22 October, 2020

Blog

The Supreme Court & The Future Of Sri Lanka’s Parliament 

By Rajan Philips

Rajan Philips

For the second time in two years, learned and some less-learned arguments are being presented before the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka that have implications for the status and the future of Sri Lanka’s parliament. In October-November 2018, the question was about the President’s authority to prematurely dissolve parliament within four and a half years of its five-year tenure following a general election. This time around the question is about the state of affairs when elections cannot be held within the prescribed time frame following the dissolution of parliament and the date for the convening of the new parliament. There are well established conventions and easily understandable constitutional provisions to deal with such situations in any and all constitutional democracies, be they parliamentary or presidential. Almost the same universal provisions are included even in Sri Lanka’s uniquely hybrid presidential-parliamentary system. It is the reluctance to abide by them due to arrogant ignorance and stubbornness of power that is at the root of the current stalemate and controversy. One might formulate super-structurally political and class-based explanations for the current goings on, but that would be giving undue credit to the pathetic unfamiliarity with the ABCs of government that is manifestly at display now.    

Freudian Puzzle

The 17th May Sunday Island carried two contributions that are quite relevant to the current controversy. One of them was by Dr. Tissa Vitarana, commemorating the inauguration of the First Republic, on 22 May 1972, and based on a new constitution drafted by Dr. Colvin R de Silva that rendered Sri Lanka’s parliament the ‘supreme instrument of state power. The second contribution was by Nihal Seneviratne, former Secretary General of Parliament,  to mark the anniversary of the opening of the new parliament in Diyawannawa, Kotte, on 29 April 1982. Mr. Seneviratne’s contribution reproduced President JR Jayewardene’s “historic speech” on that occasion. Neither contribution touched on the current controversy over parliament. 

President Jayewardene’s speech was ‘historic’ if only because it included a lot of history about the physical locations and buildings that had enshrined the institution of parliament in Sri Lanka from its inception in 1920, until its relocation from Colombo to Kotte in 1982. What is remarkable, however, is that there is not a single reference in the entire speech to the executive presidential system that Mr. Jayewardene had instituted in the country four years before the opening of the new parliament in Kotte, and to the implications it would have for the functioning of parliament in its new home that JRJ had built with Geoffrey Bawa’s design and Japanese generosity. The speech had its flights of eloquence towards its end.

The President almost poetically recalled the Buddha’s advice to the King of Magadha, extolling the virtues and welfares of an ideal nation as worthy of emulation for the new home of Lanka’s parliament – frequent gatherings of peaceful and well-attended assemblies, concordance among members and conformance with the laws, showing respect for honour and esteem and venerating the elderly and the shrines. He called out to those assembled that “in this Temple of Democracy let us so conduct ourselves for the welfare of the many that generations yet unborn may say that within this Chamber our words and conduct represented our finest hours.” And he heralded the birth of a “new era of Parliamentary Democracy in a Chamber worthy of an Elected and Sovereign Assembly.” 

Really? The question arises rhetorically in one’s mind, 38 years after President Jayewardene spoke and five times as many (190) days after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been in office. The Freudian puzzle is that why Mr. Jayewardene chose not to make any reference to the executive presidency in the course of his ceremonial address. Was it a deliberate omission, or slip of mind? Not the latter, because as Head of State JRJJ spoke from a script. It is for MPs that speaking from notes was considered infra dig. Not anymore. Being barely able to read from someone else’s notes is now qualification enough to be an MP. Not only in the dissolved parliament, but also in the yet to be elected new parliament.        

In fairness, President Jayewardene had spoken at length about the two – presidential and parliamentary – systems, and his inspired longing to marry the two to give birth to a new Dharmishta society in Sri Lanka. But that was all when he was Prime Minister and before he made himself President through the Second Amendment to the 1972 Constitution. In April 1982, while opening the new parliament, Mr. Jayewardene eschewed any reference to the presidential system. But he chose to give a very detailed account of the initiative that began in 1967 during the government of Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake, to build a new and more spacious parliament to accommodate the anticipated increase in the number of MPs exceeding 200. 

Mr. Jayewardene recounted that on 4 April 1967, a gathering of leaders of all political parties in parliament, both government and opposition, unanimously decided to proceed with the construction of “a new building for the House of Representatives and to demarcate land close to the Galle Face Green by the side of the Beira lake parallel to the land where the building … (of the old parliament) stands.” Mr. Jayewardene read out the list of leaders who attended the meeting. Mrs. Srimavo Bandaranaike, then Leader of the Opposition, was not one of them and the SLFP was represented by Maithripala Senanayake and M.P de Zoysa Siriwardene.  

The process moved forward and continued after the 1970 change in government with Mrs. Bandaranaike as Prime Minister. The leaders of political parties again confirmed the Beira Lake lands as the location for the new parliament and authorized the hiring of Geoffrey Bawa and his firm of Architects to prepare preliminary plans and feasibility reports. The cabinet granted approval for the project to proceed and for the allocation of Rs. 2.2 million for Stage 1.  Even a ground-breaking ceremony was scheduled for 17 May 1973 at 1.09 pm, “which was considered to be an exceptionally auspicious day and time,” according to President Jayewardene. 

However, at a meeting of political party leaders on 3 May 1973, and attended by the Prime Minister, then Speaker Stanley Tillekeratne invited the Prime Minister to “inaugurate the work on the new Parliament Building” on 17 May. “There was no response from the Prime Minister” recalled President Jayewardene. She had already suggested postponing the project and with her silent non-response to the Speaker’s invitation, said JRJ, “the progress of the New Parliament Building Project thus came to an inauspicious halt.” The project was revived after 1977 by the new government of JR Jayewardene which decided to locate the new parliament not near the old parliament at Galle Face, but to a new site in Kotte. 

This saga of relocation is interesting for several reasons. Mrs. Bandaranaike was already deprived of her civic rights, courtesy of a Presidential Commission of inquiry, and she was not at the inauguration in Kotte, when President Jayewardene quite meticulously laid it out that but for Mrs. Bandaranaike’s snub of a non-response on 3 May 1973, Sri Lanka would have had a new parliament in Colombo’s Galle Face, across the narrow Beira Lake waters from the old parliament. 

There has not been any news story, or even gossip, about the reasons why Prime Minister Srimavo Bandaranaike nixed the project at that time. Nor was there any political buzz after JRJJ’s revelatory recounting in Kotte. The only buzz at that time was among UNP cheer leaders about the apparent oratorical feat that day in Kotte by Ananda Tissa de Alwis, who certainly might have made good use of the absence of the old verbal gladiators like SWRD Bandaranaike, GG Ponnambalam, Colvin R de Silva, Dudley Senanayake and Pieter Keuneman, to stand tall among the plains of Kotte.

Costly Fallouts

What is equally significant is the decision, after 1977, by the new Jayewardene government not to continue with the original plan to build the new parliament near the old one in Colombo, but to relocate it to a new site in Kotte. It has proved to be a costly move with little benefit in return – not only from the political standpoint, but also from the physical standpoint of the urbanization of the City of Colombo and its greater environs. Politically, the relocation of parliament to Kotte is the second costly fallout from the seemingly inadvertent omissions of the United Front government (1970-1977) of Mrs. Bandaranaike.

The first and the costliest fallout is the executive presidential system that JR Jayewardene was effortlessly able to prise out of the 1972 Constitution. To my mind, a grave omission of the 1972 Constitution was to reduce the Head of State to be a mere appointee of the Prime Minister. Sri Lanka could have followed the Indian example, as it transitioned from being under a monarchy to becoming a republic, and provided for an electoral college system to elect the President, or election by parliament, i.e. the National State Assembly. Just nomination by a Prime Minister was not going to cut it and JRJJ had it too easy to scupper the entire First Republican Constitution. 

Alternatively, Mr. Jayewardene could have opted to modify the 1972 Constitution by providing for the parliament to elect the President, or Head of State, rather than replacing the time-tested parliamentary system by an untested presidential-parliamentary hybrid system predicated on an elected executive president. But he was acting to a different agenda. JR Jayewardene’s constitutional project had a grand face and a sinister side to it. After JRJ, the republic became more sinister with little grandeur, for none of JRJ’s successors could be as grand as the master himself. 

As well, JRJ was one of three PMs or Presidents that Sri Lanka has had, SWRD Bandaranaike and Dudley Senanayake being the other two, who could actually read a constitution and understand its applications. After JRJ, with the successors that Sri Lanka has had to variously suffer, it was inevitable that the sinister contents of JRJ’s constitution would increasingly displace whatever grandness that was left in it. Now that degeneration has taken Sri Lanka to its political nadir, and manifesting itself in the current constitutional crisis. The country’s parliament that was constitutionally elevated to be the Supreme Instrument of State Power in 1972, is again struggling to be rescued by the Supreme Court from executive overreach. 

As political and architectural symbols go, the old parliament building, on the Galle Face promenade, although it was built in the imperial neo-baroque architectural style of the 19th century, it evolved to reflect the changing moods of a politically sensitized country as it transitioned from colonial rule, to dominion status, to independence, and to becoming a republic for the time in the island’s history. Its open lawns and low parapet walls were endearing to ordinary people, who would either sit on them or just hop over onto the terrain of power. Over forty-six years (1931-1977), it provided the forum to set up Sri Lanka’s vaunted welfare state. It could also flex its muscle when needed to deal with emergencies or put down coups and insurrections. Most of all, it accommodated a collective instrument of state power, not a rubber stamp for an individual executive, and where every Minister was an ordinary MP first, and the Prime Minister was merely the first among equals and nothing more.

After 1982, the old parliament became the new presidential secretariat. The parapets that people walked over became footings for spiked fences that kept the people away. Symbolically and substantively, people were separated from power. The same building was adapted to house power without parliament, make decisions without deliberations, rule without accountability, and to privilege the direct election of an individual over the elected representatives from multiple constituencies. The house that JRJ built in Kotte as his legacy gift to Sri Lanka’s parliamentary democracy has become an opulent edifice for the trappings transferred from the old parliament while leaving the power behind at the presidential secretariat. Politically, the now locked up complex in Kotte represents the subtraction of power from parliament.  

And a sign of the times and of times to come is the Temple Trees Parliament! A makeshift assembly of old MPs, more than symbolically in masks, that Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa convened as a surrogate for recalling the real parliament, which is dissolved but is not dead. There is a global pandemic, and there is national curfew, but the two do not make sufficient grounds to declare national emergency and recall parliament. That is the governing assessment. While saying there is no emergency, the government is also insisting that there is necessity. The (doctrine of) necessity, that is, not to declare emergency, and not to recall parliament. That was not the advice that the Buddha gave to the King of Magadha, which JR Jayewardene recounted to his MPs in Kotte, but forgot to mention that he was their President. 

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Latest comments

  • 24
    5

    It is an excellent long article. Readers should have the patience to read it. As defined, “Democracy is the government of the people, by the people and for the people.” The political leader’s mentality change with time. Once they get the taste of power, arrogance, and love for the family dynasty sets in. One time we had devoted Political leaders in the past. The Sinhalese leavers even drew a chariot with Sir Ponnmaplam Ramanathan in the chariot after he negotiated with the British to release singles leaders after 1905 riots Gotabaya was secretary of defense because his brother was President. He was not a CAS officer as the system in government service CCS/CAS officers were nominated as secretaries to the ministries. There’s No doubt that the victory against 30 year LTTE war due to support Sri Lanka got from India, China, Pakistan, the US, and many countries. It was a battle by a group of states against a single highly principled rebel who fought for the rights of their community, the original people of Sri Lanka. LTTE lost the war because of weak international strategy and traitors in their group. No one can deny it. As defense secretary, he gave orders to kill people who surrendered with white flags violating Genve war convention.

    • 6
      17

      Kuvium,
      In case of Sri Lanka, Democracy is a Government of the people, manipulated by minorities for the benefit of minorities.

      As defined, “Democracy is the government of the people, by the people and for the people.”

      • 8
        3

        Substitute the word “minorities” with the word ‘majority’ and you will be spot on.

      • 9
        4

        So long as Majority respects the aspirations of minorities there is no need for manipulation, Minorities are also citizens of the country. There need not be discrimination

        • 1
          1

          Kuviyam,
          Can you please tell us ‘What are the aspirations of minorities’?

          “There need not be discrimination”
          What bloody discrimination you are talking.
          Can you please tell:
          • What is it that the Sinhalayo are enjoying that the other communities are not enjoying because they are not Sinhala?
          • What is it that the minorities do not enjoy because they are the minority which the majority enjoys because they are the majority?
          • What is legally, constitutionally and legislatively given to the majority that is not given to the minorities”?

          I am sure some dumbos will say, we have answered but you keep on repeating the same thing. Yes, some guys talked all kinds of BS as answers without giving proper answers. The truth is ‘Para’ Demalu’ do not have answers to these questions.

          • 2
            4

            Mahindapala, here are the aspirations of Tamils :
            1. To regain their lost sovereignty which was taken away by Portuguese and not returned to them by British when they left.
            2. To regain land of their Dravidian ancestors appropriated by gang of criminals from Bengal, which they can prove archaeologically.
            3. To live as first class citizens ruling themselves in dignity and safety.
            Answers to your discrimination denial:
            1. Sinhalese are ruling the country according to their wish with legislative, executive and judicial arms under their control. Tamils do not have a legislature, executive or judicial arm under their control.
            2. Sinhalese are able to change demographic pattern, put up Buddhist temples, appoint whom they like, kill Tamils destroy their houses and businesses, drive them out from their lands with impunity. Tamils have no right even to resettle their people from where they were driven out.
            3. Sinhalese can do development even waste money on white elephant projects without the consent of Tamils, but Tamils cannot do anything according to their wish without permission from Sinhalese.
            4. By declaring Sinhala as first official language and if their is a conflict between Sinhala and Tamil wording Sinhala will prevail and Buddhism as state religion when Hinduism was the original religion of the land, legally and constitutionally Sinhalese have been given a higher status than Tamils.

    • 7
      12

      Highly principled rebel LTTE? Massacred TULF leaders, Kaathankudi unarmed Muslims, Aranthalaway Buddhist Priests, etc. J.R.Jayawardhana killed innocent unarmed civilians, 1983, July. Terrorists are Terrorists, USA, European Countries said LTTE, terrorist organization,

      • 11
        10

        You are confusing with policies and practices. LTTE was highly principled as to their policies with firm commitment to the cause, but lacked morality when they committed acts such as killing Tamil dissidents and Sinhala and Muslim non combatants. They were banned as terrorists for the actions. and not for the cause for which they fought. This is why LTTE despite the ban, is able to fly their flags in European countries as they have not committed any atrocities during the past eleven years. If you use same yard stick, biggest terrorist organisation in Sri Lanka is Government and its armed forces,

        • 2
          1

          Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam,
          Usual BS!!!
          Sri Lankan Government and Armed Forces are like the Allied Forces in WWII who liberated German people from Nazis. They liberated Demala people from megalomaniac Piripakaran and his barbaric LTTE Terrorist Army.
          Demala mothers with teenagers who were worried that their children could be grabbed by LTTE to be recruited as soldiers should be eternally grateful to Sri Lankan Armed Forces for giving a sigh of relief to them by eliminating LTTE barbarians.
          Even today, German people show their gratitude to Allied Forces for liberating them from Nazis but ‘Para’ Demalu brand the Sri Lankan Armed Forces as war criminals. Shows the difference between ‘Civi Lized’ people and ‘Un Civi Lized’ people.

          “If you use same yard stick, biggest terrorist organisation in Sri Lanka is Government and its armed forces.”

          • 1
            3

            Mahindapala, I am a medical witness to atrocities committed by Security forces on non combatant Tamils. There are several witnesses to all the atrocities. Going into houses and shooting people dead, firing indiscriminately into crowds at markets and bus stands, intercepting ferry boats and killing passengers, arresting people asking them to kneel in a line and executing them, rounding up of people into rooms in public buildings and exploding bombs, mass arrests of Tamils, killing and burying them in mass graves, indiscriminate artillery fire into residential areas, indiscriminate bombing first using barrel bombs and later by air crafts etc. This is the reason why Sinhalese are not willing for an impartial international inquiry for crimes of state terrorists. Tamils have no confidence in judicial system in Sri Lanka which is institutionally racist.

      • 11
        2

        Singhalese and Tamils and Muslims are good at pointing a finger at each other. That is typ[ical Sri Lankan culture. They do not want to find a method to resolve the major issue

      • 12
        3

        Mrs Perera,
        .
        if we may remind you
        .
        it was not JRJ but the govt under RpREMADASA and JVPrs.

        My friends at Pera were burnt down on tyre pyres and their parents went mad as a result.
        :
        But the very same manner of going beyond the levels of Insurgency in late 80ties, Rajakashes BPs excercised extra judicial killings also after 2009 ( not just in nother soils but also across the country), mind you thanakola eaters dominating srilanka would remind them ?
        I dont think so.
        :
        Even if we could think that a war could kill civilians in both sides, but what is the argument you would bring about the killings in POST war period ?
        .
        1) Lasanth Wikramathunga was killed allegedly by Rajakashes almsot 11 years ago.
        :
        2) Rugby player : Wasim Thadjudeen killed to the very same manner of Jamal Khashogii evidently by Rajapakshe family – not a single interogation session was allowed curse to DONKEY Sirisena remember ? There were speculations, if GOLD BUSINESS queen Shiranthi would have committed suicide if interogations sessions held in this regard. So then execute president – nation s donkey paid a blind eye on the crime investigations – in a civilized country, such a murder would not silence the nation, but this did – because srilanken MEDIA bps are paid by the huge volumes of robbed funds by Rajaakshes family. Even any blatant lie would have manipulated and put to air in favour of BP Rajakshes.

    • 6
      2

      Dear Friends and punnaku eaters and all@

      here below are the updates about the numbers of the infected with another 62 now added to the number from yesterday.. that is really more than expected.


      Date/ number of infected patients/ and the increase per day

      May 17 981
      May 18 992 11
      May 19 1023 31
      May 20 1028 5
      May 21 1048 20
      May 22 1068 20
      May 23 1089 21
      May 24 1141 62

  • 42
    5

    After Gaddafi’s Libya, SL is the only country where army Generals salute a Colonel.

    The makeshift parliament will shift to Carlton House or Medamulana very soon.

    Hope the Supreme Court will reinstate SL’s dead democracy; killed by executive presidency. The first task of the next parliament will be to abolish executive presidency which doesn’t suit SL.

    • 11
      27

      Mr. GATAM,
      .
      IDIOT.
      .
      Don’t you know that 29 out of 45 US presidents had military experience.
      Of course you don’t know.
      Because you all are UNEDUCATED IDIOTS.
      .

      George W. Bush was a First Lieutenant.
      George H. W. Bush was a Lieutenant (junior grade).
      Ronald Reagan was a Captain.
      Jimmy Carter was a Lieutenant.
      Don’t you think Generals didn’t salute them……….?
      .
      James Buchanan was a Private.
      Don’t you think Generals didn’t salute him……….?
      .
      How the hell “Supreme Court” do anything to a elected president.
      The first task of the next parliament will be to reinstate full executive presidency.

      • 5
        9

        Well said Mr Pasqual.

        By the way remember your innings in the 1979 world cup against India. If my memory serves me right you also got a hundred against Ireland.

      • 12
        4

        Machan, if you are really Sudath Pasqual, may I say that you are a disgrace to the Pasqual name and family; your bothers, your loving and sweet mother, your sister, your father who was a very decent man, and your uncle from Matugama, another decent man who dabbled in politics in a very dignified way.

        Don’t you see that our dear country is sliding fast into a morass that will make it a pariah, racist state?

        What did Royal College teach you?

        • 3
          4

          This is a different Pasqual. The cricketer who captained Royal College in 1980 and went on to play for Sri Lanka is Sudath Prajiv Pasqual.

          • 1
            0

            I’m so relieved to hear this, Dr Gnana. Thanks.

          • 2
            1

            Dr.Sankara

            Man you have a talent. You can spot the ball

          • 1
            1

            Dr. Sankata

            Man you have a talent. You can spot the ball

      • 4
        2

        Dear Shenali Pasqual

        Your modaya logic is hilarious. USA is the preeminent military power in the world, the largest exporter of military hardware and fights wars around the world. Having a military man as president is OK for USA. If SL follows same logic, SL must have a farmer, a tea plucker or a garment worker as president for their great contribution to the economy, global presence and hard work, not a half American deserted soldier.

        You mentioned George Bush. Did he appoint his brother Jeff Bush as Vice President or Leader of the House as SL’s unfortunate president has done?

        Have you seen any US pesidents wearing military medals at Independence Day making a clown of themselves?

        The first task of the next parliament will be to abolish insane executive presidency and make nepotism illegal.

    • 7
      15

      GATAM,
      Dumbo, Gotabhaya Rajapakshe is no longer in the Army and hence no longer a a Colonel. He is a civilian elected by majority of people in the country. Once a person is elected as the President, irrespective of his/her past Generals have to salute because he/she becomes the Commander of Armed Forces.

      Where were you dumbos when the ‘Yahapalana’ Government buried Democracy by postponing elections indefinitely making all kinds of silly excuses. When ‘Yahapalana’ don kees did not hold elections, that was a sign of “Good Governance’ but when Rajapakshes want to hold the election, that is a sign of moving Sri Lanka towards a dictatorship.

      • 6
        2

        Kegal,

        So he is no longer a Colonel? You should verify your facts modaya because he was wearing military medals at Independence Day! It is illegal for him to wear them if he is no longer a Colonel.

        I’m not justifying Yahapalana but this joker of Marapalanaya horror is far more hilarious than the past regime. He will never get 2/3 to change the Constitution in his family’s favor. He is a one time president unfortunately elected by people who were fooled by racism and plain BS. Now they come to realize.

  • 26
    11

    Not so much to think and write about.
    /
    The supreme court will continue, and there will be a new parliament in due course.
    /
    What is so complex about it?

    • 12
      7

      There will be no such SC and independent decisions under the leadership of alleged high criminals. Basta.
      .
      Slaves would never see it right. Best examples are Helios, Pasquals, Somas and the like represenatives of the society.

  • 14
    17

    ……………..It is the reluctance to abide by them due to arrogant ignorance and stubborness of Power that is at the ROOT of the current stalemate and controversy……………
    Rajan Philips has touched the nerve!

    But then could we expect anything better from a one-time Colonel in the Army who has found himself as the Head of State?

    Would he understand the well established conventions and easily understandable constitutional provisions to deal with such situations?

    Assuming the Supreme Court rules that the dissolved Parliament be recalled will the President fall in line?
    If not what is NEXT?

    • 13
      4

      Plato,
      But then could we expect anything better from a one-time Colonel in the Army who has found himself as the Head of State?
      It all depends on how people (voters) interpret the word “Better”. In 2019 November Presidential election majority of Majority community (Buddhist Sinhala) felt that they would be better off. During his colonel time he won the JVP insurgency after number of Sinhalese (60000) were buried under the soil. He gave up his Srilanka military service in 1998 and became a US citizen until he gave his nomination for President in 2019 ( over 20 years) . In 2005 his brother become President and he got dual citizenship in Srilanka and brother appointed him as defence secretary. Majority of Majority community believed that it is he who won the war after killing thousands of Tamils. The majority of Majority community which has a 75% of the voter bank wanted him to be the President because he is anti minority (pro majority). They don’t bother about what is in the constitution and what is in the law books. They want to rewrite the constitution and law books that is only acceptable to Mahinda Family. In other words, majority of Majority prefer to hand over this island to Mahinda family whether that is right or wrong to others.
      What is next?

      • 7
        12

        “Leadership is a responsibility. It’s not about being in charge. It’s about taking care of those in your charge.”
        .
        – Simon Sinek

        • 11
          3

          Mrs Pasqual,
          .
          the biggest question is if the incumbent president has ALREADY PROVED that his leadership is about taking care of those in your charge ???????

          As of today, far poor NEPAL has managed it to the top while our hell run by criminal duo has ruined it… even today with another dozens being added to the infected numbers.
          :
          And the number of tests performed are near to 100 000 in Nepal while our state has managed only 50 000 tests sofar.

        • 3
          1

          Shenali Pasqual,

          How about taking care of his extended family? Is it leadership or nepotism?

        • 3
          2

          Sinkala STUPID Pasquali

          Man you are mad.

          1) “Leadership is a responsibility.

          *** How can you be responsible ( for somebody elses action) if you are not in Charge.

          2) It’s not about being in charge.

          *** Idiot you Contradict youself . If it is not about being in charge what are you . A donkey or a Camel

          3) It’s about taking care of those in your charge.”

          *** There you are finally you have concluded being in Charge.

          Ditching and Dithering. Left Right , Left Right , Left Right and so on untill you do a filp flop.

          WONDERFUL Bloody WINDERFUL
          .

          • 1
            3

            Kali you are unable to understand English, and unless you improve it by getting tuition, please do not comment in these columns. Secondly you are coming to conclusions without reading properly, which shows your unbalanced mind which needs psychiatric treatment. What is there, is said by Simon Sinek and you are attacking Pasqual as if he had said it. Do you know that Simon Sinek is one who has demonstrated leadership skill at a young age and is quoted as example of success worldwide. It is obvious that you are one who does not know what leadership is. For your information here are other quotations of Simon Sinek:
            1. “Leadership is not a rank or position to be attained. It is a service to be given”.
            2. “Leadership is a human exercise. It is an act of taking care of those around you”.
            Leader who has been elected to head an organisation has to lead from the front. He cannot delegate matters to others and relax. He must have the knowledge to run the organisation, getting involved in all aspects of management, giving help and advice to his subordinates in order to get desired results. Gotabhaya showed leadership qualities in conducting the war because he had the knowledge. Here he is fumbling because he has no experience in running a ministry and due to his lack of knowledge, he is depending on others who are advising him wrongly.

            • 4
              1

              Dr.Sankara

              *** Who the bloody hell are you to tell me not to write in these colums as if you have a monopoly. I take it that you think you understand engglish better than anyone . Politically you dont know anything . When you said that Tamil Problems can be solved by a Tamil with Organisational and Leadership Qualities and then you brought SJV in and when I asked you what SJV had achieved you went blank. This is the standard of your Political Knowledge. What you said meant we lost so many lives because we didnt bargain with the Racist Sinkalams . What an IDIOT you are You then said all Catdiothoracic Surgeries take up to 8 hours which was false but refused to accept. You are retired and write because you are bored.
              Please stop making a fool of yourself. and limit your comment to one a day.

              • 0
                1

                Kali there is no point in having discourse with an idiot like you, who is poor in English and Intelligence. You write whatever you want, but if you are attacking me please do not do it like a coward hiding under a pseudonym.

                • 1
                  0

                  Dr Siva Siva Sankara

                  Kali there is no point in having discourse with an idiot like you, who is poor in English and Intelligence. You write whatever you want, but if you are attacking me please do not do it like a coward hiding under a pseudonym.

                  Are you waving the White Flag

                  *** Thanks SHAKESPERE for thinking English is your Forte. Let us look at the evidence.
                  You claim that Prabakaran was able to Brainwash his subordinates into carrying out suicide bombing which amounts to Leadership ( which I have already explained but it looks like you don’t have the mental capacity to understand) so according to your theory ISIS have Leadership.
                  Your analytical skills is diabolical and I am not sure if you really are a Cardiothoracic so and so as you claim. I have already proved you are too slow and take 8 hours. I dread to think how many Patients have survived the Ordeal

  • 10
    4

    The supreme court should have the balls the courage and be impartial to give out the best judgement on the merits of the application.
    The rise in the cost of the pricing of the essential food items which at this crucial moment with the cursed coronavirus rampaging on and on should see the downfall of the corrupt hora boru SLPP at the general election whenever it will be held.
    I for one am sad that as I am happily living in paradise am no longer a citizen of this sad shitty rajapuka made hellhole am not able to cast my vote to the mighty UNP or if I need to register for the poll from jaffna my vote will be cast with pleasure to the TNA who are the saviour s of the much harrassed Tamil and the Muslim minorities.
    Come on you 5 so called men in Jock straps be bold enough to follow the advice of the now sinking Election Commissioner who has all of a sudden been able to ascertain for himself that he’s a man with testicles.
    Alleluia to Ceylon.

  • 10
    1

    S.C.Pasqual, do not pull a fast one on Gadam. During World War and post War Men,after college education, were drafted for few years of mandatory military services. So anyone from that era and majority baby boomers would have had such military training and some would have been even called for active duty. Hence Obama and Clinton may have registered but never called for training. . Some dodged like Trump ,Bush, Jr had training but when called , dodged active duty.(by giving trivial medical excuses) This law came to an end I believe around 1973, but now after pandemic some politicians are pushing to restart such mandatory program, if not for war , to manage such pandemic and other natural calamities. Wikipedia has all information on Conscription.

  • 9
    3

    The fate of the country hangs on a rope held by SC. Democracy or Autocracy. It depends on SC decision

    • 8
      2

      In developing countries – democratic rights are secondary so long criminal and their gangs controll over the society. That is unfortunately the ground reality of my home country.
      :
      To me HOMO SAPIENS are an another class of ANIMALs. That is being proved by Rajapakshes in our country over the years. In contrary to developed countries, the kind of politicians would not allow the human association, but a country as no other without having proper systems in law and order areas, even rapists and high criminals can get elected and even become HEROs of the stupid masses.
      This is a sorry sight but the rest have no chocie so long the awarness of people would be improved. Not just racists politicians but also media men should equally be made responsible for srilanken mess of the day.
      :
      Today, I had the chance to watch a video clip in which Ranjaan Ramanayaka was cross questioned by a group journos of PVT TV channels. Most of their questions sounded so silly.. these men are called investigative journalists within SRILANKEN territories, but in europe, these buggers would be imprisoned for the harrasments continued by them.

  • 6
    4

    Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka openly accepts the bravery of LTTE leader and highly principled policies when compared to Defence Secretary at the time of the Eelam war. He never faced a batt;e frot and took rash decisions in Air-Conditioned room heavily guarded Those decisions resulted in questions from UNHRC

    • 1
      3

      Kuviyam I said this in these columns few days before Sarath Fonseka. Prabaharan has demonstrated leadership qualities though under gun point and organisational skills which did not produce the desired result due to his selfish and foolish decisions. A Sinhala human resources professional friend told me twenty years ago, that when he was lecturing to senior service personnel, had told them that Prabaharan has leadership skills. When they questioned him on what grounds he is saying it, he asked them how many of you can convince your subordinates to bite the cyanide, and when none of them responded, he told them the fact that Prabaharan by being able to brain wash his cadres to bite the cyanide, is showing leadership skill.

      • 3
        1

        Dr.Sankara

        when none of them responded, he told them the fact that Prabaharan by being able to brain wash his cadres to bite the cyanide, is showing leadership skill..

        *** What an IDIOT you are. What you said amounts to saying that ISIS have the same qualities to convince people to blow themselves up in the name of RELIGION( Fanaticism) .
        The motivation of suicide attackers varies. Kamikaze acted under military orders and were motivated by obedience and nationalism. Before 2003, most attacks targeted forces occupying the attackers’ homeland, according to Scott Atran since 2004 the overwhelming majority of bombers have been motivated by the ideology of Islamist martyrdom.
        You are now a Prabakaran Lover a late developer and have forgotten that Prabakaran he was found to be guilty of brain washing and forcing suicide bombers to act . First time I have heard Brainwashing is showing Leadership Qualities. BRAVO ISIS

        • 1
          0

          Kali again you have displayed your lack of English. Read what is written carefully before jumping into conclusions. What was said was not by me but by a Sinhalese Human Resources professional who is an expert on coaching leaders. Whether it was Japanese Kamikazes or ISIS bombers they have been brainwashed to do that for their country or religion. Did you hear that Sarath Fonseka has praised the leadership qualities of Prabaharan. Now you understand that I was right. Unbiased person will give bouquets or brickbats in a fair manner where it is due.

      • 1
        0

        Dr.Siva Siva Sankara

        This is fun trying to educate you. See if you can see a difference

        Leadership.

        By Inspiration or Persuasion

        Put even more simply, the leader is the inspiration for and director of the action. They are the person in the group that possesses the combination of personality and leadership skills to make others want to follow their direction.

        Brainwash:

        By Force

        The process of pressurizing someone into adopting radically different beliefs by using systematic and often forcible means.

        Dont hesiate to ask question.

  • 6
    1

    Dear Members of the Supreme Court, the whole world is watching what the independent decision is going to be. How SL will be treated in future depends on the verdict so please give it without any fear or favor.

    If SL is seen as a dictatorship ruled by one family (the president and the PM are from one family) the world will chuck SL into the cesspool of a pariah state. The parliament is prevented from meeting by the president who has deployed the military around it. Only hope is the Supreme Court. Save democracy that somehow managed to survive since 1931.

    The military also has a responsibility not to obey illegal orders. Act with professionalism and not as a private militia of the Medamulana crackpot.

  • 6
    2

    The Elections case is a litmus test for Sri Lankan Judiciary. Already the International Bodies feel that the courts bend the law to assist politicians. This would be the final nail on the coffin if the judgement does not pass the international test. Lets wait and see.

  • 2
    2

    The verdict of SC should be respected by all, if not they should be charged for the contempt of court whether it is President or PM r nay minster. No one is above the law.

  • 4
    3

    The Supreme Court & The Future Of Sri Lanka’s Parliament

    *** It is a Joke that any one is going to Srpreme Court which is Gothas Puppet. He pardoneed a Convicted Killer defying SC. There is No RULE OF LAW. It is a Lawless Jungle ruled by a Dictator.

  • 0
    0

    Thank you Rajan Philips for this subtle, nuanced and brilliant article.

    What has plagued Sri Lanka IMO, is the steady breakdown of ethics, and with it the moral fabric of society from top down, since independence. While there are miscreants in any human society anywhere in the world, in countries where ethics is seen as a virtue, there is generally collective societal pressure to keep them in check, but unfortunately in Lanka this has not happened.

    What hope did we really have, when the so-called “elite” and the “educated” such as SWRDB and JRJ resorted to such flagrant violations of ethics in those totally egregious actions they took to win political office? And did the scion of SWRDB make reparations when she was at the helm? Of course not.

    Today, we are ruled by wily village idiots, but the greater tragedy is the support these charletans receive from (again) the so-called educated and privileged (think GLP, SNS, PBJ, LW, the suite of fancy lawyers who lie through their teeth to shield their clients and the oligarchs who will unhesitatingly sell their mothers for their mess of pottage, no matter what happens to the country and its unsuspecting people.

    Rajan says it so well here: “One might formulate super-structurally political and class-based explanations for the current goings on, but that would be giving undue credit to the pathetic unfamiliarity with the ABCs of government that is manifestly at display now.”

    Over to you now, CJ and the Supreme Court. We desperately hope that Sri Lanka will not see another “Kodagoda moment”

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