13 January 2020
IMMUNITY & PARDON
On 15 November 2019, Ceylon Today reported that retired Sri Lankan Supreme Court Judge Rohini Marasinghe had claimed that Presidential Pardon granted to the Royal Murder case convict Jayamaha was not unreasonable and that it did not violate any Constitutional Provisions.
Yesterday’s Sunday Times article reported as follows under the heading ‘CID and judiciary under close govt. scrutiny’
[Even before the Duminda Silva matter surfaced in tape recordings, there were efforts under way to secure his release from prison. Last week, a group of government MPs signed a petition that he be granted a presidential pardon. It was handed over to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa so he may take it up with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The Sunday Times learnt that the matter came up for discussion at the highest levels. Some of those related to such a pardon including top members of the clergy were consulted for their views. They were not in favour. They opined that Duminda Silva’s lawyers should seek legal recourse. This is particularly in the light of suggestions (in the tapes) of moves to manipulate the judiciary. The discussion also focused on public anger generated by former President Maithripala Sirisena granting a pardon to Jude Shramantha Jayamaha, the brutal killer of Yvonne Johnson in 2005 at the Royal Park apartments.]
When the former President pardoned Jayamaha, he was playing god. Judges also have parallel powers described as Discretionary powers. If due care is not exercised and a believer in law is in anyway damaged by use of such Subjective powers –
Recently, Ravi Nagahawatte quoted as follows:
[Those who oppose President Rajapaksa must remind themselves of a saying by Joseph de Maistre ‘Every nation gets the government it deserves’]
Wikipedia presents the mind of Joseph de Maistre as follows:
[According to Maistre, any attempt to justify government on rational grounds will only lead to unresolvable arguments about the legitimacy and expediency of any existing government and that this in turn will lead to violence and chaos. As a result, Maistre argued that the legitimacy of government must be based on compelling, but non-rational grounds which its subjects must not be allowed to question. Maistre went on to argue that authority in politics should derive from religion and that in Europe this religious authority must ultimately lie with the Pope.]
My interpretation of the above philosophy is that the government is the system of the gods who are above the law but would not act in breach of the law. When law-maker becomes the head of that government – s/he has to be extra careful not to act in breach of the law made by her/him or her/his ancestors in the institution through which such power is exercised. Otherwise one loses / weakens the self confidence derived through ancestral heritage the energy of which precedes our current actions when the mind is idle or still. Idle mind becomes the medium of negative karma and the still mind becomes the medium of positive karma.
Where discretionary powers are used without belief – they become personal to that individual and the karma becomes that of the individual. Otherwise it is the karma of the institution / nation.
A leader who has discretionary powers by law has the moral responsibility that s/he is the whole – as in Thou Aart That / Tat Tvam Asi. That is when natural powers protect the decision-maker from further karma. That is the essence of the message that one ought to aim for no rebirth. Then everyone is one’s heirs.
A decision below the law is of De facto category. One above the law is Divine and attracts the blessings of Truth / God. If the former is made using the authority of the latter, those who rendered the authority get demoted to De facto level.
The fact that Mr Sirisena seeks to come back to Parliament through a lower position, confirms that he did not feel he was Sri Lanka when he pardoned Jayamaha. Also, as per published reports - the victim’s family was not in agreement with the pardon. Hence one is entitled to conclude that Mr Sirisena did not include as his own the feelings of the victim’s family who are the other half of the immunity / pardon picture. The pardon as per reports were on the recommendations of Buddhist clergy to whom Mr Sirisena seems to have submitted.
Wikipedia presents Duminda Silva as follows :
[Duminda Silva, also known as Arumadura Lawrence Romelo Duminda Silva and R. Dumindha Silva is a Sri Lankan politician and a former Member of Parliament. He is the brother of Raynor Silva, owner of the Asia Broadcasting Corporation. Duminda Silva is alleged to have strong connections to the drug trade in Sri Lanka and is a close associate of the powerful former defense secretary of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa. On September 8, 2016, he was sentenced to death by the High Court of Sri Lanka for the murder of Sri Lankan politician Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, a political rival.]
If the above report is a strong indicator of Mr Duminda Silva’s connection to drug trade – then the karma from Jayamaha’s pardon becomes the annihilator of the investment Mr Sirisena made against drug mafia in Sri Lanka. This included the threat of death sentences being activated against drug traffickers. The Presidential Pardon Petition has been submitted to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. This then negates the SLFP-SLPP heritage value in governance. This weakening was strongly confirmed during the 2018 Constitutional crisis – when many Members of Parliament demonstrated below the law de facto decisions to switch sides.
We may show economic wealth one way or the other. But right now we are a long way to being Sovereign. The way we spend would confirm whether we earned that economic wealth or compromised on our sovereignty to impress outsiders.