10 December, 2018

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Hold Sirisena Accountable: Have Him Hold A Presidential Election 

By Rasika Jayakody – 

Rasika Jayakody

“A nation can survive its fools – even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly. But the traitor moves among those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the galleys, heard in the very hall of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor — he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims and wears their face and their garment, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation — he works secretly and unknown to undermine the pillars of a city — he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.” ~ Cicero (42 B.C.)

President Maithripala Sirisena has come under increasing pressure to restore pre-October 26 status quo by re-appointing UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister.

Although Wickremesinghe doesn’t necessarily deserve public sympathy, he has received it on the basis that he is the aggrieved party in the constitutional and political crisis engineered by President Sirisena. It is for this reason, that it seems probable that all right-thinking citizens will support Wickremesinghe’s reinstatement, disregarding Sirisena’s calls to nominate another member of the UNP to the post.

At a meeting with party leaders of the United National Front (UNF) on Friday night, Sirisena had expressed willingness to withdraw the Gazette he issued dissolving Parliament. This assurance stems from his increasing fear the Supreme Court will rule against him next week, in keeping with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which prevents dissolution of Parliament before four and a half years into its term is passed

At the meeting, he also admitted that his chosen Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, does not enjoy a majority in Parliament. It is clear Sirisena has very few choices left In a renewed effort to regain control, he once again asked the UNP to nominate someone other than Wickremesinghe for the post of Prime Minister. But the UNP responded with a copy of the letter it sent to TNA Leader R. Sampanthan, saying it had unanimously agreed that Ranil Wickremesinghe would be their nominee for the position of Prime Minister. 

The UNP’s position, together with that of the TNA, which said it would support the UNP’s nomination for premiership, brings to 117 the support for Wickremesinghe in Parliament – four in excess of a simple majority. With this, it is evident Wickremesinghe has sufficient numbers to claim premiership, even without the support of the JVP, which has not made its stance on the UNP nomination for premiership clear.

Sirisena is trying every trick in the book to delay Wickremesinghe’s appointment and buy more time to work out an “alternative solution”. But the UNP, commendably, has held together and stood its ground, without pandering to Sirisena’s demands. But there must be a limit to Sirisena’s obduracy. If the UNP persists in its refusal to give in to Sirisena’s demands, the President will be forced to back down and restore pre-October 26 status quo. The legislature has already demonstrated a token of its power as the sole authority over public finance and this can certainly be used to pressure Sirisena into a final solution.

But I must make the point that Sirisena, who without compunction or shame, violated provisions of the Constitution, should be held accountable for his blatant abuse of power.  He has repeatedly demonstrated that he is unfit to perform the functions of the Executive, and furthermore, is by far the most intellectually challenged head of state Sri Lanka has ever seen. Even if Wickremesinghe is reinstated, there will not be stability at the top tier of the government due to the bitterness Sirisena harbours against Wickremesinghe. It also means Sirisena would not be able to work constructively with the member who commands the support of a majority in the legislature. This points us in the direction of a prolonged impeachment process, which will require the support of a two-thirds majority – a seemingly insurmountable task unless over 25 disillusioned MPs of the UPFA support such an initiative.

In this situation, the most practical solution is to hold a Presidential election and challenge Sirisena to seek a fresh mandate from the people. There are strong indications Sirisena will not willingly sign a declaration for a Presidential election, but all political parties, irrespective of their various differences, should exert enormous pressure on the President to declare a Presidential election in January 2019. 

A Presidential election would be a key step in Sirisena’s ‘post-coup accountability process’ and the public should be allowed to give a verdict on his actions since October 26. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.” Sirisena, who we elected with hopes of good governance and transparency, has taken perverse pleasure in violating the Constitution and we, the citizens, have every right to demand an election that will exercise our franchise to hold this man accountable for his devious actions. 

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Latest comments

  • 3
    19

    the provincial council elections in january is better to have than any presidential.

    • 7
      0

      Are you contesting in the PC elections?

      • 5
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        Mr Jayakody,

        Sirisena would never want to go for an early Presidential Election so easily. His estranged and unconstitutional behaviour proves it today. He is no a leader who would love the nation. He just abuses his power as no other leaders in entire south asian region
        I will sum up the following for the readers focus:

        1. Sirisena is the key player of the current political crisis. Yes, his abusive 16-member group may have fertilized it, but had he been surrouded by good advisers, nothign would ever been the reality. If any credibility earned by Sirisena, was destroyed as a glass wall snaped into pieces since 26th Oct 2018.
        The reason why he has appointed former rival as the PM is well connected with rather his greediness to stay in power also after 2020, albeit he himself made public statements that he would not intend to continue after his first term.

        2. And the fact that MaRa himself was in a mixture of thoughts not being able to agree with his siblings as the PE candidate for 2020 election is public secret.
        This became clearer on MR’s return from recent trip made to India.
        MaRa’s only wish is to see his bastard SON, alleged Rapist Namal Baby, but his age barrier stood on the way for 2020 election. Besides, I dont think PEOPLE would ever voted himto President of this country.
        3. Sirisena as if a greedy crow reacted, thought, it is his chance to approach MARA anad cut a deal with him. Unfortuatnely, the greedy fox was not well informed about the constitutional barriers or accuracies. To this date, SIRISENA has been fallen into that depths.
        4: The educated would never allow SIRISENA nor Rajakshe be elected again in the country.

      • 17
        1

        It is difficult to hold Sirisena accountable now; he has too much power and many “protectors” who will protect him not because they like him but because they want favors/privileges from the position he holds.

        But he will be vulnerable once he leaves office – which I believe is not too far off.

        Sirisens should end up in jail for his act of treason and never allowed to get away. Until that happens Lankan pols will never be the servants (as they “profess” ……. Sirisena, too at his swearing-in) of the people/country but they other way around.

        In Sirisena we have a weak man who can be easily prosecuted when out of office and made an example for future leaders. Rajapakses/JO too will discard him once his “usefulness” has elapsed. We should not let the opportunity slip.

  • 15
    1

    Hold Sirisena Accountable !! Yes, but not before having him examined. The result is likely to send him to looney bin (instead of jail ) and re-establish faith in the constitution among the citizenry (that it can withstand wildest of assaults).

  • 8
    0

    Sorry not to agree with you fully Rasika.
    The recent ‘happenings’ are ominous. There are several who are behind. Fortunately there is no violence. The atmosphere is just right to get to the bottom. The truth must be found and strong action taken so that there is no repeat.
    .
    Elections may come and elections may go. We want them free and fair.

    • 3
      0

      what is the truth you are looking. any body knows.
      no elections until this violation of constitution is corrected and put the country with law and order.

  • 5
    2

    Country has to hold Maitree for this mess up he messed up the whole country creating unnecessary constitutional crisis and worsened the economic crisis Sirisena has lost his mandate given to him by 62 million on 8th of January 2015 now he is isolated. The best choice is go for a Presidential election and get a fresh mandate from the people.

    Let Maitree pay for his sins.

  • 3
    0

    I think that each Sri Lankan in this time of crisis must put the national interest above petty personal interest… No communism.. No party politics, no ethnicity, no religious hatred, no personal interest should be given priority in this time of crisis. This beautiful country with huge human potential to develop is put under unnecessary stress… Utterly man made problem.. MS did not have skills and talent to foresee this problem before he took actions… He sacked pm without anticipating consequences.. He dissolved Parliament without anticipating the consequences.. In short he misused his power at the expense of the national interest..
    How money millions we have lost by now.. Billions.. How many tourists cancelled their bookings. How much is lost for business. Above all Sri Lankan reputation as decent country with good high level of literacy .. Now all are gone by the action of a few politicians …
    When will these people be punished for people with lives of 22 millions.
    when will we put the country in order..
    when we will keep law and order ..
    God protect Lanka.

  • 6
    1

    Thank you Mr Jayakody for raising an issue that must be taken to the public – to every citizen in the country. He must be held responsible for dragging the country down into an quagmire along with the morale of sound thinking people. He has disrespected and violated the Constituition knowingly giving vent to his personal whims and fancies. He lacks the strength and honesty to take on the responsibility for collective decisions made; bragging about successes gained by the yahapalayana governement and blaming others for the shortcomings is not becoming of a responsible leader. He should be held responsible and impeached for knowingly violating the constitution, for dragging down the economy of the country and for the degrading treatment of the citizenry.

  • 1
    4

    Rasika Jayakodi

    “President has come under increasing pressure ………………….”

    Who cares for that pressure?

    Majority people & the president don’t care two hoots except some fools including you.

    Why should anybody be afraid of SC ruling?

    President, parliament & the people will have to act according to the SC ruling.

    “Hold president accountable”

    Please clarify clearly, what for?

    Why can’t you make a stronger voice

    1. To hold RW accountable for bond scam?

    2. To hold RW responsible for failure to seek a fresh mandate when the given mandate terminated with the withdrawal of MS faction of fake gg govt.

    President has been elected by the people & his position is stable, his tenure ends in 2020 so why can’t you be patient?

    Previous UNP govt. & the present MR govt. are minority governments so isn’t it good for them to seek fresh mandate to make stable rule?

    The answer for the present impasse is parliamentary election, not a presidential election, why don’t you try to understand it?

  • 8
    1

    Yes. I fully agree. We must go for a Presidential Election before the General Election!

  • 6
    1

    Rather than holding a “Presidential Election”, isn’t there any provision to bring him before the JUDICIARY and charge him for “Willful Violation” of the Constitution? Food for thinking.

    • 3
      0

      Douglas,

      only way out would be to prove that the bugger SIRISENA is suffering from an mental inbalace, alone going by his daugher’s most known publication JANATHATHIPATHI THATHTHA.

      1) who on earth would ever go for the appointment of his arch rival if he is blessed with sanity ? So then why the bugger et al led govt at all held investigationson the alleged high crimes of Rajakshe and his goons ?

      2) And prorogation of parliament was unanimously connected with the appointment of MaRa and allow him buying opposition MPs in order tocomplete failing numbers in their side

      3) Then not respecting the provision in current CONSTITUTION (after 19 Amendement is annexed to it), to go for dissolution of the parliament

      Above 1), 2) and 3) are all unconstitutional since none of them are in consulation with the incumbent SPEAKER and parliament

      And even after the illegal appointments made, let them to govern the country and taking the decisions for the country are all null and void ab initio

  • 5
    0

    AGREE WITH RASIKA,

    Sirisena has been a disaster, I think 6.2 million Sri Lankans who voted for him should kick our backsides. What a JOKER we voted for. He was sweet on the outside but rotten to the core in the inside.
    He should be Impeached, charged for treason, jailed and the key thrown far out to sea. We Sri Lankans should never see him or the likes of him again.
    It just goes to prove that old Sinhala saying “you could put a leech on the mattress but it will still go to the grass”, Sirisena has just proved what a low thinking man he is.
    If he had differences of opinion with RW, he should have sat down either in a one to one or with other responsible people on both sides of the divide and sorted it out.
    Whoever advised him on the actions he took on and after October 26th need a good walloping on their bare buttocks. Like Sir John K, famously said their buttocks should be applied with TAR, not cold but HOT.

    • 3
      0

      He invariably lost his head after wearing the Crown. Had he stayed with MR his only satisfaction would have been the pleasure of liking the Balls of MR.

  • 0
    0

    what is the truth you are looking. any body knows.
    no elections until this violation of constitution is corrected and put the country with law and order.

  • 0
    0

    Desperate Sinhalaya: Thanks. Another question that lingers in my mind, as regards this “Dissolution” gazette: Did the President SEEK the advice of the Attorney General on the “Constitutionality ” of his (President’s) decision. If the answer is “YES”, then, I believe a citizen must be able to file action in a Court of Law, instead of the President. This aspect we will be able to see, when the AG appears in courts on 4,5 & 6 th Dec. in defense of the President’s action. It again depends on the SC decision. Let us wait, only a few days more. Worth the wait.

  • 0
    0

    Armed forces should take over power.

  • 1
    0

    Best for the nation is to remove Sirisena as he is very imbalanced person,first he accused Rajapaks, now he is openly accepting he lied to the nation to win presidential election, shame he should gracefully resign and go into oblivion. MR and family landed him in a soup

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