25 October, 2020

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Electric Chair Political Blunder To Fool Voters

By Muheed Jeeran

Muheed Jeeran

Muheed Jeeran

These days the most spoken about topics in Sri Lankan political circles  are the UNHRC resolution and the Electric Chair of the International Criminal Court (ICC). All the leaders, from the ruling party to the opposition, talk primarily about the electric chair, and I was wondering why these political mavericks are talking about something which is not in place at all in the ICC.

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa accused his local political enemies on many stages that they are trying to take him to the electric chair.  President Rajapaksa  has offered to  even sit  on an electric chair rather than betray the troops who brought victory and global fame to his government.

On the other hand, Former Army Commander and Democratic Party Leader Sarath Fonseka said that if there are war crimes allegations against the Sri Lankan Army and somebody goes to the electric chair, it would be him.

Then the opposition leader and Leader of the United National Party Ranil Wickremesinghe started firing his part too in this saga. He said, “the President, any military personnel or a war hero cannot be summoned before the International Criminal Court and I have taken measures to prevent it. If someone is saying that it is not, I am ready even to go to the electric chair for the country”.

While watching this political pow-wow  I thought to analyse the topic, though I know they are talking about something which is not in place in the past or present system of ICC.  The first purpose and function of the court is to prosecute war criminals, and  others guilty of “enumerated” crimes. It is also important to note, the ICC is intended to complement existing national judicial systems, and may only exercise its jurisdiction when national courts are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute such crimes .

However, does the international criminal court have a death sentence? According to the Rome Statute – the document that created the International Criminal Court – the maximum penalty is life imprisonment. So in order to have an electric chair or any type of execution methods, they should have law in place for the death penalty.  So why are these political leaders  talking in public regarding a matter which is not in  place in the ICC? Are they stating unwittingly or purposely to gain political benefits?

On other hand Ranil Wickramasinghe is emphasizing that he did not sign the Rome Statue, which was established in 2003 with the signature of 93 states and allows the country to be tried before the ICC. Therefore the President or any other military personnel cannot be summoned before ICC. But does our opposition leader make this statement with a clear state of mind or failing to understand how ICC  is working on prosecuting any criminals?

I agree with some points from Wickremesinghe’s statement above, such as the ICC was created by the Rome Statute which came into force on 1 July 2002. There are currently 122 states that are signatories to the Statute and Sri Lanka did not sign the treaty. The law of treaties obliges these states to refrain from “acts which would defeat the object and purpose” of the treaty until they declare they do not intend to become a party to the treaty. But it doesn’t mean Sri Lanka can be evading from ICC.  Does Wickremesinghe fail to understand the system or is he playing a political ploy or trying to show the public he is smarter than Rajapaksa?

We must clearly know that the court has four mechanisms which grants its jurisdiction. Firstly,  if the accused is a national of a State that is party to the Rome Statute. The second mechanism is  if the alleged crime took place on the territory of a State party to the Statute.. Third, if a situation is referred to the Court by the United Nations Security Council. And lastly, if a State not party to the Statute ‘accepts’ the Court’s jurisdiction. It clearly stating that, even if you are not a State party to the Rome Statute, you are more likely to prosecute at the ICC on the basis of  recommendation from the United Nation Security Council to prosecute a state which is not a member of the Rome Statue.

Although Sudan is not a state party to the Rome Statute, the treaty which created the ICC, the situation in Darfur was referred to the ICC’s Prosecutor by the United Nations Security Council in 2005. Later the Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, was  charged with war crimes over the conflict in Darfur, becoming the first sitting head of state issued with an arrest warrant by the ICC.

Therefore the continuing public statement of Ranil Wickremesinghe is a complete farce. Another jurisdiction mechanism  that is also not helpful in evading  ICC prosecution,  is whether the accused is a national of a State party to the Rome Statute.  As we know the United States is not a member  of the Rome Statute, but there are some western nations that are member states.

It looks like all the political leaders are seriously playing a dirty game to get the vote bank of Western and Southern Provincial council election rather  than the vote block in Geneva.

It’s a real shame that  politicians  talk about national and international issues to grab votes in the provincial election, which is the system only created to manage  provincial level local issues. These politicians know that the voters are not going to make any impact on the national or international issue by voting on the basis of this subject they deliver in the election campaign stages.

Even securing 100% of votes to the ruling government is not going to change the minds of  the international community who supports the resolution or building more confidence for countries which are opposing the resolution in the Geneva session.  When a politician is trying to fool the voters for their own political benefits, the voters must become smarter on casting their votes by sending a clear signal that ‘we are not fools to be trapped in your political blunders’.

Freebies are a fact of life in Sri Lanka politics. Candidates mostly offer free food packages and many other freebies to the voters in order secure their votes. Voters should teach a lesson to these politicians. It’s important to know that the ballot paper is your right. Don’t waste the only right you have as a citizen of this nation. People also should change their attitude of  voting for a candidate on the basis of relative, friend, from their own community, culture and religion etc. They should vote for a candidate who can make an impact to a political system via  successful policies.

What should we expect from our politicians? Should we expect moral perfection? Or should we expect them to do the job they were hired to do? Back in ancient times kings were considered Gods. People didn’t have books, television, Internet and the social media. The kings had absolute power and control over who lives and who dies. Virgins were tossed into volcanoes. These people knew how to party!

Things have changed since then. This is a world of democracy, though it is lacking in Sri Lanka. However, we elect people to do a job. Our “leaders” really aren’t leaders as much as public servants. They work for us. They are our employees. And we need to keep reminding them of that to keep them in their place, but that’s a different subject. They don’t wear a crown, they wear a national suit and get paid to do a job, and that job is to wisely spend the taxpayer’s money and to pass laws to keep the good order of society.

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Latest comments

  • 13
    0

    The likes of Dayan J can learn a lot from the likes of this man !

    • 1
      2

      I guess this is not DJ related. Muheed’s article remind me the duty of jurnaliusts, we customers pay for living of those journalists.. But how many Muheed’s like journalists we have in SL, who earn their living respectfully..

  • 8
    5

    We have seen so many tactics similar to electric chair drama, Tiger drama, Kalla thoni drama etc. over the 65 years of Buddhist Sinhala politics in this island. The aim is clear, that is genocide of Tamils.

    • 1
      1

      All these are just to grab votes.

      MR is talented at those gilmarts from that day on. But he is not talented at winning IC.

      These versions of emperialistic invasions are like fairytales to the little kids. Anyway, in a culture that most are based on Jathaka katha, it is easy to deceive them using similar tales but the political wills.

      By this time, they should have used all illegal channels (SMS, twitter, even some illegal public rallies showing other interests) to mobilise the people in southern areas – though all open legal campaigns were eneded by day before yesterday´s midnight.

  • 5
    1

    How come DJ & Malinda S did not offer to sit on the electric chair (on power off mode) on behalf of the vast majority ?

    Why did they fail to entertain us with the threat of shock in their bum ?

  • 2
    0

    Very good that a phantom is shown out for what it is. To the chicken hearted thriving on dishonesty and hypocrisy, bravado makes good eating. In the fifties and sixties, when it was known for a 100% certainty that no politician will ever be hanged, it was fashionable to boast about straining at the leash to go for the gallows. In the seventies when the JVP showed that the firing squad was at the ready for patriots, not one spoke of readiness to sacrifice. In the eighties when instant enrolment was assured for the brave not one volunteered in the North or South.

    Now internet takes information to everyone. It is known to all politicians that no electric chair ever awaits them. If at all a toppling if those armed are made to sit. And we see this outpouring of over abundant bravado. Should it be added that this is the stuff of which SL politicans are made.

  • 1
    0

    ” Anna puthe billo enawooooo”… little children are easily tamed when they just hear about some uknown to them come and drag them away….they even stop instantly their mischievous behaviours and tame them the parents as they wished. So was it for us at the time we grew up in the country. Today the world is somewhat different regardless of being where you are… nevetheless,today psychologists still warn that the mentioned kind of shocking tales can do more harm in the growth of a person. But developing countries with no options, being underdeveloped in very same areas, they just let these tricks be a part of their life. So are their growth too. Even if they are grown ups, they have no other choice than just get caught easily whatever being explained to them. This kind of gullibility has been instrumental by MR and his political machineries in manipulation the nation. Rural masses that make up over 70% of lanken entire population get cheated again and again… by the current politicians.

  • 0
    0

    Upon hearing Mahinda , Ranil and Fonseka proudly claim they would sit on the electric chair, Mervin Silva has now stated he will also sit on the electric chair too!

    Electric chair musical chairs!

  • 0
    0

    It is not today only they are telling lies, but today they are not setting supporters up against Tamils publicly. Every election time for a long time much before Tamil armed rebellion began (in mid 80’s) Tamils living in the South were dealt with violence. For this reason Tamils move away to their homeland, to North or to the East to escape. Not only just telling lies, but the supporters are well rewarded and motivated with handsome perks for relocating to the East and North. The violence against Tamils stopped from the mid 80’s to 1990 after the rebellion started in the East and North against political violence. Now the whole world knows what happened from the 90’s until the UNHRC resolition. But the most disappointing thing to the IC is that Sri Lanka regime even today is living in the past with impunity and is believing nobody knows what is happening in Sri Lanka today!

  • 2
    1

    Now that the resolution has been passed and inquiries will take place very soon, these three morons namely Mahinda,
    Fonseka and Ranil along with Gothabhya and GL Pieris get themselves electrocuted in SL. They do not have to go all
    the way to The Hague to sit on the electric chair.That will solve all the problems and none of them will talk about electric
    chairs anymore.

  • 0
    0

    Muheed Jeeran: Trying to outdo each other in acts of faux bravado is so very Sri Lankan and a particularly popular weapon of our politicians who know full well that there is not a cat’s chance in hell of it coming to pass. They are playing to the gallery, the LCD in the electorate who vote by their senses, and consider their sacred duty done when they walk away with a smudged digit, will fall for anything MR tells them. MR IS, after all, the man who ordered the annihilation of the evil empire, the noble one who delivered peace, the fearless one who keeps the rapacious foreigner at bay. So, anything goes in the maelstrom of our politics – why, our debonair Mervyn even offered his hand in marriage to that sweet lady from the UN (the LCD in our electorate appreciate that sort of Sri Lankan gallantry!). As for your line “”This is a world of democracy, though it is lacking in Sri Lanka”””: you must appreciate that democracy wasn’t really invented for our garden of Eden. No prizes for guessing who will NOT ever be head of state in our blessed island.

  • 4
    1

    Dear writer if you want to change anything – pls stop writing to CT – translate ur article to Sinhala/ tamil and publish in local papers or websites … its foolish to go on talking without trying to educate our idiotic voters. Poverty is the curse of the country where Rs.100 can convince a voter. but SL has a reasonably educated populous, compared to other developing countries- I think if Civil society groups tries hard enough(without flying to Geneva to drag country to chaos) they should be able to get thr to at least some of them. Problem is NGOs are not given money to do this but to create chaos in countries.

    • 3
      0

      Dawn Dale

      “SL has a reasonably educated populous, compared to other developing countries”

      Contemporary education does not make people wise.

      You should know it from your own typing.

  • 0
    0

    So when will the convenors of these courts sentence themselves to death in the electric chair for their crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Palestine, Guantanamo, India, Sri Lanka, everywhere the the current commonwealth was. OMG never ending list. Good job that UK is bankrupt and cannot pay for its electricity, so they cannot afford to have an electric chair. They will be let off for bankruptcy.

    • 0
      0

      God sets the time at which every offender will get his/her punishment; the latest can be the first sometimes and the one earlier can face it later; but it will be done at sometime.

    • 0
      0

      The truth that there is no ‘electric chair’ punishment must be understood first. Those who talk of this are only cheating the people. Next what should happen to any others who committed similar offences in other countries is not an excuse to ignore and not to punish the culprits in our country.

  • 1
    0

    Those who talk about a non-existing ‘electric chair’ punishment at the ICC are trivialising and dramatizing serious issues for political mud-slinging.

  • 0
    0

    This article made me realize how vulnerable we are;and we srilankans do not have the given point in us whilst votin;friends ;relation;voting for their community inspite of the candidate contributin nothing to improve the standarsmoutward show is the thing in srilanka inward the hearts are deviant;manipulating;selfish;hardhearted;care less for others; vulgar.we in srilanka has a long way to go to imorive our mental structure;we are stagnant passive fools;allowunlimited bullying;thank yofor highlighting the importance of the voters rights

    • 0
      0

      Are you talking about yourself? Or maybe just saying things for fun!

  • 1
    0

    Normally in democratic countries the government work for the people but unfortunately in Sri Lanka we find that the people work for the government under threats and intimidation. They are not our employees we are their servants.Democracy is only in words what I call the NATO No action Talk Only therefore its time that the people make their own electric chair and place all these guys one by one just to warm their arses.

  • 0
    0

    I just have one question if someone could answer. Is Mihinda Rajapakse’s law degree real or did he buy it from a corner store?

    • 0
      0

      If the son did it? And the child learns from the parent.

  • 0
    0

    Not only this inveterate liar, the savage the promoter of illegal import of drugs and ethanol to amass wealth, who has brainwashed the stupid `Sinhala-Buddhists` and destroyed the country economically, socially , culturally, environmentally, even geographically and all social values as never before for his own benefit but also his parasite family plundering this country in every possible way, sucking the blood of the nation `patriotically` deserve the ` electric chair` if there is such a thing anywhere. The down trodden class of this nation has no other salvation than hoping for foreign intervention.

  • 0
    0

    The title of this wonderful article should be ‘ELECTRIC CHAIR – HOODWINKING THE VOTER/PEOPLE’ or ‘ELECTRIC CHAIR – CHEATING THE VOTERS/PEOPLE’. As what is resorted to by the politicians named is not by mistake or error which will a ‘blunder’ but ‘deliberate’ or ‘intentional’ so it becomes ‘hoodwinking’ or ‘cheating’. Anyhow many applauds to the author who clearly enlightens the reader on the nature of the politics practiced in Sri Lanka. It is sad that information such as this does not reach the ordinary, non-English reading, people of Sri Lanka who do not care to find the truth of the statements made by the politicians. Even the many writers who deal on various subects have not attempted to deal on a very important one as this. The knave Sri Lankan people should be enlightened on similar issues and make them understand that these politicians truly deserve the ‘electrice chiar’, if it is not available in Sri Lanka the traditional ‘gallows’.

  • 3
    0

    Let us change MR to EC!

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