23 May, 2024


Separation Of Powers, Rule Of Law, Corruption & SL Bankruptcy

By Asoka Seneviratne

Asoka Seneviratne

When late Queen Elizabeth II was in Sri Lanka during the time of late JR Jayewardene in late 1970’s, during her speech, she mentioned that the Rule of Law was fundamental to civilized living. While I am no admirer of the Royal family, I am a strong admirer of the British form of Democracy. It is clean.

The rule of law is that everybody is equal under the law. While this is a simple statement, the meaning of it is gigantic for civilized living. Now how does a society ensure the concept of equal justice under the law? The simple answer is that by keeping the criminal justice system out of the control of those who manage the country.

Here is where a smart constitution comes into play. A smart constitution will ensure that the executive or the members of the legislature cannot stick their fingers into the process of the law enforcement and the criminal justice system. This is easier said than done in SL and here is why.

The criminal justice system is composed of the law enforcement (police), the judicial system and the main man who decides which cases are indicted, who is the Attorney General. If any of these three branches are not insulated from the executive or the members of the legislature, the Criminal Justice System collapses.

So, a criminal justice system insulated from the other branches of government is the only way a Rule of Law will succeed.

Let’s now look at our Sri Lanka. The president appoints the Attorney General. The IGP is also appointed by the president. To make matters worse, the Minister in charge of the police is also appointed by the President.

But then the 19th A, calls that those key positions except police minister need to be screened through the Constitution Council. But here again the powerful politicos have inroads into the CC, especially the President. So, in essence the office of the President is powerful enough to kill the independence of the judicial and policing functions. In other words, the president is in charge for the most part, in the dispense of justice.

Look at the following failures of our criminal justice system. In the following cases, nobody has been brought to justice and jailed. The murders of Wijeweera, the murder of Lasantha, the murder of Ekneligoda, the murder of Vijaya Kumaratunga, white van abductions, among others.

Then of recent, the attack on the Galle Face protesters by the Rajapaksa goons, those who made billions out of the sugar scam, those who made billions by central bank robbery, those who made millions by selling faeces mixed fertilizer, those who made millions of substandard medications, the BMW duty fraud and numerous hauls of narcotics  the police caught, among others,

Nobody was charged or convicted.

Then the lesser-known cases of vermin Mervin Silva tying up a civil servant to a tress and forcibly taking a video camera of a Sirasa cameraman in broad day light. I have no doubt there are hundreds of law breakers.

Then the biggest of them all, when Purchase Mahinda Rajapaksa helicoptered to the house of Lanza to chase away the law enforcement, an act that should have stripped him from Presidency.

Then the case of another vermin called Johnston whose distillery license was cancelled for failure to pay several million rupees of taxes he owed but when Gota and MR came to power in 2019, the license was reissued even though the taxes were still pending,

All these known violations and more have never has been prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Why because the police and the criminal justice system has been compromised by politicians.

I recall an incident here in Washington DC. A member of the Congress was stopped for drunken driving. The congressman told the cop that he was a member of the congress at which point the policemen yelled to the congressman, “I don’t care even if you are the king of China, you are under arrest for drunken driving AND obstructing a police officer,“ by intimidating the cop using  the high office he held.

Then there was the case of a 40-year veteran senator who was caught breaking a simple law at a DC airport. He told the police that he was a senior senator and more than the simple offense he committed he was charged with obstructing the police using his high ranking public position.

Now what if apply this standard of Law Enforcement in SL? How many should be in jail? And more importantly why do we not exercise this standard in SL?

The simple answer is the non-existence of separation of powers. Police and the Judiciary have been compromised by a silly JRJ constitution.

Now here is the icing on the cake!

Ranil Rajapaksa is bringing is a zillion committees and legislations to curtail the freedom of speech and the right to scream “hungry” by a angry populace who have been told to pick up the loot by MR and others. The SCOSL has ruled the MR gang guilty of bankrupting the nation.

But why does the great SUPPOSED democrat Ranil not bring in legislation to punish those found guilty by the SCOSL? Instead throw 2-bit drug peddlers in jail in a rush while the drug lords are let free. Another round of a Ride that the nation has been taken for 45 long years.

At long last Ranil got into the President Office from the back door thanks to his late uncle’s stupid constitution who enabled a non-elected reject to lead the nation. This shameless mas failed to get there through the front door but behave as if he did. He was quick to crush free and fair protest, jail who cry hungry, legislate to shut up free speech all the while pretending a great defender of democracy.

Rajapaksas are hiding, Gota ran away, and their hoard of yes men and rogues are in fear to face the public.

But I an sure the man who will eventually pay the highest punishment will be Ranil. The loser who always hid behind one another finally made from the back door but behaved as if it came though the front. In fact, he is joke!

Sri Lankans are mad as hell. Their lives have been destroyed mostly by prohibitive cost of living and high taxes. Ranil has not lifted a finger to recover Rajapaksa loot while doing all can to shut people up using Alles and  Minister Jarajapaksa bringing in suppressive laws to win an unwinnable election.

Ranil Rajapaksa is not living in reality. He is a relic of the past. He was part and parcel of the corrupt rule we had since independence, He thinks todays Lankans are stupid  like those who lived during his uncle’s. This political hack who helped guide our economy for 45 long years is now going around the world at peoples expense in a hurry to rebuild SL. What a joke? Does anybody take him seriously when he will be history very soon?

Worse, while raising taxes to high heavens, he is seeking another Rs 200 million to accommodate his travels. In essence he is having a few joy rides before he is thrown out of the office soon.

Today’s youth are a new breed. They are smart. They see what is going on. Ranil and his goons will soon meet them in the public square.

That is likely to  be very ugly!

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Latest comments

  • 8

    Pardon me. Thajudeen is missing in the list of ‘failures of our criminal justice system’. That was more heart-wrenching than the others mentioned.

    • 2

      Between Wijeweera and Lasantha there are few other notably absent names like Richard De Zoysa, Premakeerthi de Alwis and long before that how Upali Wijewardena mysteriously disappeared with his jet and the crew supposedly on the eve of JRJs decision to appoint him the Minister of Finance. (True?) Which many believe is a sabotage – murder, and some in Colombo even seem to know who did what to cause it! Yet official story tells you otherwise.

    • 4

      How come that you forgot the long list of LTTE surrenderees?

    • 11

      Asoka, even though there are other low and odor systems around the world, , we still are very unique. Not only politicians, but not one major drug hauler or financial scammer is ever punished in Sorry Lanka. What makes us more unique is that our so called pseudo intellectuals and patriots ( real victims ) remain in denial or readily provide excuses, thereby enabling the failed system. They keep electing the politician, who in turn bring their favorite criminal / corrupt henchmen. They have unlimited talent to come up with some negativity elsewhere, by way of consoling each other.

      • 7

        Be fair, If anyone wants to write a complete list of ” failures of our criminal justice system “, any author will never get to write what they intended. Political killings, war victims, victims of insurrections, Easter mayhem, daily unlawful killings by our own low and odor, paid / hired killings, death by negligence ( like in pharmaceutical scams ), govt sponsored LPG / cooking gas explosions, ………. hidden Covid deaths due to govt negligence ( keeping in mind , scams exposed now were already in place during Covid ), food / financial scams, govt sponsored starvation, not having enough to eat, child malnutrition, politicians behind drug menace and related deaths, ………………………………..

  • 3

    Once again I will say that Ranil Wickemesinghe is just as diabolical as his late uncle J.R. Jayewardene.

  • 1

    The writer himself has fallen into racism by ignoring or assuming the Tamil speaking people are not considered as Sri Lankans.

    • 1

      Ajith – not everything in this world revolves around racism.

      I referred to a few people that came to my mind.

      Yes, I tend to admit extra judicial killings might have happened during the war. If you open that can of worms, how many innocent people of all races were cold blooded executed by LTTE leader in the name of a freedom fight.

      That lands him squarely in the camp of blood hungry Lunis in the last 100 years.

      But as my article clearly says, rule of law does not exist in SL .

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