A writ petition has been filed in the Court of Appeal seeking a mandate in the nature of a writ of Mandamus against IGP Pujith Jayasundara and the Fort Police HQ OIC directing them to institute judicial proceedings in district courts by virtue of section 2 of the Mental Diseases Ordinance for the purpose of inquiring state of mind of President Maithripala Sirisena.
A person by the name of Thakshila Jayawardena has filed the petition as a matter of “public interest.”
Speaking to the media from the Huftsdorp courts complex this evening, Counsel Sisira Kumara Siriwardena, a lawyer representing Jaywardena said many citizens in the country had already come to the conclusion that President Siriena was suffering from a mental disability.
He said there were three possible reasons to suspect that Sirisena was suffering from a mental disability including A) The stress stemming from his natural inability to meet the demand of the job B) A history of mental health issues in the family C) Inability to cope with the stresses stemming from the arrest of I.K. Mahanama, the President’s former Chief of Staff, over a bribery charge.
Siriwardena also said Sirisena’s biography, written by his daughter Chathurika Sirisena, indicated that the President had a “family history” when it came to mental health issues.
He said the President can only enjoy his immunity only if he is of sound mind. “If he is suffering from a mental disability he can no longer enjoy presidential immunity.”
The Sri Lankan Constitution bars a person with a mental disability from functioning as the Executive President. “Any Member of Parliament may, by a writing addressed to the Speaker, give notice of a resolution alleging that the President is permanently incapable of discharging the functions of his office by reason of mental or physical infirmity,” the Constitution stipulates.