19 September, 2020

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How Sri Lanka’s Drop From Frying Pan To The Fire Was Averted

By Vishwamithra

The Judiciary and The Legislature, the supreme pillars of Sri Lanka: How Sri Lanka’s drop from frying pan to the fire was averted

“The trouble with conspiracies is that they rot internally.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

At the time this column is being penned, the Supreme Court of the land has already issued a stay order on the now infamous decree to dissolve Parliament. The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision to revert the President’s, the Chief Executive’, order calls for enormous amount of inner strength on the part of all Justices of the Supreme Court on the one hand while on the other, delivers an unequivocal message to the world that Sri Lanka is still a land where the rule of law is at the core of her makeup. An enormous weight has been set aside, a sigh of relief and satisfaction is being exhaled; the ordinary people, for whom these nuanced arguments and debate about validity of Presidential decrees and sovereignty of Parliament are as alien as a glass of whiskey to a teetotaler, would unknowingly carry on with their daily chores; they were hardly aware that they had just managed to avert a fall into a cataclysmic abyss.      

Attorney General of the country, the chief law officer of the ‘Crown’, made his obligatory submissions before a three-bench Supreme Court. His arguments for upholding President Maithripala Sirisena’s ‘political’ decision to dissolve Parliament without allowing the Speaker of that ‘noble house of the people’ to decide whether President’s decision of replacing one Prime Minister with another (in this case the one who was soundly defeated at the last Presidential Elections in 2015) could be validated via a ‘floor test’, was not held by the Supreme Court. By the time the reader reads this column Parliament might have already voted whether the status quo of October 25 still stands. The inherent disadvantage of a columnist restricts him from giving the reader a more up-to-date live account of a day’s accelerated paced-life. That is entirely up to the fulltime reporters engaged by the Newspaper.

Yet I refuse to put my pen down. Such treachery would amount to journalistic cowardice. Whichever way the decision in Parliament goes, it might lead to unprecedented chaos in the country. A total breakdown in the very trust and faith the ordinary man has in the three pillars of our democracy, namely, the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary, would be incalculable. The resulting socio-political chaos will reign supreme. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court managed to restore some modicum of sanity in the overall system of governance. Whether Yahapalanaya has become another slogan or not, whether transparency and accountability are mere words which have failed to explode beyond the narrowing confines of their phonetic measures or not, people must realize that a day of reckoning has dawned. 

Political power being invested in one individual is simply not acceptable. Standing Orders were suspended. A no-confidence motion submitted by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) when Parliament met today and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya decided to accept it and was put to a vote, a ‘floor test’ and the Mahinda Rajapaksa and his unruly gang failed to secure the sufficient number of votes to survive the no-confidence motion. There were further crossovers from MR-cabal to the United National Party (UNP). Yet the mainstream media’s persistence on validating the Mahinda Rajapaksa-led parliamentary group is confounding. Wasantha Senanayake who crossed over from the UNP yesterday decided to resign from his Ministerial post. He further said that his crossover was based on his misbelief that the Mahinda Rajapaksa-cabal had a majority in Parliament. Having realized that it was not so, he decided to resign from his Ministerial post.

It is always natural that the losing side tries to spin their own stories. That political spinning machine of the Mahinda-cabal is still engaged in that despicable job of turning a loss into a ‘conspiracy’ of the West. But numbers and numbers alone will tell the story and its color, substance and veneer did not look favorable to the Mahinda-Cabal. Who wants democracy and who wants anarchical rule is now evident beyond a shadow of doubt. The country is on a crossroads. The Supreme Court spoke and it spoke in no unclear terms. Later, Parliament, the House of the People spoke. A defeated political cabal consisting of corrupt, dictatorial and conspiratorial men whose intentions and actions were more than evident could not secure a majority of MPs. A macabre conclusion of an ill-willed and ill-intentioned journey came to an astounding end.

Politics has shown its both sides. The ugly countenance of politics was so vividly exhibited by the Mahinda-cabal. The other side, the noble side of politics, a means for service of man and upholding the rule of law, was also predominant and pleasingly so. Democracy is not to be taken so easily. It is the most acceptable means of government; its magnificent character of majority rule with sublime sensitivity to minorities cannot be discarded by some politicians who have chosen to behave like common thugs and hooligans. 

The President’s original decision to name Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister is intrinsically wrong; its inherent quality is evil; it is anti-people. Such decrees do not substitute for the rule of the majority. Today Parliament, in no uncertain terms, showed that Mahinda-cabal did not have their numbers. A joke of a Cabinet and Prime Minister so decreed by President remains such- a joke. A decision arrived with ulterior intentions and sinister objectives met its logical end today. Now the ball is back in the President’s court. 

How would he decide now? By the time you read this that decision may have already been made. But the rights and wrongs of the original decision, arguments for and against that decision by President Sirisena cannot be foreclosed. Having being in power for twenty long years, from 1994 to 2015, and then for the shortest time on our history for about two and half weeks, the Mahinda-cabal has gone crazy; they simply cannot live without the luxuries of power and money. As per Anura Kumara Dissanayake’s comments at the press conference of the JVP, a government and a Prime Minister were formed in moonlight at about 7 pm on October 26, 2018. His most logical and lucid explanation about the chronology of events, the way in which those events were conspiratorially executed was par excellence. How much this country does miss such brilliant speakers?

The Speaker of the House of Parliament and the Supreme Court held with the people. Of the three pillars on which a ‘Democratic State’ rests, two sided with the people. The Judiciary and the Legislature chose to uphold the rule of law; both were adamantly allegiant to the service of the people. In this context the role played by the other pillar, the Executive, is bizarre and unequivocally wrong. Now the decision goes back to that pillar of the State. The Executive has another chance to undo his wrong; he has another opportunity to show humility and greatness by accepting the overwhelming wish of Parliament. Go back to the status quo of October 25, 2018. Restore Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister and ask him to form his new Cabinet in terms of the Nineteenth (19TH) Amendment. Mahinda Rajapaksa too has the same opportunity. He may have another chance to restore whatever dignity that is left of him. His walking away from the proceedings of Parliament when the no-confidence motion was submitted was a clear sign of him losing badly. A list of signatures containing one hundred and twenty two (122) of MPs was later submitted to the Speaker. It’s Game, Set and Match. Match over, so Mahinda Rajapaksa, please resign from your post of Prime Minister so unconstitutionally conferred on you.

Such greatness of humility and sensitive demeanor could still be assumed by those who conspired against the people of Sri Lanka. Anarchy can be averted; chaos can be forestalled and peace and harmony can be restored. Avarice for power may be too much for a mundane person to reject; yet greatness is not achieved by avaricious men and women; it is attained by those who refuse such allurements and renounce the obvious magic of such power.

Mr President, once again, the ball is in your court.

The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com   

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Latest comments

  • 0
    3

    Said too soon Vishva, too bad

  • 5
    0

    I agree that the court had little choice other than a stay order without becoming a laughing stock. But I don’t agree with the time taken for arguments and decision. This is a priority case for the well being of the country with every that passes in effects the economy and the reputation of the country.
    Internationally many countries stood by Sri Lanka even with so much of imperfections in order to give it breathing room now all those countries are taken for fools.

  • 4
    0

    Like all Lankans, Vishwamithra is letting out a sigh of relief.
    Avoiding a drop from the frying pan into the fire will still leave us in the frying pan!
    It is like the cat on a hot tin roof with dogs prowling on the cool grass, looking up, waiting to pounce on the cat should it take a risk and jump.

  • 1
    0

    Chinese are frying the sri lankans …so don’t jump to cocnclusion

  • 0
    0

    Vishvamithra: As the dissolution is illegal and unconstitutional, do you think MPs should stay away from handing over nominations. Promote that.

  • 1
    0

    MR is making mistake after after mistake and keeps digging is own grave. His arrogance,ego and the lust for power is blinding him as well gradually exposing the true character of his. If you talk to the common man in city including small shop keepers ,auto drivers and other MR supporters they admit to be followers but strongly disagree with his underarm tactics. One of them quoted if there is no constitution/parliament procedures or law how can country function???? They also seems to disagree with the disruption caused for one individuals gain. MR initially rushed an election in greed to loose every thing he had and it took some time and help from others in rebuilding and had a brighter opportunity on his next attempt but again jumped the gun in haste to see being exposed to the public. 1) He dosent carry the same clout as in past.2)His charisma has an individual power house has waned. 3)He is more and more dependent on others of which few are proven failures(Wimal, Duminda alike)4)Not all the party members are with him any more 5) And last but not least he cares more for him and his family than for people and country 6) More and more of Chinese presence in public makes them apprehensive 7)Though they may disagree on some parliamentary norms the consensus is to respect and follow supreme courts findings.

  • 2
    0

    “The trouble with conspiracies is that they rot internally.”

    Does this apply to the neocon Zionist conspiracy that is plaguing the world through financial corruption, bribery and political chaos created through cats’ paws? How did Trump come to power and another evangelical in Australia? You think the whole world are babies, you old piece of skit?

    We know a bit about your protocol!

  • 0
    0

    It is said that power corrupts & in the case of MR, it has totally blinded him. Corrupt politicians have no respect (maybe apart from a few with blind faith & live in denial) & the cronies who surround them leave a sinking ship at the first sign. I suppose MR has now learnt the painful truth that he has no friends apart from a few like him who are still hoping for good times under him. So it’s time MR throws in the towel & retire with all the perks he would be still entitled to at the tax payers’ expense, not to mention the ill gotten wealth he has accumulated which would last for generations. As for treacherous Sirisena, who is totally ignorant of matters of governance, it is the last straw & should realise his days are numbered. He & his family too, can still look forward to a very comfortable life style in retirement but I hope this whole lot would be investigated, at least by the Inland Revenue, & once gain, hopefully, at least some of the money that has been plundered will be recovered & sent to the Govt. coffers.

    Perhaps, there is a silver lining to all this saga. People are well aware of political corruption, the SLFP is no more thanks to Sirisena & the ‘pohottuwa’ did not bloom at all. Maybe the UNP came out better with Ranil still having some support comparatively, but I hope, come next election, all credible political parties will have the sense to nominate members with an education & not thugs & yobs, certainly not the current ageing, opportunistic crooks (with & without an education) who have proved again & again of their lack of integrity, self respect & refinement expected from peoples’ representative.

  • 1
    0

    FRYING PAN TO THE FIRE what exactly happened to Sri lanka with the bank robber who paid 10000 rs to 1.3 million govt servants for the votes. Billions of rupees to be paid by all poor Sri lankan. Joke is he was the PM.

  • 4
    1

    Should the Sri Lankan’s blame Dr Subramanium Swamy of BJP for getting Mahinda to India and made PM Modi to meet him and boost his EGO?
    I do sincerely believe Ranil W is facing all the current problems because He failed to SPEED up the Judicial cases against the Rajapaksa clan. Had he brought the various crimes cases to conclusions, the country would have got rid of the Rajapaksa clan for ever.
    We the Sri Lankan’s DO NOT want to go back to a DICTATORSHIP

    • 1
      0

      Naman – A deeply moved lawful PM has lamented over what he termed as “the destruction of Sri Lanka’s democracy by parliamentarians loyal to unlawful PM Mahinda Rajafucksha and condemned their actions while pledging to restore democracy.” Wasn’t our lawful Prime Minister a.k.a. “Ranilpaksha”?

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