By Dlirukshi Kirindigoda –
The rise of Nagananda Kodituwakku to the national forefront has been rapid. With his rhetoric to rid society of corruption, the general public have naturally turned to him as a true knight in shining armour.
It is in this hope that the people of this country eagerly followed what was said and done by Mr. Kodituwakku. To many he came across a man of principle and vision to end corruption.
However, some had doubts as to what his true motive was and who his true puppeteer was. Actions speak louder than words, and sometimes words and actions both give out the true nature of the man.
The constitutional crisis created by President Sirisena by unconstitutionally dismissing Prime Minister Wicrkamesinghe and appointing Mr. Rajapaksa as the new Prime Minister appears to be the catalyst that truly exposed who Mr. Kodituwakku actually is.
Mr. Kodituwakku in a huff and a puff filed a haphazardly drafted Petition to the Supreme Court stating that his Fundamental Rights under Article 12(1) have been violated by the Prorogation of Parliament and seeks an Order from Court to annul the Order of the President proroguing Parliament. However, Mr. Kodituwakku takes the view that the removal of Prime Minister Wickramesinghe is constitutional and legal. This could be due to one of three reasons. First could be that Mr. Kodituwakku genuinely believes that the Constitution allows for it. The second is, his despise of Prime Minister Wickramesinghe compels him to justify the dismissal. Third is that he is being motivated by an invisible hand to do so. If it is the first, it’s simply his ignorance of the law. If tis the second, he is an opportunist and nothing more. However, if it is the third, it is most alarming.
The writer is of the view that it is the third for several reasons. Mr. Kodituwakku’s pleadings in the Fundamental Rights case clearly demonstrate that it has been designed to fail, thereby derailing any genuine effort to challenge the unconstitutional acts and bolster President Sirisena’s stance that the prorogation of parliament was correct and endorsed by the Supreme Court.
The first mistake Mr. Kodituwakku has made in the draft is that he has decided not to name Mahinda Rajapaksa MP as Respondent. Though he states that Mr. Rajapakshe has been appointed as the Prime Minister, Mr. Kodituwakku very conveniently omits the name of the present (right or wrong of the appointment aside) Prime Minister. This would probably give a ground to claim that the Petition is defective and that necessary parties are not before Court.
The second mistake is that Mr. Kodituwakku names Ranil Wickramesinghe as the Prime Minister in the caption and then in the body of the Petition states that Mr. Wickramesinghe has been removed from office lawfully.
The question that begs to be asked is, why would you not name the man whom you claim is now holding the office of Prime Minister, and only name the man whom you say has been lawfully disposed of the office of Prime Minister, unless your sole objective was to have a doomed start to a case of this magnitude and importance.
It appears that by design or otherwise, Kodituwakku has played into the hands of President Sirisena, who was left high and dry with his ill-advised (or possibly with no advise) move to oust the Prime Minister in blatant disregard to the Constitution. By this move, Kodituwakku comes out a winner – he was the only one who went to Court, but he also gets the opportunity of blaming the Supreme Court that its “judicial corruption” (a famous catch phrase used by him) which resulted with the dismissal of the case.
This entire exercise results with the general public being left high and dry. By filing a doomed case, Naganada is inviting the Supreme Court to dismiss a case, thereby allowing the MR & MS fraction to bolster a false narrative that even the Supreme Court has held the decision to dismiss the Prime Minister as being correct. It also prevents any genuine effort by any concerned citizen coming before the Supreme Court with a properly designed case seeking to correct this blatant wrong. So in that sense, Naganada’s ill timed, badly executed move has only strengthened the very forces he proclaims to bring down, making people wonder “whose cat’s paw is Naganada?” surely this is not the work of a loose cannon!