Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 21 May 2015
Buddhist Pathway to Sovereignty?
The Fundamental Rights Petition by Former Secretary of Defence of Sri Lanka – Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the suggestion by the Sri Lankan Prime Minister that the Assistance of the Commonwealth Legal Division should be sought - have raised the issue of Independence of the Sri Lankan Judiciary yet again.
As per recent news report:
‘Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe plans to meet a team of eminent lawyers ..to discuss a stay order issued by a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court preventing the arrest of former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa….. The PM noted that the President Maithripala Sirisena as Chair of the Commonwealth can seek the assistance of Commonwealth's Legal division on the apex court's ruling.’
According to a News 1st report:
‘Issuing a communique, the Jathika Hela Urumaya or the JHU says that the statement made by the Prime Minister challenges the power of the Supreme Court. The communique issued bearing the signature of Media Secretary of the JHU, Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe states that the Prime Minister’s statement has undermined the Judiciary of the country.
MP Dullas Alahapperuma commenting on the statement made by the Prime Minister stated that Ranil Wickremesinghe has issued a warning to the Supreme Court adding that his statement insults and disgraces the Sri Lankan Judiciary.’
When does a nation dilute its Sovereign Powers? If seeking the advice of the Commonwealth is seen as such a dilution – then how does one classify the actions of Governments of Sri Lanka seeking assistance beyond Sri Lankan borders to eliminate the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam)? Was that not dilution of Sri Lanka’s Sovereign powers?
If Sri Lanka was deserving of the status to Chair CHOGM – then it has the right to draw on the wisdom of Commonwealth. It is not different to various Buddhist organizations sharing their corporate wisdom. But one needs to be careful not to interfere with the existing structures that are specific to Sri Lankan Judiciary. One needs to ‘submit’ and not ‘tell’. Even the Commonwealth has to pay its respects to Sri Lanka if it seeks to participate in global governance through Sri Lanka. When we go into someone’s home – we must first pay our respects to that home. That helps us not damage their own work and sacrifices to develop a home – even if it were just a rat-hole.
Not only the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, but Tamil Politicians using the Diaspora also need to be mindful of ensuring that such respects are paid by the participating foreign party. The Prime Minister seeking the advice of CHOGM is the parallel of Sri Lankan Tamil Politicians seeking the support of Tamil Nadu Politicians. It is part of globalization and is healthy when the protocols of sovereignty are adhered to.
A country could become sovereign by remaining within its powers. But Sri Lankan Politicians did not limit themselves to local powers to eliminate Tamil Rebels. Where a nation is sovereign and its Government is not able to resolve a problem – it would submit the problem back to the People for better or for worse. Where the Head of State believes in Natural Justice – such submission back to the People would consolidate the Sovereignty of the citizens through whom the solutions will develop with the blessings of Divine Powers. This is the pathway especially for nations like Sri Lanka where State Religion is promoted through the Constitution. Whether such is specifically stated in the letter of the law or not – where such is consciously used and promoted – the settlement would happen – when it goes beyond the control of custodians of power.
A Nation that values the Sovereignty of individual citizens – would naturally be supported by Divine Powers. If Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa practiced the true values of Buddhism when eliminating Tamil Rebellion – then the above condemnation by the Political Party headed by Buddhist Clergy – the JHU would have the empowerment of that Truth. But Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa himself went global and confirmed that he did not believe that he could become Sovereign as a Sri Lankan only. Hence one could conclude that the JHU was being unjust and partial in adding its power to Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa who did not follow the Buddhist path to Sovereignty. Prime Minister - the Hon Ranil Wickremasinghe is well within the entitlement of Sri Lankan Government to seek global assistance to discipline someone who received global assistance to ‘show’ his work and claim Victory at global level - when he was in power. As we sow, so shall we reap.