Monday May 20, 2013
Beware! After Impeachment He May Look Towards An 'Election-less Miracle'!!Kusal Perera Salem-News.com
The new CJ is selected, appointed, sworn in and has assumed office.
(COLOMBO, Sri Lanka Colombo Telegraph) - “I am no Messiah ! No fortune reader !! I am only proposing, no matter where, events from history can be chosen to be replayed in the future, if the people decide, wise !!!” – Wonder who’d said it, before.
Anyway, the BIG FIGHT over the Impeachment is now over and so is the “call” from the legal fraternity, not to accept a new CJ. The BASL backed out on that call and so did President of the BASL. The new CJ is selected, appointed, sworn in and has assumed office. All Courts are now functioning, as they did for many many years. Hulftsdorp is as normal as it was, before JSC Secretary Thilakaratne was attacked by goons on 07 October last year. How does the political map of Sri Lanka look now ?
- the military still controls all aspects of life in Jaffna, in the Vanni and very much in the East too. Arbitrary arrests, disappearances, assaults on every protest, land grab, illegal armed groups continue, unabated. Civil administration and now even schools are entrenched and embedded with security forces personnel. Extensive intelligence networks haunt civil life.
That list needs other inputs to have a more detailed map of political power as usurped and accumulated with the Rajapaksa “plundocracy”. A very brief addition would thus be as follows.
Summing up all of the above into one single, descriptive sentence in introducing this Rajapaksa regime, it would read as, “A Constitutionally assembled Presidential family rule that has taken control over all finances in the country, keeping parliament under the elder brother, the whole urban and coastal life including security forces under another brother, rural life in its entirety centralised under yet another brother, now has the apex of the judiciary firmly under its dictates in addition to the Attorney General’s Department, also bringing organised thuggery on to city streets to break up protests and opposition to its rule, that treads beyond the Constitution as a “Plundocracy”, with an impotent Opposition leadership both in and outside parliament.”
Sounds too bleak and pessimistic ? For those who think this regime has to be defeated at the next parliamentary elections, “YES”, it is a bleak and a disappointing political mapping. But stands justified, when considering the fact that this impeachment concluded, not only within parliament, but also in the chambers of the Presidential Secretariat and in the Hulftsdorp SC Complex, had all muscles flexed from the police to the security forces to mobilised urban goons taking to the streets, to ensure the exit of one CJ and the entry of the pre selected other, purely as a calculated political gamble.
Bringing everything under their family dictates in establishing a constitutional rule with an almighty Executive Presidency, the Rajapaksas have started loosing their urban Sinhala power base, President Rajapaksa is now willing to give up on. The 100 day long second FUTA struggle within an year, left a disappointed, disgruntled middle class both urban and rural. The policy issue of 06 per cent for State funded education raised by FUTA, did have its impact on parents, especially the middle and not very low social segments who take education as the most important requirement for social mobility. On the heels of it came the impeachment against the CJ, that dislodged the urban middle class from the Rajapaksa “fan book”. This time even the pro War Sinhala elements were jolted out of their “patriotic” comfort of supporting this Rajapaksa regime. The post war decency these urban gentlemen thought they could have under this romanticised Sinhala Buddhist Rajapaksa, is now proved indecently impossible.
President Rajapaksa is one who would not miss such shifting of loyalties and alliances. Yet he went ahead with his choice of appointing Mohan Peiris as the new CJ, despite his closest stooges publicly crying out against that choice. From Weerawansa to Vasudeava to Sarath N Silva and Dentist Amarasekera, this retired AG and Advisor to the Cabinet, Mohan Peiris a Christian, was not the favoured and the best choice. Yet it was, for Rajapaksa. He was after proven talent in stooging.
Peiris was the Rajapaksa appointed Attorney General (AG) who amended charges in 02 court cases. One, to have Duminda Silva freed from being examined in a Court case for sexual abuse of a minor and two, to have Kesbewa SLFPer Kathriarachchi’s murder charges removed, for Kathriarachchi to have a 05 month suspended sentence. He is the Legal Advisor to the Cabinet of Ministers, who had the audacity to go in front of the UN Committee Against Torture as the official representative of this Rajapaksa regime and say, missing media activist Ekneligoda “….has taken refuge in a foreign country. .. it’s something that we are reasonably certain of.”
Later questioned in a Magistrate’s Court on a “habeas corpus” case filed by Ekneligoda’s wife, the same Mohan Peiris had no qualms, saying on oath, “I have no information that the corpus is alive or not and I do not think the government does either and that God only knows where Ekneligoda is”. Mohan Peiris is also accused of professional misconduct and for misuse of public office in a case that involves over 75 million rupees as tax and surcharge due to Sri Lanka Customs from Royal Fernwood Porcelain Ltd. He was retained by the company as its legal Counsel before Peiris was appointed AG. Its that quality the Rajapaksa regime now wants as CJ to sit over their issues on political power.
Rajapaksas know for sure, they would never have another election victory that could give them the possibility of putting together 150 MPs as government benchers for a two thirds majority in parliament. May be with all State power in their hands and with no effective opposition, they would still form a government. But with a government that can only have a very slender majority, the possibility of a few MPs exchanging loyalties would be too much of a risk for Rajapaksas. The safest therefore would be to go the JRJ way and if possible, even without a “Referendum”. That’s when the CJ and his SC becomes extremely important.
The same office becomes important again if President Rajapaksa decides to have a presidential election in 2014. As it is, with very conspicuous shifting of social loyalties against the regime and the economy clearly proving it is not growing as Cabral says, it would not be too surprising if Rajapaksa decides early presidential elections instead of a parliamentary election. The Constitution allows for presidential elections in 04 years and that would be after January 2014 or November 2014, depending on how he calculates his advantage. It would be safer to have the presidential elections early in a constituency that now has previous loyalties sliding away. It would be safe to get over elections before other social forces like the already agitated working class gets mobilised over wages and cost of living issues. He also knows best, the UNP can not field a presidential candidate more formidable than Wickramasinghe. A candidate, Mahinda Rajapaksa believes is no match for him in Sinhala peasant society, where numbers decide the winner. Thereafter his third term could commence, as interpreted by his own CJ appointee. It could be in November 2016, he swears to begin his third term.
This is what this whole impeachment saga was, politically and left all legal, constitutional and parliamentary supremacy irrelevant to the Rajapaksas. It may be a political gamble, but one this regime can not afford to avoid, if they wish to continue in power. Power is what matters and not how it is gained and maintained.
This leaves the question, “What can the people do, then ?” An answer has to be found. The present UNP and the JVP proves they don’t have answers, only rhetoric. The next step is thus a “people’s step” that needs a popular discourse on a programme.
That provides the reason why a realistic programme that could provide answers to fundamental issues – Democracy, Devolution and Development – is necessary here in Sri Lanka.
Special thanks to Kusal Perera for sending this article to the Salem-News.com newsroom.
Chief Editor – iqNdú;- “Subhavitha”
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