03 August 2022
THE CARDINAL’S UNJUST DISCRIMINATION
immunity is being tested again in Sri Lanka. Article 35 (1) of the Sri Lankan
constitution provides as follows:
[35. (1) While any person holds office as President,
no proceedings shall be instituted or continued against him in any court or
tribunal in respect of anything done or omitted to be done by him either in his
official or private capacity..]
This, to my mind, places a
ceiling on not only the powers of the Judiciary, but also discourages citizens
from using the judiciary to intimidate the President. All discretionary powers, whether they are allowed by the written law or
not, need to be used after conscious consultations with one’s conscience.
As per Daily
[The application made by President Ranil Wickremesinghe
that he be discharged from the proceedings in connection with the twelve
Fundamental Rights petitions filed over Easter Sunday attacks should be
dismissed by Supreme Court, Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith said.
In terms of precedence,
my mind recognizes the Navaly Church
bombing on 09 July 1995. Then the President was Madam Kumaratunga. According to
[The Church of St. Peter
and Paul in Navaly (also spelled Navali) on the Jaffna Peninsula was bombed by
a Sri Lankan military aircraft on the afternoon of 9 July 1995…. It is
estimated that at least 147 civilians, who had taken refuge from the fighting
inside the church, died as a result of this incident. The victims included men,
women and children……
On 11 July, Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga released a statement that expressed "sorrow at the
loss of lives" and ordered the investigation of the bombing. On 18 July 1995,
the military confirmed that the church was badly damaged but said that they
could not confirm the origin of the bombs that destroyed it. In
2020, Kumaratunga admitted that it was an Air Force bombing, albeit a mistake,
and claimed that she had criticized the Air Force for it at the time...... According to Daya
Somasundaram, a professor of the University of Adelaide, the church was well away from the fighting. He termed this
attack a war crime committed by the Sri Lankan Air
am yet to see any further action – especially through Courts, being taken by
the Church in this regard.
stated previously, a position, like a place, also accumulates ‘karma’/ heritage
-be it positive or negative. Positions are the accumulated minds of those who
provided or received services in an institutional structure. Hence, common laws
are based on positions and not individuals.
brings to mind, the discussion with a young Australian who argued that ‘individuality’
was better than institutional structure. My belief is that the institutional
structure regulates pathways whereas, de facto partnerships based on individuality
tend to promote scattering of Energies. Hence disintegration of rebel groups – armed
terms of institutional structures, when the individual in a position provides service
at higher level than is required by the position, the individual accumulates
positive karma through the position. This is shared with the position. When
that individual’s successors/heirs in
that position, consider themselves to be ‘juniors’ of that person and/or the
consolidated position, they invoke that person’s/position’s mind, as happens in
the use of ‘case-law’. This is often
referred to as ancestral power. It cannot be ‘given or taken’. It comes when
the senior blesses and/or the junior believes in the senior and/or the
when a person does less than is required in the position, the person carries negative
karma and shares it with the position.
the Navaly bombing the responsibility was the President’s and Madam
Kumaratunga failed in her lawful duty to either resign or openly punish the
officials concerned. LTTE – the de facto government in North literally took an ‘eye
for an eye’ in December 1999, when they tried to kill her. Sadly the lady lost
vision in one eye. On behalf of the Tamil community, I mentally said ‘sorry’ to
the lady when I met her over Tsunami Reconstruction Proposal in 2005. Now I
continue to ‘feel’ sorry from time to time.
The LTTE for its part, damaged the leadership value of
Northerners. Tamil leaders are yet to publish their own ‘judgment’ of this
action by the LTTE.
Likewise, Muslim leaders in the case of Easter Bombings.
By actively seeking punishment for those who neglected
their duties that resulted in the Easter Bombings, without questioning the parallel
perpetrators of Navaly Church bombing Cardinal Ranjit is demonstrating different
measures used within the same religious community.
For his part, if Mr Wickremesinghe ‘avoids’
responsibility, he would further weaken the heritage of the position of
President. This is likely to rob him of reminiscing positively after retirement.