15 November 2017
‘When President Sirisena does it, that means that it is not illegal?.’
[Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.] Former American President Richard Nixon.
When I read the report headed ‘President-Prime Minister Relations Strained as Maithripala Wants Ranil to Step Down as PM Before Testifying At Treasury Bonds Presidential Inquiry Commission On November 20th.’ at dbsjeyaraj.com, the picture that came to mind was the one created by the former American President.
As per the above report ‘According to informed sources close to the Coalition Government headed by President Sirisena and Premier Wickremesinghe , the bone of contention in the current crisis is a “strong request amounting to a demand” made by Maithripala that Ranil should “voluntarily” step down as Prime Minister before testifying before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry investigating the Issuance of Treasury Bonds by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.’
The parallel of this in the Watergate Presidential issue is reported as follows by Wikipedia:
[On Friday, July 13, 1973, during a preliminary interview, deputy minority counsel Donald Sanders asked White House assistant Alexander Butterfield if there was any type of recording system in the White House. Butterfield said he was reluctant to answer, but finally stated there was a new system in the White House that automatically recorded everything in the Oval Office, the Cabinet Room and others, as well as Nixon’s private office in the Old Executive Office Building.
On Monday, July 16, 1973, in front of a live, televised audience, chief minority counsel Fred Thompson asked Butterfield whether he was “aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the President.” Butterfield’s revelation of the taping system transformed the Watergate investigation. Cox (Special Prosecutor) immediately subpoenaed the tapes, as did the Senate, but Nixon refused to release them, citing his executive privilege as president, and ordered Cox to drop his subpoena. Cox refused.
On October 20, 1973, after Cox refused to drop the subpoena, Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire the special prosecutor. Richardson resigned in protest rather than carry out the order. Nixon then ordered Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to fire Cox, but Ruckelshaus also resigned rather than fire him. Nixon’s search for someone in the Justice Department willing to fire Cox ended with the Solicitor General Robert Bork. Though Bork said he believed Nixon’s order was valid and appropriate, he considered resigning to avoid being “perceived as a man who did the President’s bidding to save my job.” Bork carried out the presidential order and dismissed the special prosecutor.
These actions met considerable public criticism. ]
Sri Lankans are aware of such a pattern especially during the immediate past President’s rule. It is therefore important for us to consider whether the position of Executive Presidency is healthy for Sri Lanka which is yet to invest in Democracy as much as America where media power brought the President down.
The immediate past occupant of the position of President of Sri Lanka, was brought down by his own Party due to excessive use of power. These are still in the minds of People and more importantly remain as common problems to the extent no one did anything about it. Each one of us who did what we could within the boundaries of our positions – completed the relationship with that position. Beyond that every unit of contribution becomes Shakthi / Energy. When these problems go beyond our custody they become sins. When those who have the power cover up and bury the past – they become sins that only Energy can cure. If left to become sin it would invoke other sins from previous lives and form coalitions with them. This usually happens when we do not attribute credit to those who facilitated us to get to that position. Those who do – become self-governed and have earned the right to be respected above any administrator.
As per the current occupant of the Position of Executive President – the Prime Minister is treated as one below the President in hierarchical ranking. Recently, an Academic of the University of Jaffna said to me that a junior could not question a senior member of staff. Based on that – the Prime Minister does not have the power to ask the President to step down from his position during investigations of his former boss, but the President has the power to ask the Prime Minister to do so.
How would I handle this as a minority power in (a) an Autocratic system or (b) a Democratic system?
In family and school during my times, the systems were largely autocratic and as a junior I absorbed the pain when I thought I was being treated unjustly. That was the way in which I was groomed – starting with my parents. Now I realise that wherever I was right – and I did not retaliate – I ended up carrying my contribution as Energy. This is why Hindu wives who were apparently minority powers and who were expected to speak only when they were spoken to – were recognized as Shakthi. Even recently, Parames Moorthi – said to me at her nephew’s wedding – that I was Shakthi. I took it that Parames recognized me easily because she was Shakthi to her family. That is how Truth / Love that we work towards is shared with wider world without much particular effort on our part, once we have escalated it to the level of Energy. As per the above article:
[Meanwhile concerned UNP and SLFP circles are communicating with former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratuga who is currently in the USA about this crisis. It is expected that Chandrika would return home shortly and bring about a mutually acceptable settlement of the issue.]
This confirms that there are some within the Government circles who consider former President Madam Chandrika Kumaratunga to be SLFP Shakthi. This is true power if Madam Kumaratunga did not retaliate when former President – Mr Rajapaksa disrespected her instead of paying his respects as an elder. Mr. Sirisena needs to respect Madam Kumaratunga highly in his own mind, if he is not to naturally collude with the mind of his former boss Mr Rajapaksa.
Saint Yoga Swami of Sri Lanka educates us in this regard through the following:
Karu Valhiyai Adai Endraan Engal Guru Nathan / Follow the path to the Nucleus said our Guru
Kattuppaddum Manam Endraan Engal Guru Nathan / The mind will be bound said our Guru
The Nuclear Energy in secular language is Love / Truth. If we join the path to Love / Truth – our mind would be automatically bound to follow order.
Applying the Hindu parallel of Buddhism, to the extent Mr Wickremesinghe did not ask the President to step down but accepted the President’s suggestion as that from a senior – Mr. Wickremesighe develops ownership Energy. But then we do have laws that are applicable to our respective positions.
Article 46 (2) of the Sri Lankan Constitution states:
[46. (2) The Prime Minister shall continue to hold office throughout the period during which the Cabinet of Ministers continues to function under the provisions of the Constitution unless he –
(a) resigns his office by a writing under his hand addressed to the President; or
(b) ceases to be a Member of Parliament.
Laws help us develop Common mind structures not only with those around us but also with those beyond our local borders. It is that Commonness that is the goal of an institution. Once it is common it must apply to all on Equal footing. Laws give form to this pathway which begins with Equal footing.
As per the above report:
[As such Maithripala feels that Ranil should set a bold precedent by stepping down and appear before the commission of inquiry as an “ordinary citizen”. The president thinks this would elevate the Prime minister to a higher moral ground, refurbish his public image and silence the opposition.]
If Mr Wickremesighe the did what he did as Prime Minister then he has the DUTY to give evidence as a Prime Minister. If Mr Wickremesighe did what he did as an individual – that must first be established and Mr Wickremesighe needs to be first dismissed through due process of law if there is any – before he is entitled to give evidence as an individual. Without such laws we become individuals without specific relativity.
Mr Sirisena effectively stepped down from his position of President – and hence his suggestion / demand that Mr Wickremesighe also steps down. That is the way Truth surfaces to uphold Itself to support the true seeker. One who fails to value the Executive powers of the President has already proven that there is no one in Sri Lanka who is fit for that position. That is the verdict of Truth.
To my mind, the TNA by accepting the Buddhism foremost provision in the Constitution after its initial protest and did so in the name of peace and harmony – accumulated on behalf of all minorities in Sri Lanka – the Energy to naturally pool such minority Energy from the past in Sri Lanka as well as from wider world currently. That is how the American Energy accumulated through Watergate has come to our support.