajith,
      Blood baths are not uncommon in Sinhale (aka Sri Lanka). Demala invaders massacred Sinhalayo starting around 3rd century BC. They destroyed Anuradhapura and Pollonnaruwa kingdoms. Then came the Portuguese, Dutch and British ‘Awajathakayo’ and massacred Sinhalayo. Worst blood bath during colonial rule took place during British rule at Wellassa. After independence, Rohana Wijeweera and Velupillai Piripaharan gave the leadership for blood baths. Yet, Sinhalayo prevailed.

      • 4
        0

        Most of what you say is very true. I don’t know if we can be quite certain about that earliest period, up to Polonnaruwa. You are going on the Mahawamsa; other more rational accounts would suggest that the Sinhalese and the Tamils were one people who gradually evolved different languages. There were many Buddhists who spoke Tamil during that period, I’m sure, although I have not studied it sufficiently to speak with authority.
        .
        Those who were identified by their use of the Tamil language, became “entirely Hindu”. Sinhala speakers claimed to be Buddhist, but even now visit Hindu temples.
        .
        I agree that Velupillai Piripaharan was a monster. Now that the Rajapaksas are back, do we feel that we can get away with total denial of “collateral damage” by our own forces. It was a War, not a “Humanitarian Operation”; in a war excesses from both sides are common. The tigers blew up innocent Sinhalese using suicide bombers. I’m sure that we also were guilty of excesses.
        .
        It may be that most of us (even me!) will start telling ourselves that “discretion is the better part of valour”, and just stop saying the things that we know are true.
        .
        Thanks, Ruwan Jayakody, for not giving up yet.

    • 6
      1

      Thank GOD for Your Honest Comment, At Last Someone Speaking The Actual truth About this Barbaric-Mass Murderous-Genocidal Country dubbed as BULL SH#T@T Pearl in The Goddamn Indian Ocean.
      My Dear Friend God do indeed will Bless you for your Comment (Trust me)
      “By the way “Does Anyone Know Why So many Tourists Comes into this Country
      For ? ? ? well It Turn Out all the Brochures Promoting Sri Lanka Are FILLED With
      B#S#@TT Fabricated Facts…..
      But Only After Arriving They Get to Realize The Truth……

    • 2
      0

      What would you do – if majority of the country prefer the corrupted to less-corrupted ?

      Just imagine, how they eat milk rice on the village corners across the rural areas since yesterday.

      No matter Rajakashes and their henchmen would rape their lovely ones, people simply tolerate their high crimes.

      For them Bank bond scam is a high crime, but grabbing billions by Rajpaapskshe sibilings- is not regarded as crimes.

      I today, distance my family down there, they too, sound tolerate Rajapaskehs and their rascals than any decent men that would not even want to talk about the development projects being carried out by RW-MS govt.

      It is just majority of people are far from being civilized. So long they are the majority, Rajapkshes or the like men can flourish their politcis.

      A desperate SRILANKEN living in EUrope.

  • 9
    0

    It would have been better for the people of SL, had President dissolved the Parliament and had the both Provincial and National ELECTIONS. Horse trading for support is not good as it involves Bribing Parliamentarians and promising Ministerial Posts etc etc

  • 5
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    “The solution: dissolve the Parliament and declare a General/Parliamentary Election.”

    totally agree with the author.however what made sirisena do this instead of dissolving parliament?

    • 3
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      He can’t dissolve the parliament until 4.5 years have elapsed ……… I think till mid 2019

      Sirisena is a spineless imbecile trying to save his own skin ……….. Rajapakses wont spare him once his usefulness has expired

      This is coup ……….. will the parliamentarians legitimize it by giving Mahinda a majority?

      It could turn out to be a blessing in disguise ……… suppose this is the only way Ranil can win the presidency ………… if Mahinda’s sidekicks fail to tackle the looming economic tsunami – which is not just confined to SL due to the tightening monetary-policy in the US

      • 2
        0

        ” He can’t dissolve the parliament until 4.5 years have elapsed ……… I think till mid 2019 ”
        Presidential election was in Jan 2015. Parliament election was in Aug, 2015. So the parliament can be dissolved, earliest in, not before March 2020. In other words, Ranil while going for honeymoon with hostile Yaka-woman, made sure by 19A the incumbent SLFP president could never dismiss him. He planned that he could become the President in Jan 2020 so he may never dismiss the UNP parliament until its full term, August 2020. The cunning fox covered him from one side, but the leak is coming from the other side. He made a bad mistake of not abolishing the EP at the time when he was mulling for the 19A, leaving it in tact hoping he too can become one day a President of Lankawe. (That is not the only mistake that failed to have any cover for this situation, but that one is the relevant here for 19A)

        • 0
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          Mallaiyuran!
          It is said by many the Srisena has violated the constitution by appointing Rajapakse. If so, why not violate the constitution a and dissolve the parliament?. This will been a better violation? as the people will be a given an another chance to elect heir leaders.

      • 2
        0

        Dear nimal fernando,
        .
        No, let us hope that Ranil will realise that he’d better retire, and hand over to a much younger leadership – or that he puts forward a candidate like Nagananda Kodituwakku.
        .
        How let down I feel by My3. This conduct of his disgraceful – no, worse – disgusting!

        .
        As you say, this could be a blessing in disguise.

    • 4
      0

      Answer is simple. Mr Sirisena wants his second term as President. By making Mahinda R as PM, he achieves his ambition and his extended family can float on wealth

    • 0
      0

      He does not trust.

  • 2
    0

    As per the 19th amendment preside t cannot dissolve parliament for 4 years…

  • 2
    1

    Ruwan Jayakody,

    I could not agree with you in many of your prior essays, because of the tainted racial flare in them. But I adore here you some young guys still have blood in your vain to write an opinion like this while Prof. Uyangoda, Jayampathy like the ones who should have come out on the defense of the constitution have curled like GLP and Thero De Silva.
    The main question is: will the Sinhala Intelligentsia, weather UNP or SLFP or Slap party’s Maha Viyath will recognize that here is a constitutional crisis and be ready to shoulder the responsibility of taking this case to the mass to get the justice. As Supreme Court (especially from the time of Baboon De Silva) has been the leading law breaker, it is not place of resort to seek for this crisis.

    • 3
      0

      Ruwan Jayakody,
      .
      Many thanks for yet another bold and courageous article. I think you know that I’ve been able to identify you as a person who writes under his own name, is quiet, and has serious concerns.
      .
      Mallaiyuran, the problem with you is that you are determined to see every Sinhalese as a racist. Please look at some of Ruwan’s other articles on CT; they are very different from this spontaneous outpouring of despair, and even anger. Ruwan usually studies off-beat subjects in great depth. He is one of the best investigative journalists who have emerged. I’m pretty sure that he has written courageously against manifestations of chauvinism from our, Sinhalese, side. However, you Mallai, have defined out all of us, Sinhalese, as racists. Now, see where we have landed?
      .
      I’m not saying that any Tamil is responsible for the mess that we have now got in to. We, Sinhalese, have been calling the shots all the time; the minorities have had no option but to secure what few concessions they could.
      .
      Ruwan’s normal work is for the newspaper, “Ceylon Today”. We have to be grateful that they allow him to write independently as well. I have been able to get my personal admiration for his writing conveyed through one of his co-workers.
      .
      Ruwan is a quiet serious guy who has this ability to write perfect two hundred word sentences, which may be why there are fewer comments on his writing than on those of others. May you continue to be a journalist who writes with powerful integrity.

  • 1
    0

    Ruwan Laknath Jayakody ~ “Back To The Dark Ages”? Did we ever leave the era?
    ~ “Sirisena-Rajapaksa Constitutional Conspiracy”? It was a coup. Success not yet known.
    .
    MR could have waited for the election. His chance of success started dwindling when skeletons were being let lose for example the PCoI on SriLankan Airlines. So the non-president President MS was used in this gamble. The chips here are the carpet-bagger MPs who are scrambling to cross-over yet again.

  • 2
    0

    Ruwan Jayakody,
    Very well said about the true picture and articulating bravely about the currant fiasco that our country is facing. Hope everyone will understand what these corrupted politicians intentions are? They are greed of power and will try to remain in power to wash all their dirt.
    Country needs brave you journalists like you and we are all there to support. keep it going

  • 0
    0

    I think that the only decent thing that can be done is indeed to dissolve parliament and have fresh elections: but then what result can we anticipate? Charging pillows as they say in Sinhalese.
    .
    The Rakapaksas are the people who are organised. Either the UNP must get its act together, and groom an acceptable younger leader, or they must start backing some other guy.
    .
    Got to stop now.

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