3 August, 2021

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The Justices Have Done More Than They Realise

By Kumar David –

Prof. Kumar David

I am not sure whether Court of Appeal Judges Karunarathna and Gurusinghe appreciate that their judgement in the Shani Abeysekera appeal case has done more for the country than strike a blow for justice and the rule of law. The judgement came at a time when people were despondent. The universal theme in conversations in all circles and social classes was: The country is going to the dogs; it’s hopeless, Sri Lanka is finished; there is moral leprosy at the top; democracy is corroding day by day. A few days ago I had a science-based piece on Black Holes. Commentators couldn’t restrain their wit and inquired whether I was writing about Sri Lanka!

Here is a mordent paragraph form their Lordships’ 14-page judgement:

“It is my view (Bandula Karunarathna J. with Gurusinghe J. concurring) that on account of the unusual and extraordinary delay in lodging the first complaint, despite every ability to do so, demonstrates very strongly that the allegations against the suspect Shani Abeysekera are a result of falsification and embellishment and a creature of after-thought. On account of the said unusual and extraordinary delay, the complaint has not only lost the benefit of the advantage of spontaneity, but also smacks of the introduction of a fabricated, false version and an exaggerated account or concocted story involving a set of collaborators or conspirators, to unduly cause prejudice and harm to the suspect Shani Abeysekera, for collateral purposes. Not only that the said delay has not been satisfactorily or credibly explained. It is crystal clear that the statements given by the said witnesses in 2020 are contradictory to statements given by them in 2014”.

Judges are very careful how they frame their statements and strictly limit their conclusions to the case and facts at hand. I have watched by father and grandfather; a judge will not generalise beyond the case. The public however will place any judgement in the context of the prevailing social and political circumstances; in this instance public attitudes to the former AG, the new AG, the AG’s Department, the IGP and senior officers of the CID, and public cynicism of the regime’s attempts to manipulate law enforcement. A few weeks ago five judges of the Supreme Court held that about 30 provisions of the Port City Bill were incompatible with the Constitution – a world record? People then could not avoid inference that the regime was playing fast and loose with devious legislation, and now with law enforcement. Someone asked me: “Is this a drama to show the EU that our judiciary is independent?” No, the two cases have done so much damage to Gotha; this is most unlikely.

Two months ago I took the initiative in Colombo Telegraph to pronounce that the tide had turned; that Gotabaya, the presidential cabal, the government and the Double-Paksa regime, were all in retreat. Then two weeks ago I asserted more confidently that people were fed up with the President (Gotabaya Fatigue I think I called it). The subsequent slide has come faster than anticipated. There is hardly one pro-government Editor in the media, Ministers fight in public like dogs at a garbage dump, the SLPP Secretary and Petroleum Minister brawl while packs of MPs line up like mongrels behind each imposter. Another weary pack declares “If Basil were here this cock-up would have been averted” – the obvious implication is that Gota has screwed it up. The people, some in the opposition and the law courts are gaining in strength from each other’s mounting confidence.

I now feel bold enough to make a third prediction regarding this mad hatters’ tea-party. Public anger will spill on to the streets, defiance of regime misconduct will intensify and as the economy worsens – this is unavoidable – demonstrations will flash out within months. Will Goths shoot? Well, shooting Sinhala Buddhists is not as simple as shooting bloody Demalas! And I am also convinced that neither our people, nor India, nor America will let the Paksas impose a military dictatorship on Lanka. Sincerely, I am looking to the future. But who will take burnt-out Gota’s place – Mahinda is past his usable shelf-life, Ranil a spent old fart, Sajith is no more than a greenhorn podiyan. Anura Kumara? But the people don’t want to give him a chance yet. So an outsider? Maybe.   

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  • 19
    2

    Firstly I wonder what Prof. KD has reminded as his predictions were actually predictions from a crystal ball of sorts or were conclusions based on thorough observations of actual events on the citizenry’s end!!!

    Secondly, the idea that the judiciary is riding the wave, whichever way the wave is turning is not comforting!

    Thirdly, agreed that the statements made by the Appeals court judges on granting bail to Shani Abeysekera went above and beyond that warranted for granting bail but also it far exceeded in the predictability of the judgement in comparison to the Judgement of the Supreme Court on the Port City Bill; the constitutional offences of the Port City Bill were widely discussed in the country resulting in the uproar prior to the judgement. Hence, the judgement against those 30 provisions wasn’t so gargantuan as either the tide turning or the suddenly seething morality of the judiciary.

    Fourthly, the third prediction is worrisome in terms of all the possibilities and unknowns. In my own understanding of our citizenry, I don’t think it’ll come to that. Out citizenry is vastly not one of resolve! Much of our citizenry itself rides the wave whichever direction the wave turns.

    • 5
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      Sometimes the unexpected happens. Could a few ships like Xpress Pearl be invited to immolate themselves at a safe distance and provide us with enough compensation to bridge the budget gap?

    • 5
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      Prof. Kumar David

      “So an outsider? Maybe. “

      How about Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thero, the present Mahanayaka Thero of the Asgiriya chapter of Siam Nikaya being the common candidate?

      Since you are in the business of predicting the future or speculating the political outcome I too want to chip in a bit with your permission.

      I am told among other “The Black Death” in 1350s was a major cause of shaken the foundation of Catholicism and loosen its hold over people in Europe.

      Similarly can we expect COVID 19 to open the door to new ideology, new liberal less nationalistic religion, newly restructured and restored democracy, accountability, crooks punished ………………………… live happily ever after.

      old codger, Sinhala_Man, nimal fernando, …….. please feel free to kick me in the ….. if I am wrong.

  • 15
    5

    Outsiders. Who is there No one. I think that a vaciwill haunt the country for a long time.
    Thanks Ranil Srisena bungling in 2015 to 2019.
    Thero is searching but will he end up finding another Sinhala Buddhist chauvinist who will mess up the country even more

  • 24
    2

    Thanks very much erudite prof. Once again another good analysis.
    :
    “The universal theme in conversations in all circles and social classes was: The country is going to the dogs; it’s hopeless, Sri Lanka is finished; there is moral leprosy at the top; democracy is corroding day by day”

    This is very right as of today, even school going children would question what happened to the hopes kept on the current leadership.

    Please watch the video below, Prof. Ananda Jaywickrama is making it very clear that ORGANIC manure to be introduced while the economy is in all-time unexpected situation is the biggest mistake.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EFbnF2DXPo

    Gota et al may have good hopes, but no country so far has beena ble to replace inroganic with “organic manure. It is a long process which would take any govt 10-15 years. Lack of expertise in WIYATH MAGA has fooled the leadership.

    • 13
      1

      Mein lieber LM:
      Wondering about the large size of our military (Army+Navy+Airforce= approximately 346,700 active personnel per Wikipedia) in relation to the population size, and how that will impact on the population’s inclination to rise against the double-Paksa military centred regime. The number indicates that a substantial portion of the population has at least one family member in the military.

      If the tide were to turn to the extent that Prof KD has predicted, isn’t it reasonable to think that there will have to be significant dissent within the military itself?

    • 8
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      Why a leader becomes a cardboard man, even if people s power plus 20A given to him is the power an elected president is ever blessed in a developing country of our nature?😎☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹Readers food for thought please discuss this😎😎😎😎😎

      • 13
        1

        Reasons Gota not to have delivered anything sofar
        .
        Lack of sl politics
        Lack of education
        Lack of sure of instinct in politics
        Lack of whole hearted ness to the issues of the majority but to his media mafia men ( Dilith jayawee5 and Kudu nalika)
        Lack of good advisers
        .
        And him being a military man
        ☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹

      • 7
        2

        If he had pure intention s going beyond their fake rhetoric s the buggers could get jabs atleast for 16 mio of the island population.
        .
        We in central Europe enjoy some freedom without masks from this week on atleast in few places. Thanks to Dr Merkel’s genuine politics 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

      • 5
        1

        L M ,

        Any mother’s son or daughter , if citizen of Srilanka and over 18 ,
        qualified both to vote and to be voted . Everyone knows , including
        Gota and Mara that Gota has never been in politics. How then he
        was picked up to lead the country and why ? Mara knows very
        well , out of experience that any Dumb , Deaf or Blind can easily
        run his country ! Sirimavo proved it suddenly out of the blue ! And
        I didn’t read anywhere Mara explaining with open mind why
        he wanted Basil and Gota to join him and why on earth the duo
        decided to return to Dingy slum country from a Heaven on earth
        they chose to live ! One thing I am stubborn with my view is that
        it is all personal that he is president today !

  • 25
    2

    ….But who will take burnt-out Gota’s place ….
    This unfortunately is the big $64000 (or our local Rs.2,000,000) question. Yes the sea is bleak but worse is that there is no hope yet in the horizon.
    Let us .. hope till Hope creates from its own wreck the thing it contemplates….(Shelley).. that something will turn up. After all we are called a “Blessed Isle”.
    Anyway morning sun follows the darkness of night – Nature will help us like Covid Xpress Pearl and other disasters to evict the RRs. Be patient till then.

    • 4
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      Prophetic words of Imran Khan 13 years ago. Why Militaristic govts fail.
      In US Eisenhower was Prez immediately on the aftermath of WW2 euphoria, but he used the civilian administrative machinery to run the country.
      https://asiasociety.org/video/imran-khan-people-understand-democracy?page=278

    • 4
      1

      My View, Hitler offered jewish blood sacrifices to find his Aryan race and did he? Down the ages other terrorizing leaders have done the same and then are gone. Shani and Ranjan may have paid excess fare but when we as a nation stop robbing its wealth and turn in the right direction to the mercy and forgiveness of its creator, not only nature but EU and UN as well will bless this isle as God’s own land. As we continue to rob our source, more debt comes. Tyre island was flourishing with shipping trade and mocked a key city. Tyre got destroyed.

    • 14
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      Prof. David.
      Congrats for saying what you say and the guts to say it. More of us must speak up

  • 3
    1

    Is Prof: David suggesting that the Judges have ruled based on the sliding down popularity of the Rajapakse rule?

    On the other hand the Rajapakses are wily Politicians. They are known to carry Fire under Water!
    If the going is tough Prof: David himself has shown a way-out for them- The Black Hole.
    After all they had their origin in Medamulana- The Centre of the Universe!

    But, wait a minute, jokes apart.
    Prof: David is very very intuitive:
    So an outsider? Maybe.
    China is grooming SJ: At the correct time he will emerge, Guns blazing, shooting from the hips. Hell hath no fury like an SJ scorned…………..

    • 0
      0

      Plato
      Who is SJ ?

  • 4
    2

    There is moral leprosy at the top.
    Ministers fight in public like dogs at a garbage dump.
    Well, shooting Sinhala Buddhists is not as simple as shooting bloody Demalas!
    Ranil is a spent old ****
    Sajith is no more than a greenhorn podiyan.
    I like the way you write Professor, without pulling punches.
    I don’t see how anyone can disagree with your observations!

  • 2
    1

    Even all these hurdles are only for bail,then we can imagine the case itself

  • 1
    2

    ” Much of our citizenry itself rides the wave whichever direction the wave turns.”
    Derana Dream Star season 10 Yesterday episode (19/06/21) voted out the candidate
    who sang very beautifully and won the applause of both the panel of judges and
    the audience present at the time ! ” Kannodu Kanbathellam Thalaiva ” a popular
    Tamil song , composed by A R Rahman , Background dance by Aishwarya Rai
    and in the competition , sung by a Sinhalese candidate ! It was one of the
    toughest songs to manage which the candidate successfully did but the vote base
    didn’t want to enjoy it because possibly it was a Tamil song . Unless we turn our
    attention to as many events as possible in the country , we won’t win our own
    conclusions based on one or two scenarios , even if it is Judicial matters which at
    times very unpredictable !

  • 4
    2

    They brought Ranjan Ramanayaka for medical checkup to hospital in a big bus only for himself with parade of body guards not for his security if hand cuffed try to escape…..how these resources are wasting,still lockdown,they should have call the doctor to attend on his way home and pay for the service.

  • 4
    1

    I said much earlier that no sooner the “City Port” Bill was passed (the way that it was “Rushed” through very suspiciously leaving only one day to seek Judicial intervention) the “International Community” would make a move to “CHECK” “GR” and the Government. Firstly, the EU has “Moved” in. Secondly, the “India” through the Chief of Naval Force has “Voiced” concerns and ” WATCHING”> Thirdly, the USA has appointed a “New” Higher Commissioner (South Korean origin) designated to Sri Lanka only. So the “ARENA” (in the Indian Ocean) is being “Laid” out. The “GAME” will begin at any moment.

    I don’t “TRUST” this “TRUST: on a Local Public “Uprising” to confront “GR’ s Government. however much we see these “FAKE” criticisms organized and staged by the very “Companions” of “Rakapakses”. The reason for my opinion is the “Slaves” do not know they are “Slaves”.

    Having said that, I only know the “Economic and Social” problems that would “Associate” with the “International” involvements, would definitely put the entire Government on the “SPOT”. That would be the “Road Way” to a “Down Fall” (if any) of the “GR’s” hold. If that happens, now comes “Enter The Dragan”, With that, what will be the “South Indian, Indian Ocean” would be? GUESS.

  • 1
    0

    The most important revelation of the author quoted verbatim is “Judges are very careful how they frame their statements and strictly limit their conclusions to the case and facts at hand. I have watched by father and grandfather; a judge will not generalize beyond the case.” The same is true for the Judges and the Judgement the author describes in detail. Now this CONTRADICTS with the caption of the article that the justices have done more than they realize simply because the judges are mindful of what they write, otherwise they cannot exercise care in framing their judgement. Judges do dig deep within the documentary material presented with a fine-toothed comb when the oral submissions made are not helpful in understanding the matter at hand. Author asserts that this and the judgement on the “Port City Bill” has done damage to “Gotha”. I don’t think so. It contradicts the opinion of the bigwigs of UNHCR and EU that the existing judicial mechanism here is weak. But these agencies have made up their mind and pick words to justify their decision caring less for the accuracies of them. If the author has hopes, fine! But please do not fantasize.

  • 6
    2

    You mean to say we have runout of Rajapaksas variants ?? Pandemic may get under control but not the mutation of these variants. They are here to say. As experts say Lankans will have to learn to live with it, masking and social distancing alone will not be enough to eradicate. Finding vaccine is near impossible. Remember we thought we had it under control but it showed up again and the devastation is much more. Like Covid more waves to be expected. I do not blame the upbeat on every dip in count because without such hope the battle is over. This Lankan Virus too will affect China , India directly and US and the rest to certain extent. I remember writing we may be out of Covid just in time to get into a much virulent pandemic.

  • 5
    2

    There is an elephant in the room. It is an existential threat that keeps getting worse. To this backdrop we have created a fertilizer shortage and by it a food shortage. There will come a global food shortage very soon what brilliant timing to start overturning the proverbial apple cart at a time like this. Now lets go to the next problem. We do not have enough revenue coming in due to short sighted cuts to taxes which had no benefit other than to create a big hole in the nations finances. Then we began money printing which drove the rupee down. We also get hit by COVID to which we laughed out loud and ridiculed the experts who warned us now we are in big trouble. Counts of the infected and the dead are falsified to cover up the real situation. Economic activity is allowed making a joke out of the lock down. COVID is spreading. The delta variant is here. PCR testing is being reduced to cover up the real situation. All this has a knock on effect on the economy. It is making things worse. We were lied to about Chinese US Dollar loans that apparently never came. Now we face bank insolvency and a debt default.

    • 3
      9

      Counts of the infected and the dead are falsified to cover up the real situation
      ————
      Absolute nonsense! It is the other way round! People who have died from road accidents have been labelled as ‘covid deaths’ to jack up the numbers.

  • 8
    1

    Now lets take the Gamaya. All gamayas were encouraged to lake loans to start a business usually a kade of some sort a tuk tuk or a Dimo Batta. Now the loans are in arears. The gamaya has no income. He has children who cannot go to school. They have been told to take zoom classes. The cell phone reception is poor in gamaya’s village. The gamaya has to find money to buy a data card and transport his children to some where with better reception so they can do their school work. His paddy fields are also in trouble. No Urea to make the fields green and lushes. No Kata pohora to enhance the yeild. If the harvest fails and it sure looks like that then the last bit of hope is lost. The govenement has told the gamaya to use orgnanic fertilizer. But the gamaya knows this stuff is nothing but imported dried Chinese shit. He is not about to dump tipper loads of this stuff into his fields to replace one bag of urea. To add insult to injury now the govenrment taht was ardently supported by the gamaya has increased petrol prices. If not already gamaya will have to eat Kos and Del with some coconut. Soon the baiyas will have to do the same.

    • 2
      1

      Dear Thiha:

      That’s a great narration of the mounting real and practical challenges that I believe a substantial segment of the population are facing.

      The delta variant has appeared and wonder how the double-Paksa government can keep fudging the covid-19 numbers!

      Do you expect that these escalating economic hardships so many are facing and perhaps together with the risk of fast spreading & severe disease causing delta variant that the entire citizenry is facing will result in materialization of Prof KD’s latest prediction?

      “ Public anger will spill on to the streets, defiance of regime misconduct will intensify and as the economy worsens – this is unavoidable – demonstrations will flash out within months.”

  • 3
    2

    Yes its time that people start having faith in our Justices. We were at the point of no-return until the two Honorable Judges bravely showed the way.

    There are many cases like Shani’s (due to political victimization) pending decisions in courts. What about them ?

  • 6
    3

    Kumar,
    1971 events do not support your comment ‘Will Goths shoot? Well, shooting Sinhala Buddhists is not as simple as shooting bloody Demalas!’
    The security forces will shoot. They have done it in the past with impunity.
    Still remember the disgusting sight of naked bodies (apparently to instill fear – to maximise the impact of the dead) in Kegalle area when I was driven home from Peradeniya University.
    The government will shoot and kill many – no question about it.
    Ranil would do the same.
    This is explosive stuff to write about but our history is soaked in blood. There is no reason to think that the future would be any different.

  • 8
    1

    The SB wanted 1)a Rajapaksa, 2)some specifically asked for Hitler , 3)few prayed for a Autocrat, 4) some wished for a military rule, Now that all your wishes have been granted Rajapaksas are here to stay.

  • 2
    0

    “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” Cassius, a nobleman, is speaking with his friend, Brutus, and trying to persuade him that, in the best interests of the public, Julius Caesar must be stopped from becoming monarch of Rome. Likewise, our trials and tribulations are not due to Rajapaksas, but those Sinhala – Buddhists who voted them to power. Gotabaya lacked education and political experience to run a country like Sri Lanka.

    As a military man, he was trained to kill others and not get killed by others. Beyond this GR knows nothing about statecraft. Some or other Rajapaksas’ cronies have sold the idea they are saviours of the nation!

    It will be too late in the day for the people to realise that the Rajapaksas are mediocre unfit to govern the country. The Sooner the Sinhala – Buddhists realise their folly it will be better for the country.

  • 0
    0

    If I am not wrong this great judge Mr Karunaratna made a brave decision against a top cop and a top politician of the UNP type who grabbed the land of a friend of mine.He adjourned the courts for the day and commenced the hearing at the land and made a firm decision to give the land back to the real owners. We need brave and honest people in the country or will go down the plug hole.Hope he is that judge.

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