Tuesday 2 July 2019

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

02 July  2019

Death Penalty – Indian analysis v Sri Lankan analysis

[Yet, the ultimate question pertains not to the relevance and need for death-penalty, but to the powers for the Executive President, as it stands today, to sign off death warrants, unilaterally, and maybe withdraw the same, again unilaterally. In neighbouring nations like India, there are recorded Supreme Court decisions, dating back to the days of Indira Gandhi assassins, where the constitutional powers of the nation’s President, to decide on clemency petitions of death-row convicts, were ruled as being ‘objective’ and not ‘subjective’.
Interpreted in common man’s lingo, it means that in India, the President cannot act unilaterally in the matter, but has to act on the ‘aid and advice of the Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as the head’. The assumption, as also the reality, is that the Indian Council of Ministers, acting through the Union Cabinet, has always been guided by bureaucratic inputs in the matter, with no cause for concern about the politicisation of such decisions.] Colombo Gazette article headed ‘Executions under Executive Presidency’ by N Sathiya Moorthy .
An outcome based decision is objective. Such a decision could be could be with or without belief. Just because it is made by one individual – Mr Sirisena in this instance does not necessarily make it Subjective nor does the decision become Objective because it is has been passed through ‘Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister.’ If that group is driven by personal and/or group benefits – it is still Subjective. An objective decision is confirmed by the test of science – that the connection between policy (cause) and the outcome (effect) could be worked out independent of any subject’s endorsements.  It must be right for us as per our conscience on the basis of our own investment in the policy. If we become the policy – then our Equal and Opposite partner is the Effect of that policy. In the Objective pathway we do not see the person/s involved but go from Causal Energy direct to manifestation of the Objectively measurable Mass/ outcome. We do not see any person interpreting on the way. It is Policy = Mass equation. In terms of Politics it is Policy = votes equation. This means the number of votes that one has earned should not be more or less due to the application.
Using Newton’s third law of motion, we accept that there is an Equal and Opposite reaction  to every action. When we are able to make that connection – with a still mind – we would register the outcome as a direct translation of the policy. That is when the decision confirms the Objective pathway. Newton did not need a group endorsement to declare his policy. If Mr Sirisena had made the policy which would confirm democracy – he would not need a Council of Ministers to endorse it. But that independence was lost when he reinstated Mr Rajapaksa in breach of the promise given to the voters – to abolish the falsity of voters lacking in belief. If there was even one believer in Sri Lanka whose true feelings for Sri Lanka were stronger than that of Mr Sirisena – that person has the power to expose Mr Sirisena’s own falsity. Now this has extended to taking the lives of those very voters whom he had the responsibility to cure through democratic process or through the Buddhist pathway. Buddha as per my belief would not kill but cure by including the criminal as a follower. Hence the signing of the death penalty confirms deviation from Buddha’s pathway.
The reason is radicalization. Those who believe in rebirth – would identify with the policy that we need to take only the Truth of our life in one structure when we go into a different structure. If we take the memory of benefits – then we rely on the old structure that produced those benefits. When we use that old structure in a new environment – it is by effect radicalization. When combined with death penalty – it becomes violent radicalization. In the case of Mr Sirisena, this began with the Rajapaksa regime during which soldiers killed indiscriminately. By celebrating that as victory – the government went back to the pre-democratic time when rulers used subjective powers to mark rights and wrongs.

Wikipedia reports as follows about the death penalty in Sri Lanka:
[The death penalty has a long history in Sri Lanka. The British restricted the death penalty after they took control of the island in 1815 to the crimes of murder and "waging war against the King."
After independence, then Prime Minister S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike abolished capital punishment in 1956. However, it was quickly reintroduced after his assassination in 1959. Opposition to the death penalty started to become increasingly widespread and the United National Party government modified the use of it in its 1978 rewrite of the constitution. Under the new arrangement, death sentences could only be carried out if authorized by the trial judge, the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice. If there was no agreement, the sentence was to be commuted to life imprisonment. The sentence was also to be ratified by the President. This clause effectively ended executions. The last execution in Sri Lanka took place in 1976.]
The origin was in British rule – where the King was the ultimate decider. This place was allocated to the leading Buddhist monk. It is noteworthy that Mr Bandaranaike His mind order at that time is confirmed as follows:
[In order to promote Sinhalese culture and community interests, Bandaranaike founded the Sinhala Maha Sabha in 1936. He introduced the Free Lanka Bill in the State Council in 1945  .  In 1947, when Leader of the House, D. S. Senanayake presented the Soulbury Constitution to the State Council, Bandaranaike seconded the motion stating that he does so as the Sinhala Maha Sabha was the largest party in the State Council……..
He contested for the newly formed House of Representatives in the 1947 election from the UNP from Attanagalla, winning with a good majority. In September 1947, D. S. Senanayake appointed him to his cabinet as the first Minister of Health and Local Government of Ceylon and he was elected as the Leader of the House. Effectively this made Bandaranaike the most senior member of the cabinet, after the Prime Minister. In fact, Senanayake had Sir Oliver Goonetilleke discuss with Bandaranaike as leader of the Sinhala Maha Sabha, the draft agreements for independence; which Bandaranaike received with mixed feelings. However, he did not object and the agreements signed with the Britain government making way for Ceylon to gain self-rule. As leader of the house, he delivered the address of thanks at the ceremonial opening of parliament on 4 February 1948, which marked Ceylon's independence from Britain.] Wikipedia
The above confirms that Mr Bandaranaike rose to power through Sinhala Maha Sabha and as we know – he was given the death sentence also by that group. The following report confirms how he expressed his cure from that Buddhist Radicalization:
[Talduwe Somarama, a Buddhist monk responsible for the assassination of S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike in 1959. He was executed by hanging on July 6 1962. A fortnight before his execution, he gave up his robes, and two days before, he was baptised by an Anglican priest] Wikipedia
In essence when we bring the past as is to benefit in our current period which has a new structure – it amounts to radicalization because the effects are exponential in value. This manifestation  is naturally invoked by someone who carries the past as Belief but is not respected by the leader, when that believer is active in the same group as the apparent leader.  It is to prevent such manifestations that the rulers usually had religious leaders as their advisors.
One needs to ask whether the ‘spirit’ of Mr Bandaranaike worked through his daughter in this regard:
[Over the last decade, however, president Chandrika Kumaratunga made several attempts to re-introduce the death penalty. In March 1999, after spurts of violence near the end of her first term in office, she stated that the government would be reintroducing the death penalty. However, she was forced to back down in the face of overwhelming public protest. The issue hung in the balance, with all death sentences from then on being neither commuted to life nor carried out. After discussions were held regarding the matter, the motion that commuted all death sentences to life in prison was revoked in January 2001.
On November 19, 2004, High Court Judge Sarath Ambepitiya was gunned down as he arrived home from work. He had a reputation for handing out tough sentences. The assassination immediately prompted Kumaratunga to effectively reinstate capital punishment.]
When the law based on one’s experienced truth – is vastly different to the law used to punish an offender, the punishment becomes excessive and to the extent the punished has deeper ownership in the issue – s/he has the power to reverse it to punish the punisher. Hasty rulers may panic and resort to revenge by taking an eye for an eye.
The Wikipedia reports as follows in relation to what happened before the current president reintroduced the Death Penalty:

[With the end of the Sri Lankan Civil War the country saw a sharp rise in child abuse, rape, murder and drug trafficking, prompting some lawyers and politicians to call for the reinstatement of the death penalty. Newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena, in 2015, said he supports a dialogue on the introduction of the death penalty should it be approved by Parliament. The statement coming after a series of high profile incidents of rape, killing and sexual abuse.]
Punishment by death was part of the rule by militants. By claiming victory over the LTTE – the government confirmed that they were using the same yardstick as the LTTE  - to punish or to reward. Both used the achievements of the past for current benefits. Victory cannot be claimed over another without the use of common yardstick. In other words they were endorsing the LTTE using the death penalty and now this president is confirming that as law.
This is why they say ‘As you sow – so shall you reap’ . Yes, the decision is highly subjective – not because President Sirisena is approving it – but because LTTE is working through the mind of the President to write their own rule as Sri Lanka’s. A radicalized mind is a haunted mind. A believing mind is a sacred mind. The problem is not that it is subjective but whether it activates the skin of past personalities who left unfinished business that tempts the frivolous mind.

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