1 December, 2020

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No ‘Easy’ Takes On Manjula Tilakaratne Attack

By Malinda Seneviratne 

Malinda Seneviratne

It is easy to condemn an attack on anyone.  It is typical for there to be widespread condemnation the more public visibility that a victim has.  It is easy for relevant ministers (and politicians in the opposition too) to visit the victim.  It is easy for the executive to add to condemnation a directive to investigate.  It is easy to say ‘innocent until found guilty’.

There are lots of easy things in this world.
The Secretary of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), Manjula Tilakaratne was assaulted by four unidentified men in Mount Lavinia this morning.  It is easy to say that it is too early to ascertain the ‘why’ and ‘who’ of the attack and of course the ‘who was behind it’. It is also easy to point out that rivers have sources and trees have roots, as Himani Banerjee once said. It is easy to trace statements made by Tilakaratne over the past few weeks and to lay out patters pertaining to the relationship between executive and judiciary. Let’s do that now.
Over the past few weeks, many allegations have been leveled in the media against Tilakaratne and the JSC.  Tilakaratne has insisted that these were ‘malicious and baseless’ and opined that they may have been prompted by a media statement issued by him on the directive of the JSC criticizing alleged intervention in the judiciary by the executive.
The allegation followed a meeting between the President and the Chief Justice and two judges of the Supreme Court.  The word ‘summoned’ has been used.  The President at meeting with media heads recently denied this and in fact stated that he has not and does not intend to interfere with the work of the judiciary.
The speculation follows a Supreme Court determination that the ‘Divi Neguma’ bill presented in Parliament needed approval by the Provincial Councils.  Detractors of the Government have claimed that this may have irked both the Minister of Economic Affairs and the President’s brother, Basil Rajapaksa, and perhaps the President himself.
All this is pretty vague.  What is not vague is that friction between executive and judiciary is not new.  ‘This is My Nation’, the regular Sunday editorial page column outlined that history on September 30, 2012 (‘Wisdom of the judiciary should be respected’).
Thus the long history and the short of executive-judiciary relations cast an inevitable shadow on Sunday’s attack.  Other shadows too, for example countless examples of assault on known critics of the Government with law enforcement agencies failing to bring perpetrators to justice.
It is easy to order investigations, but we must take into account that consequent to the abrogation of the 17th Amendment (or rather its replacement by the 18th), effectively compromised the independence of the Police Department.  On numerous occasions, political hands have moved to tie Police hands or else the Police, recognizing possible and unhappy repercussions of carrying out its duty, has foot-dragged and looked askance.
It is easy to say a lot of things. It is difficult to do. J.R. Jayewardene did not throw stones or hoot judges. Someone else did.  Where did those hooligans obtain the guts to take on the courts?  The same questions can be asked right now.  If, as alleged, Tilakaratne is guilty of wrongdoing, there’s an established way of investigation and punishment.
Those who support the Government and the President must hope that this attack had nothing to do with the histories outlined above. Given the manifest absence of checks and balances in the overall structure of governance, including the lack of transparency and accountability, the truth is that over the past several years trust in law enforcement has been severely compromised.
Tomorrow the Mt. Lavinia Police might arrest a suspect or two or all the assailants.  That would not erase what is most likely to be the general response to such an eventuality: ‘framed’.
There’s a culture that’s been nurtured for quite a while now.  It is malignant.  That’s easy to say.  Sometimes, though, truth is the easiest thing to say.  And truth is what makes and breaks structures of power.  That too is easy to conclude.
*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation‘ and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com
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Latest comments

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    “Where did those hooligans obtain the guts to take on the courts?” ..Malinda S. crosses the Rubicon! Congratulations. May your awakening from the racist slumber open your eyes to the many liberators who ended up as autocrats. However great their achievements(Mugabe winning independence, Idi Amin chasing a dictator etc.) where there is no rule of law the end result is ALWAYS the same. You as an insider to this regime can do much to put things right. Hope your racism would no longer cloud your judgement on democracy and the rule of law.Good luck!

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      Nihal S

      for starters Malinda was never in slumber, obviously some others are,still

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    Great comment, Nihal S.Telling but magnanimous. Hopes that these characters like Malinda will now ‘wake up’ may prove to be quite optimistic though!

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    The downfall the Regime will have to be within the grasp of the intellectuals within the Regime and are you one of them; as it is now
    easy to judge?

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    the Presidenyt is trying to clear the last obstacle he has encounter to become a dictator. What is sad is when he was in opposition and being a member of the past SLFP regime he took people to the street and even travel to Geneva protect the Law and Order in the country How such a man could act in this way.I am reminded a Sinhalese proverb “EluhamaProvagath Kotiya” Tiger in goat skin.Where we are leading. Soon after he annouced that he will smash all obstacle that will try to defeat the Sovereignity of people Mr Manjula Tilakarathna was attacked. Any fool can understand the theory behind this.One time one minister broke hands and legs of a Journalist.

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    U-turn? Any ‘International’ influence?

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    There was NO meeting between the CJ & two other judges.
    CJ had in fact declined the request by the president for a meeting,it has been reported.

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    I cannot understand why Milinda takes a very long route to condemn the attack on a Public Official, who recently issued a statement about the fears he has for his life and also for Chief Justice from the Government. In this background it is clear that Manjula Tennakoon, the former Judge is not in good books of this corrupt regime. We have plenty of examples in last 8 years to what extent this regime went to take revenge on Journalists or anyone who dare to criticize them. Over 50 Journalists and hundreds of other political opponents were either assaulted, Killed or made to disappear, by government gangs properly aided by Police and armed forces. It is true JR, Premadasa or Chandrika tried these tactics too to silent their opponents. But they never went to this scale to misuse state power to take revenge on opponents openly. I can remember the vicious attacks Lasantha,Iqbal Athas directed against Chandrika using Sunday Leader and Sunday Times. during her Presidency. Although there were threats to their lives they were not harmed. Is Milinda trying to mitigate and justify the tactics of Rajapakse regime because some of these were used by previous regimes?

    I wish Milinda can express his views clearly and independently rather than making great attempts to ensure that he is not hurting his Masters while criticizing this gang of thugs ruling the country. I have observed this tendency whenever he has guts to condemn the government on any issue. Sometimes I feel sorry for him because he has become a prisoner of consciousness similar to Editors of most of the other Newspapers in Sri Lanka. This is the very reason we say that there is hardly any freedom of speech in Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka is heading towards dictatorship

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    Malinda S
    Do you honestly think that anyone who knows and has watched your monumental sycophancy to the Rajapakse Regime will EVER believe that you have achieved some kind of Pauline conversion?
    You are and will continue to be one of the lower kinds of life, particularly while you get paid LITERALLY for running one of the Rajapaks’a newspapers and setting up your (ant their) opponents for everything inclusive of DEATH.

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    Malinda S is not the first to gain from taking a visible anti-Tamil stance – a highly marketable commodity in this Govt full of racial sycophants – some in the Cabinet itself. But this variety manage to get fried in their own oil eventually – SWRD, Cyril Mathew and that lot not excluding Sarath F (??)

    The attack on Tilakaratna is not an attack on an individual alone. It is a blatant attack on the gasping judicial process in the country – one of many in recengt times. The most our tainted Police will do is to arrest a few lowly just to fill in the Court records. The attack, carried out done horest of attack dogs readily available to the regime and done to please a Govt lead by a “senior lawyer” in the form of President MR. Reference to JRJ’s conduct during his time is a poor example of “if they did it, why can’t we do it” is a line that Malinda S should not have resorted to, if he wishes to be considered even a minor neutral journalistic commentator

    Anyway, very little lost here. In outside eyes, the Rajapakses are a bunch of corrupt, vvenal despots with absolute no regard to the sublime rule of the law or Parliamentary governance.

    Senguttuvan

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    Malinda;

    I did not know that racists are carrying the favour of the ‘marxist’ Professor Himani Banerjee?

    When did you cultivate such friendship? Does she know that you are quoting her? Does she care that she is being quoted by an anti-Tamil journalist posing as a responsible journalist?

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    Forget about that. my dear friends! do u think that Sri lanka lost the T 20 Becouse MR @ ground? ur opinion?

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    I still wonder why CT allows this top class [Edited out] Malinda to write all this rubbish in their prestige forum. This guy Malinda is that Racist dentist Gunadasa A and Racist Prof. Nalin S’s blue eyed boy. All his articles are based on the bogus theory of those two racists who are ruining the future youth with their damn lies.

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    I think Malinda was testing the waters before writing his next article which would say that the forces working against govt had attacked the judicial – Secretary, he also may prove that this secretary beat himself and stabbed himself to discredit the president.

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      Jim softy:
      Are you saying that the JSC Secretary did NOT stab and beat himself up just to put Malinda’s patrons in trouble?
      Come on, man, get a grip on reality. This is the land where people tie themselves to trees, “officers and gentlemen” contract cases of terminal amnesia as to who hospitalised them etc. etc. It is The Miracle of Asia and we can look forward to more miracles with the assistance of unmentionables like Malinda Seneviratne.

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    Forgive all your doubters! Malinda as they know not what they say. Shame on them, for not recognizing that you write the ‘nationalist papers’. Great nationalist like yourself, Bill O Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh etc point out, that which these feeble liberals do not see. Your unstinting defense of the Rajapakse Realm has rendered you a patriot par excellence. The positive effects on civil society are clearly visible for all to see with unprecedented progress in media freedom, social mobility and high moral standards displayed by our political class. I would like to take this opportunity to thanks you!, for your role in Sri Lanka’s continuous march towards higher luminosity as prescribed in the Mahinda Chintana 1 and 2.

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    Just a note to all readers. Please do not respond with comments to guys who write articles propping up Mahasona. I do not bother myself to read them even.

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      True, this guy is there just to jack MR^s activities. His estranged writing is a headache to me most of the time.

  • 0
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    How come Bedrock Barney’s list did not include Jack Cafferty?

    Senguttuvan

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      Jack’s not at FOX. Malinda could be though. Everything about this incident is so vague, so opaque. He cannot connect the dots. He doesn’t see the connection. Even if MR himself, had thumped Manjula on his head, Malinda still would not see. The things these scribes write for a salary, tsk tsk. Totally ‘Fox’ worthy.

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    @CT… Why do you publish rubbish from this author a well known racist-chauvinist trying to boost this regime with absolute LIES.
    The website will lose much credibility.
    Do not hurt yourself…foolishly…
    Unless you yourself want to be like him…

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      In the same breath CT why do you have to publish comments from Mr Donald Jayantha Gnanakone, a well known LTTE terroriist sympathizer and paymaster who is bitter about Sinhalese due to custody battle with his Sinhalese wife.
      Malinda is a professional journalist having been eductaed at Harvard and has done post graduate studies at the prestegious Cornell University. He looks at both sides of the question unlike the terror paymaster Mr Donald Jayantha Gnanakone who is not unfortunately gifted with analytical power or common human decency
      BTW Mr Gnanakone we are pretty close to bringing you before US courts for having been a vocal supporter of a banned terrorist organization. SO if I were you I would be putting more time on preparing my defense with top notch lawyers rather than wasting away my time commensting on websites

  • 0
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    Malinda please keep singing for your supper.

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