20 September, 2020

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Lets Peep Into Sri Lanka’s Tomorrow After Impeachment

By Kusal Perera

Kusal Perera

There is little or no purpose now in discussing and arguing about the legality and constitutionality or otherwise of the impeachment motion. There is little purpose now in discussing and agitating, asking this government to withdraw the impeachment motion and the Speaker to respect the Constitution. Everything has been already decided to show Chief Justice Bandaranayake the exit door. Today, Friday 11th January, 2013, while this is written, Ranil Wickramasinghe‘s unconditionally argued supremacy of this parliament would decide on a majority vote at 06.30 pm to remove the incumbent CJ and request President Rajapaksa to appoint another. Tomorrow, Ranil would be left without his “supreme” parliament and the people, without an independent judiciary.

I remain a hard critic of Wickramasinghe in how he played and still plays with the Rajapaksa regime in legitimising all things unconstitutional. He did it with the Budget 2013 and does the same with this impeachment motion right now. His super ego on a self acclaimed status as the most knowledgeable in parliamentary procedures and traditions was simply trashed with all his preliminary objections thrown out and the debate on the impeachment motion report begun at 01.10 pm on Thursday 10 January, as decided by the Rajapaksa regime. His political bankruptcy does not allow him to accept that 144 MPs from the UPFA, plus his own UNP Members who crossed over to the government, will have no choice but to vote on the impeachment motion report as required by the Executive Presidency. He does not want to accept that would seal the fate of CJ Bandaranayake and drop the curtain down on this tragi-comedy. He also does not want to accept, he too “ordered” his party MPs to participate in a debate and vote on the impeachment determined as illegal by the SC and quashed by the Appeal Court. A parliament that has a collection of about 200 MPs out of the 225, who have been simply “ordered” to obey the Executive President and the UNP leader, two big and small dictators in their own terms, can not represent the sovereignty of the people. Can not be supreme in any way. It is that parliament that would end up today on 11th January, as one that leaves the Constitution violated and the judiciary made invalid. A country with no valid Constitution, with no legitimate parliament and a judiciary tamed to suit the regime.

Today the judiciary stands abstained, not willing to accept the decision of the parliament. The Bar Association of SL, with 78 branch associations all island and well over 7,000 practising members, made a public call to its members to keep away from professional work as a protest against the parliamentary debate on the impeachment motion they called illegal and unconstitutional. For the first time in Sri Lanka almost all Courts went defunct in a protest campaign with most Magistrates and Judges too not getting on the bench. But that would not be the same situation from next Tuesday, when life begins after a 03 day long weekend. When life begins in a country where the Constitution has no validity and the judiciary remains in chaos.

The controversy over the appointment of a new Chief Justice would bring another double barrelled conflict next week. Most probable appointee for now seems Justice Shiranee Thilakawardane. She would have been most probably the first woman CJ, if Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake was not parachuted to the Supreme Court bench by President Kumaratunge on the request of Minister Pieris. With CJ Bandaranayake removed on a majority vote in parliament, Justice Thilakawardne becomes the most senior judge to be appointed CJ and that in a way could pacify certain quarters within the judicial system than having one from the private bar. Yet, the Rajapaksa regime don’t seem to be comfortable appointing Justice Thilakawardne. She is thought of as an unpredictable judge and more independent than even the incumbent CJ when tasked to do a job. Those who raise doubts about her from the side of the regime cite the assignment given to her by President Rajapaksa himself, to investigate military procurements during the war period. President has shelved her report on military procurements permanently on that flat phrase “security reasons” as told in parliament by Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.

What this regime wants is a permanent answer with a totally subservient CJ. Not one who takes the responsibility in doing a straight job. Due to lack of acceptable names, the regime may settle with Justice Thilakawardane as a stop gap. But for how long ? Can the President appoint an Acting CJ ? And will she accept an Acting posting ? If not what ? All riddles the Rajapaksa regime would have to finda answers for, during the next few days and would make more contradictions and conflicts in the process.

On the flip side, any appointment as CJ will not be accepted by the Lawyers’ Collective leading the protests. Not even by moderate Sinhala campaigners who stood by this Rajapaksa regime. The whole parliamentary process of impeaching and removing CJ Bandaranayake is considered illegal and unconstitutional by them and they would not compromise on that for sure. Thus the probable conclusion would be, the Courts will not settle to normal day to day responsibilities during the week ahead. Nor would the lawyers, during next week.

Yet the issue is not just that. The issue is what that would be for this Sinhala society. To begin with, this regime now proves it would no more respect the Constitution and the Judiciary the way the Sinhala middle class expected it should, after the elimination of the LTTE. This regime decides on its own selfish agenda and not on how this country could benefit. Such an agenda that stands on unprecedented mega corruption with political patronage, can not be so easily pursued by any regime any where in the world, giving the people an opportunity to challenge the regime on democratic rights. NO, that can never happen anywhere and NOT HERE either !

This is the political context that makes the presence of the military and the defence establishment quite important to this regime after the judiciary is tamed. Lets not forget, this Rajapaksa regime has a gazette notification dated 29 August 2011 in its hands to establish STF camps in every district. It has brought all regulatory bodies required for control of land, the UDA, the Coast Conservation Department and the Land Development and Reclamation Corporation under the defence and urban development ministry. It also has the Department of Registration of Persons and the NGO Secretariat under it. So is the Police Department that for decades have been used more as an auxiliary agency in security, than as a civil department for law and order.

Four years after the war this ministry, lately tagged as “Ministry of Defence and Urban Development”, is allocated 290 billion rupees for 2013, an increase of 60 billion over 2012 and 75 billion over 2011. This year, the projection is only 05 per cent of the allocated budget for “urban development” with everything else set aside for defence. Lets keep this in mind. Every year there had been supplementary budget estimates too brought to parliament, asking for extra money.

This is quite an important issue when taken together in a Sinhala society that accepts militarisation of society as a Sinhala patriotic need. This Sinhala society has never opposed the appointment of security personnel to any civil administrative position. From Provincial Governors to Ministry Secretaries to District Secretaries, Board Chairmen, Commissioners of Departments  and worst, even as teachers now in Northern schools where in the South, Principals have been trained and inducted as Brevet Colonels of the volunteer force, but within the preserve of the military Commandant. Where university entrants are given a supposed “leadership training” under the military in military camps. Where universities are provided with security guards from a public firm, run by the defence establishment.

This may not be where the whole story would end. The defence establishment is now into big and small business with their own investments, raised from where and how, not queried about. The “Eagle’s Golf Link” claimed as one of Asia’s best once its 18 holes are completed, is owned by the SL Air force. So is “Helitours” back again in business. “The Air Travel Services (Pvt) Ltd” sells air-tickets and foreign package holidays. The military owns the controversial “Lake’s Edge” hotel in Mullaitivu. 02 holiday resorts one in Kukulegama and the other in Wadduwa for a long time. It was into local vegetable business too and now operates a fair priced “Kottu cafe” in Diyawannawa. Most restaurants and cafes along the A-9 road beyond Omanthai have military affiliations and the “Thal Sevana” guest house in KKS as well. There is serious discussions and plans afoot to build a 5 Star hotel in Colombo and also establish a separate directorate within the military to invest in businesses as emphasised by the army Commander himself (check link – http://www.dailymirror.lk/news/14575-army-to-build-a-five-star-hotel-in-colombo.html) Taking off from there, Navy is operating its “JetLiner” cruiser ship as a profit earning utility, renting it for weddings. There are also boat rides in Colombo and suburban waterways. There could be more businesses that could be added, if one does some nosing into seemingly innocent looking projects that has State patronage.

What makes all these extremely important in the period to come after the impeachment concludes with a replacement of the CJ is, we would be heading into the future with this growing defence establishment, minus a judiciary with any potency and parliamentarians running behind two Pied Pipers going the same way. Any chance of creating checks and balances to such dangerous political evolution would be on the strength of the working class and the urban middle class. Again, they lack political leadership and a programme for the future. This leaves us to discuss what our options could be, for a “Left democratic” future.

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Latest comments

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    As opined elsewhere in a CT article, if educated people of a country are not wanted, they have an option, i.e. they leave the country. Remote villagers have no options!!!! My country….my people…

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    With the 300,000 strong military and Raja Paksha controlling 90% of the economy, the rest of the 20 Mn populace will be the people left behind. Fair priced govt subsidised meals to the detriment of small local restaurants and eating places may look attractive, but are harmful to the local economy and small entrepreneur.

    These are being commissioned just to justify and provide work for a huge standing army a small country can ill afford. Koththu may be cheap but the real price is hidden, which covers salaries and overheads of a trained fighting machine and equipment. These are heavily subsidised by the taxes every poor and rich citizen of this country pays as indicated in the budget allocation for defence.

    Most of the extravagant schemes of the govt are the same. Divinesuma simply multiplicates systems and people availble to do the job thereby incurring additional costs and redundencies. The only thing that sustains this govt is the increasing amount of loans it takes from the IMF and Exim China. In other words we are living on borrowed money and though we do not realise it, borrowed time. The clock is ticking and Sri Lanka will be the country left behind.

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    What people are unaware of is that the Public Security Act is still in force. It is the means by which the Volunteer Forces of the services are kept mobilised! But then who cares about any legality to do anything in the future – whether the Act is in force or not! Ranil W maintains that Parliament is ‘supreme’, and should interpret the constitution! However it refers to the SC for an opinion on whether a bill is ‘Urgent’. Why should it if it is ‘supreme’?

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    Finally Mr Kusul Pserera has written something without the B word, in front of his “Sinhala” society.

    Another important aspect is ,Mr Perera didn’t imply any overt or covert threat to the Tamil people in the North by this alleged sprawling monster of Military UDA alliance.

    Srilanka hasn’t got a vibrant and competitive private sector yet to sevre the population in an efficient manner.

    Previous right wing regimes, destroyed all Govt run enterprises to help their capitalist mates to make the most when they introduced full privatization.

    Quality and price of goods and services can only be improved by having healthy competition.

    Who can provide that better than Armed Forces in developing countries.

    China , which is going to be the number one Economy in the World soon, has done it quite successfully.

    Srilankan Armed Forces have already proved that they offer hospitality services of the highest standards without taxing the consumers too much.

    These services are already benifiting not t only the ” Sinhala Society, but Tamil and Muslim societies as well.

    Eagles Golf Links is a beauty and may be even I can afford to play there occasionally

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      Is there medical capability in the world to graft some Grey Matter to this stunted brain ?
      Amaranth

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      K. A. Sumanasekera:
      Your arrant b.s is a wonder to behold! How can one (sub-)human cranium hold so much unadulterated rubbish!

      One thing’s for certain: if you play golf on the Eagle Golf Links you are not likely to lose any balls because you, obviously, don’t have any!

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      excellent comments from Mr.Sumanasekara.Thank you. our country is in a correct path and I dont think any power can stop it.One day soon Srilanka will become ASIA’S WONDER. Good bless Srilanka.
      Sarath Jayasiriwardena,Montreal,CANADA

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        what an idiotic comment ? Our country is on the correct path with Ministers being fully engaged giving hidden contract for killing of PC members in kelaniya as the most clear example right these days ?

        Trying to get passed the impeachment against current CJ unconstitutionally just because of the they have a 2/3 mandate in the parliament ?

        You should just be one who has sought refuge on that cold candian provinces as has been the case with many tamils who left the country for their real cause – during the last two decades. Sinhalayas have not had any reasons to seek such refuge but have abused those laws showing wrong evidences – as got proved in many cases in some european countries.

        Else, I cant see any reason anyone to see that the country under the current uneducated gangs – to be named as THE COUNTRY IS ON THE RIGHT PATH TODAY…. ridiculous.

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    Ranil should leave politics. There should be an impeachment process within UNP and kick Ranil out. The overseas UNP organizations should stop sending money to UNP until Ranil is kicked out. He is in the hip pocket of Rajapakse. Ranil you are a shame to Sri Lanka.

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    Attacking Ranil is not the need of the hour though he is a weak leader. The need of the hour is an action plan to bring a PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT into power by forming the widest ever Front with Ranil Sambandan,Tilvin, Bahu,Sarath F, and other democratic forces. The Provisional government must, within one year, clip the powers of President if not it can totally abolish it and bring necessary amendments to strengthen democracy and establish an independent judiciary.The Provisional Government at the end of one year tenure must be dissolved and elections called. A Front of Left Centre and Right can only be formed if the objective is for a PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT for a limited agenda

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      Good proposition. Bad choices. Who is Sarath F ? A war monger and a racist who wanted to establish a Sinhala State (Read his interview with Canadian news paper while the war was going on with all brutality) Who is Ranil W ? One who usurped power and does not allow any dialogue in the party. One who still believes he can be the next Executive President.
      Good if you can find more decent names for this suggestion
      Amarnath

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        Though Ranil is weak he represents the largest Opposition Party.That’s why I suggested his name. Sarath Fonseka commands respect of many though he is alone now.Do not think that the present government can be overthrown without a very strong Front of all the forces.Parties with different ideologies will not join forces if it is not for a Provisional Government that will finish its work within one year.Inter party and intra party contradictions have to be swept under the carpet to realize this noble task. Without a Front of Left Centre And Right for Democracy this government cannot be defeated.HITLER WAS DEFEATED BY A FRONT OF COMMUNISTS AND CAPITALISTS.

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          Premalal don’t talk rubbish, RW as a UNP leader? he has lost every thing what ever he had before , if opposition goes for a unity government or whatever , RW will have a another back door deal with MR .
          If we want true democracy in SL both MR and RW must go , period.

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          RW is not weak but he is the only leader who goes through the paragraphs and trying to respect the prevailing laws for the Island.

          Most that interpret in different ways – more or less like the gangs that support the ruling uneducated rulers harming the public with their kind of pathetic program like firing crackers, eating kiribath kewum immediately the news of impeachment against CJ was passed by 2/3 of votes in the parliament. IC together peace and law respecting folks
          would not grasp this because people are being manipulated by the ruling regime for their illegal activities – brainwashing them further.

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      Premalal:
      Your theory has one major flaw: Ranil W has adequately proved himself to be, at best, a Mahinda Rajapaksa-in-waiting!

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    Is Kusal referring to a culture of sychophancy that characterises contemporary Sri Lankan society? If loyalty is valued above fair debate and constructive criticism, what happened to John Fritzgerald Kennedy in the Cuban missile crisis and the Bay of Pigs fiasco should be a pointer of things to come…

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    “The nature of the universe is such that ends can never justify the means. On the contrary, the means always determine the end.”
    (Aldous Huxley)

    The above may be true to a greater or lesser extent in the long run but what happens in the interim? When a Hitler like character with the added advantage of a family to help is in the ascendant? Should not the UN and/or other affiliated bodies give considerations to the ultimate option of air dropping the “peaceful Pill” or making it more readily available? How about asking Dignitas Switzerland to open branches all over SL and ask RW and the GOSL to change the laws to facilitate this. Further info to be had from: – [Edited out]
    To balance the above why not also plead with the UN to expand its Right to Protect (R2P) to include the right to protect Democracies that are deteriorating day by day to pre-empt and ameliorate rather than await expensive cure as in Burma like places?

    Further as this is perennial problems with almost all psycho-sociopathic politicians being exacerbated by the gullible masses due to religious and cultural; mematic baggage. Why not ask the UN to consider establishing a permanent court only to try politicians starting with the charge of Criminal Breach Trust followed by a list misdoings?

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    I still cannot understand where President plan to take the country.

    Except impeaching and sending to prison all those who oppose him, lying to international and local community, telling Cinderella stories to public, show off with Horse carts, luxury cars and lamborghini races, and giving big talks and speaches with dinners and lunches to whoever who could get public attention and with Bogus Media Publicity, cutouts and front page newspaper photos…..there is absolutely no productivity shown in MARA’s governing of the country, it’s economy, it’s education, Health, Agriculture, Industry or social standard of citizen.

    By not agreeing to follow simple HR rules implemented by EU……MARA led to close over 600 Free Trade indeustries with over 25,000 jobs lost and also lost GSP status. This is why even now even our under age girls trying to go to Middle East for cheap slave labour jobs, while Men are trying to flee to Australia in Wooden boats.

    Just look at the houses people live when they were shown in the Floods effected areas. All those houses look similar to the houses that VEDDA COMMUNITY LIVE.

    THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE IN THE HOUSES THAT RURAL PEASANT COMMUNITY LIVE AND THE VEDDA COMMUNITY LIVE……THEY BOTH LOOK SAME. Even see the house Rizana’s parents live…….Looks like there is no front door to that house.

    So what is the development MARA is talking about after 60 years of independence..

    Believe me readers MARA is purely playing a drama acting to hoodwink everybody.

    From having gullible speeches…..to having conferences in five star hotels and in Araliya Gaha Medura…..to giving certificates which cost ten rupees to print to children with full media exposure……to visit temples and giving dana to buddhist monks……are all to hoodwink the public to show MARA at work..

    MARA IS THE BIGGEST JOKER AND AN ACTOR IN OUR HISTORY. My father always told me not to even trust a blind cat from that area……and he is proved correct.

    Mr. 10% Divineguma is all fake, show off with island wide banners been put up and with no visible development in those areas where they had those exhibitions etc with no development… are witnessed today..

    The biggest loosers of this MARA comedy show are the rural masses…..still living like in VEDDA cadjan houses 60 years after independence with no proper income.

    Five or ten years from now country will be nothing but a hell hole…..due to both Mervin Silva like Govt. Parliament members, and with an absolute commedy central Joker dictator like President, and with a MARA ass liking future CJ…..country will be heading to a total anarchy.

    MARA’S ASCHCHARYA IS HIS ABILITY TO FOOL EVERYBODY.

    Please remember today what I told you all readers.

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    my friend enough crying here. People of this country ever appointed Mrs Shrirani Bandaranayaka or any other judge. So it is president’s job and not you and me. Let him do it peacefully. Majority of people in this country appointed him do that job. If you have voted for loosers, i am sorry. Wait until next election.

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    Look at all the Singala Pundits arguing who should lead the country following the end if CJ’S.The Daily Mirror publishes the comments of anti government forces only. it is very biased. No one can even come close to lead this country other than Mahinda who saved this country. All anti government forced and foreign imperialists and the Tamil Diaspora and the Sinhala traitors have banded together to destabilise the country. CJ or SF to be a leader of a new party and to be leader of the opposition as suggested by some of your misguided readers above? What a joke! CJ should be incarcerated for her fraudulent activities and unholy behaviours . “The Parliament’s decision on the Chief Justice dealt a severe blow to the insidious forces who used her as a cat’s paw to destabilise the government’s progressive march to uplift the masses . The Chief Justice was behaving like a politician and her conduct was sufficient to disqualify her from the post of Chief Justice.” Unquote CJ is a dodgy character she can’t hold a candle to our Great Mahinda who saved this country from terrorism. Where were all these pundits when the previous government was preparing to handover half the country to the Sun God Prabakaran in the name of peace. These traitors are active again. Singala traitors should be dealt by the government severely.

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      I don’t agree with what you have said but I defend your right to say it. SL is no longer a democracy & the parliament is only a rubber stamp. The president with his unfettered powers. (Remember that even the US president does not have these type of powers) continues with his anti democratic actions. Remember that power corrupts & absolute power corrupts absolutely –the Rajapakses are perfect examples for this saying. This cursed family from Medamulane are proving to be as wicked & corrupt as the tiger terrorists.

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    Is that the best you can do ? You seem to be losing the trend of thought and meandering around without reaching any sort of conclusion.

    The brain finally being addled ?

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    tomorrow all attorneys will go for work to make another SLR and they will blow the head in front of any judge to make their cased.this lady came to supreme court and now going from the same door she came.do any man in the country worry for this,not at all.this lady deserves that what is getting today.we did not have and we will never going to have so call independence of judiciary system in the country.when ti come to the matter,who you know,do you willing to pay the some that they expect and do you willing to live like a animal if your all reply YES ,you are get the thinks done if not katharagama muruga sarann gachchemeeeeee.we knew very well we had lady president and prime minister mother used to teach how to eat grass ,her daughter used to ask people to go to hell if you are not willing to pay the some to her people or directly to her.today living in UK in the place with cheated money and still we consider this F/B AS VIP OF THE POOR NATION.

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