16 September 2021
Intoxicating Executive Powers
The Daily News report ‘Lohan Ratwatta resigns from his portfolio’ brought to mind, the resignation of the then Vice Chancellor of the University of NSW – Professor Rory Hume, about whose resignation, the Wikipedia reports as follows:
[Hume's term as vice-chancellor at UNSW was marked by disagreements within the university council over allegations involving medical researcher Professor Bruce Hall, who was accused of serious scientific misconduct. Hume cited the reason for his departure as 'a breakdown of his relationship with the university Council'.]
At that time I was going through the process of defending myself against the Trespass charges laid by the Vice Chancellor’s office through the Police. It was the then Registrar of the Waverley Local Court who showed me the newspaper article regarding the alleged resignation. The ‘attitude’ of the Court staff confirmed to me that they thought that injustice to me also had contributed to that outcome. That was the only direct reason known to them. Those experiences confirmed to me the power of Truth. Truth recognises no external boundaries.
The Daily Mirror report that brought to mind, the above experience, states:
[State Minister of Prison Management, Lohan Ratwatta has resigned from his portfolio a short while ago. He has sent his resignation letter to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
The President's Media Division in a statement said Ratwatta had tendered his resignation acknowledging his responsibility for the incidents that took place at the Welikada and Anuradhapura Prison premises.
Ratwatte informed President Gotabaya Rajapaksa regarding his decision today and the President accepted his resignation, the PMD said. ]
A fellow Australian of Sri Lankan origin responded as follow to my article on this matter:
[ABSOLUTELY dear Gaja. I simply cannot agree more with you and others who protested about this.
Not only should he be sacked forthwith, he should be arrested and placed in remand for one to three months pending trial and at trial he should be given at least 30 year RI !
He has brought untold shame as have done many others, on Sri Lanka by his shameful, lowest of low level actions. ]
The above member by belief, represents the Educated in the Governing Council of the People of Sri Lanka. This is a natural formation which is given recognized in institutions such as Universities. When the elected members are true representatives of all owners – least executive power is needed to regulate. The institution regulates itself through governing power.
This resignation of the minister was as a result of Public Outcry. One who has executive powers has/d the duty to dismiss the Minister after inquiry through Due Process. That seems to be the President to whom the resignation was handed over.
Where we ‘accept’ decisions before inquiry through Due Processes – we automatically demote the level of Administrative standards and the relevant structures.
Chronology of events as they happened show half the picture. The other half is as per our true measures for our own purposes of self-governance. The first half is as follows:
1. As per the Ministry’s report the following was recorded on 05 December 2020:
Hon. Lohan Ratwatte, State Minister of Prison Management and Prisoners’ Rehabilitation made a sudden observation visit to the Welikada Prison today (05.12.2020). Prisoners who had been protesting on the roof for days were asked to climb down from the roof and their problems were cordially discussed, and focusing mainly on their request for a four-year review process and the pardon of inmates over 75 years of age with full disabilities and chronic diseases, the Hon. State Minister Lohan Ratwatte stated that the Ministry of Prison Management and Prisoners Rehabilitation has already drawn its attention in this regard, and is preparing to grant pardon so and to release inmates on bail for minor offenses. The State Minister made aware the inmates about the systematic and expeditious process of PCR testing for the COVID- 19 virus in prisons, which was another request demanded by them, and the prisoners were instructed not to hold such protests again and to inform the State Minister regarding all the problems of the inmates. Finally, the Hon. Minister expressing his views to the media, stated that the four-year review period would be implemented expeditiously on the instructions of His Excellency the President and that he would represent all detainees and suspects who could be released on bail for any justifiable reasons. The Hon. State Minister Lohan Ratwatte stated that he will work with the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army to take the maximum possible action to eradicate the COVID -19 virus from prisons.
2. The following was recorded on 24 June 2021:
(i) On June 24, 2021, he ( Mr Duminda Silva) was released under a special presidential pardon by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. - Wikipedia
(ii) Sri Lanka released 93 prisoners including 16 ex-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) combatants on a presidential pardon issued marking the Poson full moon poya day on June 24. – Economy Next
3. On 12 & 13 September 2021
State Minister of Prison Management and Prisoners’ Rehabilitation Lohan Ratwatte who, as exclusively reported by The Morning on Monday (13) had allegedly forcibly entered the Welikada Prison premises with a group of his friends whilst under the influence of liquor had allegedly similarly entered the Anuradhapura Prison on Sunday (12) evening.
4. On 13 September 2021, the UN High Commissioner for Human rights – Madam Michelle Bachelet reported as follows:
The President’s recent pardon of a former member of parliament, Duminda Silva, who was convicted for killing a politician in 2011, also risks eroding confidence in the rule of law and judicial process.