By Shyamon Jayasinghe –
“The issue is not about keeping Ranil Wickremasinghe or getting Mahinda Rajapakse back; that issue can be fought in the normal battle of competitive politics. The battle cannot be done through the medium of a conspiracy to violate the constitution and democratic process.”
The Senerath Case
The current crisis is in Sri Lanka is one created by a desperate act by the former regime of Rajapaksas and a foolishly greedy and self-indungent President. A combination of greed and fear! As reported in today’s ( 3/11/18) Daily Mirror, this illegitimate government wants to put off the very first Trial -at -Bar case by the Special Court against Gamini Senerath, private secretary of the former President Mahinda Rajapakse’s. Gamini Senerath is charged with embezzling Rs 500 million belonging to Litro Gas. That there is some semblance of hope for this country, at least for now, is evidenced by the fact that the Judiciary has rejected the call for postponement of the case.
This is the opening case of the special High Court. Others-cases bringing in Gota, Basil, Avante Garde, Shiranthi Rajapaksa, the sons, and so many alleged offenders to boot are to get their turn and account for their actions done when in the seats of mighty power. The cases will be heard daily until finish.
This is crunch time for Sri Lanka. Anybody with patriotic feelings has to look at this situation. This is the test of your patriotism and your basic moral longing for the rule of law, democracy and decency in our public life. If Sri Lanka isn’t gong to be a banana, third -rate republic; if the peace that the rule of law brings in its wake, is to prevail so that enterprises and ordinary people can be let to flourish; if a few ruling elites aren’t going to be permitted to run the country at their whim and fancy; and if citizens alone can determine how they are to be governed-then there isn’t any option but to defeat the evil forces (adharma) of the Sira-Mara junta, which has wrested the hold from the legitimate government of our country.
This is the issue before Sri Lankans. The issue is not about keeping Ranil Wickremesinghe or getting Mahinda Rajapakse back; that issue can be fought in the normal battle of competitive politics. The battle cannot be done through the medium of an outrageous conspiracy to violate the constitution and democratic process.
Brave Court Action
States the Daily Mirror: “The Special Trial-at-Bar yesterday dismissed a request by the defense to put off the trial until the Appeal Court order on the jurisdiction of the special trial-at-bar to conduct the trial against former president’s chief of staff Gamini Senarath and three others.
The three-Judge Bench comprising Sampath Wijeratne, Sampath Abeykoon and Champa Janaki Rajaratna fixed the trial to be conducted on a day-to-day basis from November 7 onwards.”
How far away have our courts travelled since the defeat of the Rajapakse regime and the ouster of the regime’s Chief Justice, Mohan Pieris! The new independent constitutional court set up during the first hundred days of the yahapalanaya government now picks our judges for the country’s highest court and bastion of liberty. The purpose of the political transformation in 2015, now known as yahapalanaya, was to establish SYSTEMS that can control individual behaviour rather than the other way about where we rely on exhorting individuals-authorities or others- to conform to the right way of doing things. You put your naked finger on the hot oven and you will burn. Likewise, if you violate the laws of the land no politician can salvage you from the consequences. You must recourse to court for that.
The Yahapalanaya government does invite a lot of criticism for its omissions and commissions. However, this much has been achieved in our country, namely, that government has set the system of justice right. Courts have given many a verdict against even the government. No Basilian Minister can revenge the court if his Ministerial plans are upset by court decision. Sri Lankans observed how a former Chief justice, Shirani Bandranayake, was illegally removed merely because she blocked Basil’s Divineguma Bill. How horrible was that! Yet, Rajapaksas weren’t the kind with any moral sense who can feel guilty about such wrong doing.
Both components of the junta that is called ‘Sira-Mara Junta’ by a high profile online journal, are totally devoid of moral sense. Ethicists call such individuals ‘amoral.’ An appeal to conscience isn’t relevant to such people. It is most unfortunate for a country to have such brutes ruling our country. It is dangerous, too, because these guys set an example to ordinary people. Other high-ups tend to fall in line with the new dysfunctional values. Ministers would think it nothing to demand bribes or to abuse the underlings. The consequence is that the Sri Lanka Parliament is star-studded by numerous venal and leacherous MPs including SB Dissanayake, Wimal Weerawansa, Gammanpila, Aluthgamage, Mahinda Samarasinghe and Susil Premjayanth. Even the learned GL Peiris is seen pathetically metamorphosing into Mahinda Rajapaksa’s poodle. Like Mary and the little Lamb, GL is seen trotting behind Mahinda meekly and obediently. Cross-overs have become rife-all done for money. When the question about numbers -shortage was pointed out to the Mara-Sira junta it is reported that Basil responded,”I will look after that.” He is, indeed, keeping to his word.
As every day passes, we now observe morally outrageous action by high ups who wouldn’t bat an eyelid. Down through the corridors of the wider society, the new and disastrous value system of “might is right,” and “corruption is acceptable provided you don’t do that aloud,” penetrates. Whole governance systems deteriorate and break up.