By Shyamon Jayasinghe –
“Hence, hats off to President Sirisena for constituting a separate Presidential Commission”
Looking at the Bond Commission Report, he has no other choice. In the interests of the Grand Old Party, Ravi Karunanayake has to voluntarily resign. This will earn him the respect of the UNP rank and file and the general political public.
Of course, the matter has to be referred to court for a final justice. That is no reason for Ravi to cling on behind. On more than a prima face basis, he is seriously suspect. Honour and ethics demand he must go. If he does resign without being asked to do so and if eventually the court decision acquits him, then he can get back with a significant portion of honour restored to him on which he can rebuild his broken image.
Rosy Senanayake, the Colombo Mayoral candidate, must gently ask Ravi to get off his back. He now stands as a liability to her probable victory.
President Maitripala Sirisena, who managed to salvage honour by referring this matter to a Presidential Commission, unfortunately cannot weigh on the proposal to get Ravi out because he is, curiously, heading the campaign of another party at the local polls. Under the JR constitution the President’s position as head of State is compromised at elections. This is yet another aspect of the undesirability of this constitution, which everyone except the JO wants to get rid of.
If the resignation does not happen and if he isn’t removed, then firstly, the Party and its leader will suffer debilitating damage and will not be able to deal with subsequent cases of serious misdemeanour on the part of its members. The Yahapalanaya government will take a severe blow and will be unable to talk morality after that.
The party leader has just been left short of getting implicated. The public respect he earned as Mr Clean got almost tarnished; yet for his luck he escaped in a situation that could have been interpreted as complicity. Neglect to monitor the former Central Bank chief and Ravi himself could have possibly put Ranil Wickremesinghe into hot water. For Ranil to say that that he was the first to forward COPE papers to the AG is neither here nor there. The AG is already saddled with a super load of cases flowing from the unending misrule of the former regime. Even poor old Thajudeen has not yet been avenged and given justice. Gota and Basil are freely on the ride with Gota now morphing into playing the image of a learned guru on the advice of advertising experts and Basil been given long dates.
Under such circumstances, a case as complicated as the Bond issue would have been an unmanageable burden for the AG. Hence, hats off to President Sirisena for constituting a separate Presidential Commission. Now, we have a complete investigation done following judicial principles-ready-made for AG to take action. How long will that take is another prayer.
While action is done on Ravi Karunanayake, both the President and Prime Minister must get on with the job of getting the looters and murderers of the former regime into court; and from there, possibly, into jail. The neglect to do this has been a source of severe disappointment to the public.
President Maitripala Sirisena is himself in a quagmire of his own creation after having roped in so many of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s SLFP men onto his side and given most of them portfolios. People like Dayasiri Jayasekara, John Seneviratne, Susil Premayayanth are really trojan horses inside the ring. Their efforts are bound to make this government dysfunctional unless the President has his nose on the ground. Talks about his trying to flirt with Mahinda Rajapaksa are also disturbing. None of these Ministers have done any worthwhile work and, if at all, it is blundering and neglect that we know of their sordid performances.
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