Editorial

Prez stumps ‘civil’ society

Summary

And now, the yahapalanists have to contend with the ‘dictator’ they love to hate…

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, called a war-man, dictator, authoritarian and other derogatory names, has called the bluff of his detractors. He has made mockery of the justification for independent commissions (which gave us the 17the and 19th amendments) by recommending the 6 most senior judges for promotions to the Supreme Court.

Here are the names: Dilip Nawaz, Kumudini Wickremasinghe, Shiran Goonaratne, Mahinda Samayawardena, Achala Wengappuli and Janak De Silva.

Are they party men? Are they friends? Have any of them in previous capacities as attorney’s represented him in court cases?

Well, no.

Contrast this with the operations of the yahapalana government with respect to appointments.

First of all the Constitutional Council (much celebrated then and even more celebrated after the relevant section in the 19th was amended). The so-called ‘independents’ were Ranil Wickremesinghe’s buddies. They weren’t independent. They weren’t ‘eminent personalities’ as envisaged by the authors of the amendments.

What did they do? Well, they retired the notion of ‘meritocracy.’ They just said ‘yes, sir’ to their boss, Ranil Wickremesinghe. Interestingly, these champions (self-labeled) of all lovely things such as democracy and judicial independence, made sure that pals of the boss and fellow political travelers could leapfrog to high posts.

And now, they have to contend with the ‘dictator’ they love to hate, who at least in this instance, did what they were supposed to do.

Sometime this weekend, they will all gather these constitutional experts and their cheering squad, we assume, in some lovely place with a rarefied atmosphere, wearing masks and keeping social distance. Then someone will pull up a picture of Gotabaya Rajapaksa on his/her phone, place the phone on mantlepiece or some other ‘high place’ and in one voice of utmost penitence utter these words :

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa (through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault)’

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