29 September, 2020

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Rule Of Law Or The Rising Rule Of Power? 

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

The approach of a presidential election and the reality of the UNHCR Sessions in Geneva are driving this country to the frightening fantasies of both government and application of the law.

While the Mangala Budget does little to face development and growth needs of the country and people, the patterns emerging in our courts are leading to new concerns about the genuine independence of the judiciary, which the Supreme Court displayed with pride on the Constitutional Coup issue of October26; but is increasingly questioned by the behavior of both jurists and counsel in the Chambers of Justice today.

The Supreme Court decision on the petition by former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda to prevent his arrest over the case involving the abduction and killing of 11 Tamil youth, and the courtroom circus by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to prevent his arrests and hearing of the case involving alleged fraud in the construction of the mausoleum for his parents, are the shockers in trends in the play of law in the country.

What we see in governance is both farce and fantasy. President Sirisena has taken a step back from his ‘naadagam’ move of sending his own delegation to the UNHRC Sessions in Geneva. He must have heard the drumbeat of diplomacy in his ears, to have the Foreign Minister lead the official, government delegation. The real farce here is the unity of thinking among the Presidential and Prime Ministerial teams on the controversial UNHCR Resolution. What both Maithripala and Ranil will seek is to extend the term of the Resolution by two more years. Sirisena has to give into the realities of governance and diplomacy, whatever fanciful thinking he may have of kicking away the political basin he was elected from more than four years ago.

The spread of fantasy is the stuff of politics and governance today. Didn’t we hear and read Mahinda Rajapaksa say recently how the Mangala Budget 2019 would be defeated in parliament? What happened? He placed too much faith in the ‘naadagam’ politics of Sirisena. The pro-Sirisena SLFP team kept away, and the Budget was passed with a good majority. Mahinda’s ‘pohottuva’ team could not come anywhere near it.

Another piece of fantasy we are fed today is about the presidential candidacy for Sirisena, under an SLFP-SLPP alliance. The talks between the two parties are progressing, but the Rajapaksas are getting louder about a family figure in the run, with the heat on Gotabaya. Sirisena will have to do plenty of ‘naadagam’ performances if he faces the election, for which he will need much better drummers than the recent provincial governors he appointed. Their drum beats in several provinces go beyond a ‘naadagama’ to dances of political madness.

The leading light or gloom in the coming presidential candidacy, none other than Gotabaya Rajapaksa, is certainly engaged in a different ‘naadagama’ — ‘adhikarana naadagama’ – judicial theatrics. There seems to be no court he will avoid from the Magistrates to the Supreme, in his performances against being charged with fraud, corruption, and misuse of public funds, when he was Secretary/ Defence under the Rajapaksa Family Regime.

The decision to disallow to arrest of Admiral Karannagoda, and the courtroom trail of Gotabaya Rajapaksa makes us bother about trends in the judiciary. Was the system of justice that we got from the Dutch and British in any way planned for such delays in and twisting of Justice? The Attorney General and Senior Counsel, with Presidential tags too, have now become captains in this Mastery of Justice – Delay and Denial. It may not be far when the people will have to come out in public against this dance of madness in the chambers of justice in our country.  

Recent reports of the continuing recusal of judges, the fanciful positions of the Attorney General (President Sirisena can serve for a six year term; his monarchic right to dissolve parliament as he pleases), the sudden twist to not want a magisterial call for arrest of  suspect, the pleas being made to the judiciary not to apply the law against ‘War Heroes”, and related statements of patriotic blood boiling among senior counsel ( with silence by apex jurists), are spreading theatrics of a new and rising twisting of justice, to serve the powerful against the victims of power, who seek justice.

Will the judicial performances of today be of any help in supporting the country in the current UNHCR Sessions in Geneva?  Not Likely.  The unquestioned and uncontradicted reports in the media of the recent pro-Karannagoda exercise in legal twisting, in a case involving the abduction and killing of eleven Tamil youth, is a shocker in judicial disarray. Will this new trend in our courts not support those who call for foreign judges to play a role in our judiciary?

Can the silence in the apex Chamber of Justice on the boiling of patriotic blood, or the ability of a Navy Commander to kill at will in a war, be of any benefit to convey the impression of an independent and worthy judiciary? The wielding of power by the powerful of the majority, especially in the halls of justice, gives a very negative image of a country moving towards reconciliation after a prolonged war. The destructive capacity and capability of a Navy Commander in a brutal war against terrorists, as praised in a hall of justice, sends a message of overarching threats to the spirit of democracy and equality of the people, the guiding lights of the Rule of Law. Are we not heading to a repeat of the Rule of Power in a much more powerful situation with unlimited hosannas to War Heroes?

With the presidential candidacy very much in the trend of politics today, there is also the issue of farce and fantasy about a citizen of the United States being touted as next performer of Rajapaksa Power. Not a single voice is raised among the Joint Opposition or UPFA members against such a person being even considered for selection, while enjoying the privileges of US citizenship. Is it not time even for a brother-leader, de facto party leader, and former President too, to tell such fraternal seekers of governance to give up US citizenship (dual no doubt), before asking for formal announcement of candidacy? Does the fraternity of power over the people prevent it?

How long should the people be kept waiting for this presidential hopeful, Gotabaya, to announce that he has no US citizenship, assets and economic connections, at least some months before one’s candidacy is announced? Should the people not be told that he will have no control over his assets in the US, if he is elected president here—or is he to enjoy profits there and power here? Is this too much to be asked, or is whole idea of presidential candidacy a major exercise in the restoration of anti-people power?

The politics of farce and fantasy is fast enveloping our society and country, from the ‘naadagam’ at the top to the dance of madness flowing down the lines of politics and the judicature. The country is fast moving to the frightening fantasies of governance and law. 

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Latest comments

  • 17
    0

    In any other country, interfering with a police investigation will be the offence of obstructing justice. In the wonder of Asia, it is the donkeys in the Supreme Court who are doing the obstructing of justice! Haven’t these morons understood the doctrine of the separation of powers?

    • 13
      0

      “Recent reports of the continuing recusal of judges, the fanciful positions of the Attorney General , the sudden twist to not want a magisterial call for arrest of suspect, the pleas being made to the judiciary not to apply the law against ‘War Heroes”, and related statements of patriotic blood boiling among senior counsel “
      This is a small island, and everybody at the top knows all the others socially. No judge will attend somebody’s wedding and then sit in judgement on the host next week.
      That is why we need INDEPENDENT judges for these cases. If we don’t want Westerners, why not use Indians? Or is our pride above even that?
      Be that as it may, it is astounding to see Lucien Rajakarunanayaka, once a prime Rajapaksa apologist, now writing about war criminals in the Navy. What next, Dr DJ. making a speech at the UNP May Day rally??

  • 11
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    The Supreme Court is Cowed down by sacred Cows.

    • 1
      0

      Great observation Estate Labourer.

  • 13
    0

    Lucien Rajakarunanayake types:

    “Didn’t we hear and read Mahinda Rajapaksa say recently how the Mangala Budget 2019 would be defeated in parliament? What happened?”

    Didn’t Lucien Rajakarunanayake act a spokesman for the crook and war criminal in 2011 and state “Sri Lanka has an independent judiciary,” under Mahindawamsa?

    Why is he questioning him now?

    Now he seems to blame Dutch and British rule for Legal Naadagama even after 71 years of SELF RULE.

    • 11
      2

      Native Veddah:
      The level of Lucien Rajakarunanayake’s “political principles” (or total lack thereof) would be evident enough to anyone who has followed his career as someone who has had his opinions published in the name of journalism.
      Criticising him is a monumental waste of time, given his track record.

      • 8
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        Emil van der Poorten

        My intention here is to jog many of our fellow CT readers’ short memory who usually tend to forget what they had for breakfast or conveniently forget anything unfavourable towards the clan.

        • 0
          0

          Did Lucien say, at any stage of his career that he practised casting “phony ballots’?. I read this in a Sinhala paper about 10 years ago.

      • 1
        2

        EmilVander Pooten. Even right now the country is run the way MCC and their affiliates want. so, you are not doing anything unexpected.
        All Mahinda Rajapakse, Mangala, Ranil paly the same game. Maithripala sirisena is not sure which way to go. Once the election is over, they are all from the same team, International community supported businesses keep on raping Sri lanka. There can not be another choice other than these, because they all have their own goals.

  • 9
    0

    ‘re the Sinhalese blood boiling argument, amazing that the judges did not put a stop to the ranting of the foghorn gasbag.
    Constitution Commission should never approve any of the judges as CJ

  • 1
    1

    I think Lucian Rajakarunanayake very well understands at present no point of citizens or voters talking to the politicians. The reason is If the President or the govt works as per the requirements of the International community requirements, that would be the minimum requirement needed. So, Mahinda Rajapakse and his gang, Ranil and his gang would not care a cent towards to voters. On the other hand, Mangala and for his Financial backers to which he is very much an important asset need him in Matara. So, Mangala is busy winning Matara. Maithripala is not far way from the other lot and he is trying his best to win the presidency. Voters are still powerless. All these NGOs, INGOs and their bcker – International community, just the way at one point Tamils did not allow srilankan govt to be disciplined, harm the country, So voters are powerless.

  • 4
    0

    I am wondering whom we should salute –
    -the person who stood by a leader and sung his praises – but now criticizing him because the same leader has gone rouge…
    – or the person keeping quiet.. unable to voice is changed opinion about the leader?

    Let’s not kill the messenger – look at the message..!
    And use your “moley”in your thick skulls
    Lack of critical thinking and apathy is what has gotten you moron to the present state!!

  • 1
    0

    Tisaranee and LR articles are pretty much on the same topic. I agree with Ugly American. We have to look at the message and not shoot the messenger. Of course there are plenty of hypocrites like Rajeewa, DJ and Laksiri who are behind the scene, script writing. . For that matter We have readers here too who take U Turns (post MS saga) as and when they wish. Lanka it self is a “Nadagam” ?theater with full of con artist.The public is paying to view this on daily basis. When there are very few who present facts, we need to encourage when we see one, regardless the source.

  • 1
    0

    Lankans did organize some special shows/ Nadagam for international dignitaries , whom I believe gave very poor ratings.Script stolen from others , actors too old and some of them seems to be unfit (Vasu), some forgot their lines in between delivery. Sound/Music – poor recording, amateurish volume /bite is so high some times drowning the actors them self. Lot of violence, abuse and gory scenes – not fit for adolescent/children/whole family. Actress – none visible. The ones present are there to mark their presence. Plot- the only thing worth of mentioning but that too is becoming stale and easy to predict. Sex – I will leave it to experts. Comedy – ++++ supported by Wimal,Goman, Mahindananda —-plenty to mention.(The problem here is, the show was originally promoted as cultural master piece based on 2500 years of civilization turns out a full blown comedy). Conclusion a utter FLOP show not worth even reviewing. But performance ????? HIT in Lanka running successfully for more than 70 years.(Some have seen as many times)

  • 6
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    Lucien Rajakarunanayake

    1) Rule Of Law

    *** With all due respect Rule of Law has never existed in Sri Lanka. If it has all the Thugs , Criminals and Thieves would have been caught and sent to Jail. But on the contrary they are all being given State of the Art protection by those who happen to be in Power. Be it RW or MS.

    2) The Rising Rule Of Power

    *** That has always been there since time immemorial. But it is not rising and if anything it has dminished in the reent past as Sinhala Lankas Sovereignty has been erroded thanks to MR.

  • 4
    0

    Take the case of Karannagoda. He is centred around the abduction cum death of youth. Why on earth does not a High Court Trial begin for this episode if there is all the evidence to find the culprits guilty? Instead we are talking of arresting and remanding people BUT NO REAL TRIAL. The only trial that came to a conclusion was the “Sil redi” case which is in appeal. The case against Johnston who was remanded till the end of the trial was a damp squib. The joker had to be acquitted. Then what was the point in remanding the fellow? So is a pretrial remand, a sign of the prevalence of the rule of law? Lucien has his point because the innocent poor languish in remand for years. But mine is we MUST do justice, swiftly and severely, for the disappearance of these boys. It is a fashion for those in power and there cohorts to abduct for a ransom in the pretext of enforcing the law. I have previously stated that even the Batalanda Commission report reveals that. Mr. Attorney General get cracking. The trial to do justice on account of the disappearance of the boys must commence as soon as possible.

  • 3
    0

    The ‘born-again’ must stay home and grow up.
    There are commenters, of the ilk for example of Native Veddah, with share memory.

    • 1
      0

      I meant ‘sharp memory’. Sorry for the error.

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