Saturday 17 November 2018

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

17 November 2018

Constitution is Dismissing the Lankan President

Sad as it was to watch the rowdy conduct of  Sri Lankan Parliamentarians, we Tamils have gotten used to such in Jaffna by the people, especially in front of the Jaffna Courts. The Government could not bring that under control and we still do not know what level of fear factor influenced the judgments in those cases. Majority rule brings Natural order only when it is belief based. Where there is violence, one knows that the dominant party did not act out of belief.  Adherence to the law is only the next best alternative pathway to order.

Yesterday unarmed uniformed officers and staff of the Courts were seen to protect the Speaker the Hon Karu Jayasuriya. As I watched the video – I stood up and with tears in my eyes I said ‘thank you officers’. They are of my culture – irrespective of which political side they had faith in.
I asked myself as to whether we ought to have expected this? May be.  I know we did not because we were able to go about our activities with less anxieties. The war did not cure the weaknesses in our society. Yesterday, I was counselling a family in Northern Sri Lanka, where the wife separated herself and her three children from her husband because the husband was accusing her of sexual relationship with her father. Knowing the wife  – I knew that that was not true. A woman of loyalty to her marriage is the true measure. I heard from the wife’s immediate family – that the husband was going about telling others that he chased her away because she was not of good conduct. The husband had said that the children were born to the father and that they were not his. There is no way in that community in which one could externally prove this to be false. There is no need to – because the wife is known to be of good character in her community. But the husband did manifest the proof – that he desired such freedom – so he could enjoy pleasures with a younger person – his wife’s sister who is years younger than his wife. That disorderliness was part of his makeup – in his genes. Whenever his mind is idle – he lets his imagination lead him. He works and brings the money home. To his mind – as per its order – the pleasures in return for sharing his income was to be determined by him. The gap is filled by his imagination. I usually fill this gap these days with ‘food’. Imagination – whether it is to elevate or depress is damaging to the brain.
The above happened due to social separation of that community from mainstream. To my mind, the problem that  former minister Mrs Vijayakala Maheswaran used to elevate LTTE was also due to this separation from mainstream.

At National level, the war crimes allegations against Sri Lankan Government appear to have been ‘forgotten’.   This morning a Tamil Diaspora leader linked us to the BBC article headedKhmer Rouge leaders found guilty of Cambodia genocide’ – at
The email communication was headed ‘UN can punish Sri lanka war criminals’.

[For the first time, two leaders of Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia have been convicted of genocide.
His deputy Nuon Chea, 92, and head of state Khieu Samphan, 87, faced trial on charges of exterminating Cham Muslim and ethnic Vietnamese communities.
This was the first genocide verdict given by the UN-backed tribunal on Pol Pot's brutal 1975-1979 regime……………………
Why is the genocide verdict significant?
The Khmer Rouge's crimes have long been referred to as the "Cambodian genocide", but academics and journalists have debated for years as to whether what they did amounts to that crime.
The UN Convention on Genocide speaks of "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group".
So prosecutors at the tribunal tried to prove that the Khmer Rouge specifically tried to do that to these groups - something some experts, including Pol Pot biographer Philip Short, say they did not.
During the trial, a 1978 speech from Pol Pot was cited in which he said that there was "not one seed" of Vietnamese to be found in Cambodia. And historians say that indeed a community of a few hundred thousand was reduced to zero by deportations or killings.
Apart from being targeted in mass executions, Cham victims have said they were banned from following their religion and forced to eat pork under the regime.
The verdict today may not end the debate completely, but victims groups have long waited for this symbol of justice.
"They brought suffering to my relatives" 72-year-old Cham Muslim Los Sat, who lost many family members, told the AFP news agency at the court. " I am really satisfied with the sentences."]
As highlighted above, Marriage between the more orderly and the less orderly where the latter rules the former  results in violence. Separation   is one way of preventing this.
The current problem within the Sri Lankan Government was manifested due to Mr Sirisena being less orderly than Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe. Mr Sirisena pointed to the Bond issue as the fault of Mr Wickremesinghe. That is the parallel of the accusation by the husband. Whether he believed it is proven by his conduct in the current matter.
If disorder in financial management is the reason for Mr Sirisena to dismiss Mr Wickremesinghe, then one concludes that according to Mr Sirisena’s belief – Mr Rajapaksa is a puritan in Public Financial management. It is highly doubtful that majority Sri Lankans would identify with that conclusion. The other allegation was about a Minister colluding with Indian RAW to kill him. If he genuinely believed that to be the case he ought to have initiated  action to investigate – and do so through DUE PROCESS – as any citizen who elected him.

I believe in the saying that Dharma protects those who protect Dharma. On that basis – if the Constitution was respected and its provisions practiced by Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe more than Mr Sirisena – and Mr Sirisena interpreted one part of the Constitution – keeping in mind the benefits to himself – then another part of the Constitution that is beyond his control will raise itself to protect the Constitution.

Sri Lanka Guardian is calling for a Presidential election to resolve this. 

This has been widely shared within the Tamil Diaspora also.

I appreciate the above call  as a People’s choice – the parallel of the medicine recommended by Mr Sirisena as per the express wishes of his group led by Mr Rajapaksa.  
But Section 38 of the Constitution provides for the lawful alternative as follows:
38. Vacation of office by the President.
(2) —
(a)  Any Member of Parliament may, by a writing addressed to the Speaker, give notice of a resolution alleging that the President is permanently incapable of discharging the functions of his office by reason of mental or physical infirmity or that the President has been guilty of—
(i)   intentional violation of the Constitution;
(ii)  treason;
(iii) bribery;
(iv) misconduct or corruption involving the abuse of the powers of his office; or
(v)  any offence under any law, involving moral turpitude and setting out full particulars of the allegation or allegations made and seeking an inquiry and report thereon by the 
Supreme Court.

A believer may or may not win – in a particular institution through  lawful process. But expressing one’s true belief invokes the power of independence – as Gandhi demonstrated. Gandhi was not fearful of being defeated by others because he did not have anything to lose. Gandhi had everything to win. If the President does not resign or call for Presidential elections on the same footing as his call for Parliamentary elections – true parliamentarians committed to the Constitution must seek his dismissal through the above provisions of the Constitution or apply to the Courts on the basis of Article 9 of the Constitution.
The Constitution is not a substance to be interpreted for once benefits. It is the Consolidated form of minds that provide Order to a group.

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