‘When it comes to individual behaviour, many things have puzzled me to the point that it seems abnormal and peculiar. They say, every time a human being choose to take charge of his/her destiny, all hell will break loose. Even those who could use one’s brave acts for inspiration will even ridicule and laugh at you for standing up for them. We tend to think this unnatural human act is an isolated incident, but we’re wrong. No place is this more obvious than in national politics. The only conclusion is that few of the powers-that-be have conditioned the minds and souls of the masses to work against their own interests, and this self-impediment has been passed down from generation to generation, even resulting in genetic mutation.’ -ANONYMOUS
Anti-corruption work has been given top most position after the elections, despite the many challenges ahead of us.
The President, and Prime Minister, who represents two different political parties need to be together as without a two thirds majority in Parliament many of the reforms cannot be achieved. Currently the President faces a huge problem of intra-party conflict within his party and is aware of that politically.
His hands have to be strengthened. The Prime Minister virtually runs the country from another party and the chances are that some groups from ends, politicians as well as civil activists are working to mislead the President. There are groups who are trying to create a rift.
Ratnapura show by his bête noire, rejection of his missive’s overture by Chief at Narahenpita shrine, leak of Clique night club’s CCTV clips to social media [Most probably by the Police]; Co-op polls results signifying a substantial shift in party’s ground level support in favour of Rajapaksa faction- all happening within a short space of seven days is ample annoyance to cause nervousness, worry and concern.
Hence the President’s somewhat erratic but tough behaviour is obvious. This is not the first occasion he acted in a seemingly perturbed manner. In nominating his former boss to contest and lead the party at the Parliamentary Elections in mid-2015, he was targeted by the same
group of people. Then he was castigated a ‘traitor’ for two weeks by the very people who toiled to crown him as the all-powerful Executive. In his own words, “They even put extra pressure on the pen, when writing the word traitor to scorn me,” .
True enough all media, print and electronic -turned their wrath towards him, and that was the time we came to his rescue with the pen. The Daily Mirror [July13, 2015] prominently carried our article, Protect Maithri, the Democrat and Statesman
Will President’s salvos dilute UNP - SLFP cohabitation?
Making his outburst against the FCID, CID and the Bribery Commission, President Maithripala Sirisena stated that certain persons, who had no understanding or ability to think on how to run the State, security, management of defence forces and administration make incorrect moves.
He showed what kind of a person he is-senior Minister and veteran Politician.
A.H.M. Fowzie, who has an unblemished record, was indicted for using temporarily a car he used at his former office, until he was given an official vehicle, while those who plundered public property go scot free.
This occurrence undermined Sirisena in his position as the leader of the SLFP and creates a perception that the three institutions are working to destabilise President Maithripala Sirisena.
What had actually angered him?
Some political analysts believe he lashed out at the three institutions in retaliation for the release of video clips of the night club.
“I have stated clearly at a meeting with the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, that I will be forced to make certain hard decisions if the Bribery Commission, CID, FCID are functioning to please the political agendas of interested parties.”
The President made this comments at Defence Ministry organised Sathviru Sanhinda held at Sri Lanka
Foundation Institute. During the latter part of last year, FCID summoned Vasantha Karannagoda, the naval officer who commanded the destruction of two LTTE vessels transporting cache of arms long before the final thrust on enemy and was also the commander of Navy during the height of the last phase of the war.
To be fair by the Executive, he even then reminded authorities on his role as the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, and that they must keep him informed whenever such questioning necessitates.
Did the President make an inappropriate speech?
The Director General of Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe had tendered her resignation.
Questioning of Former Defence Secretary and three Navy Commanders over the floating armoury Avant Garde took place weeks ago but they were summoned before courts only a week ago.
President strongly expressed his displeasure over taking before court, the four war heroes; he said:
“Independent commissions were set up with a purpose and policy. Commissioners serving in them ought to know the functions relevant to them. There is an accepted procedure, as the President as well as the Minister of Defence, I need to know in advance. As per the Constitution, only the Executive has the power to appoint Secretaries and Directors-General.”
Many public officers of government departments had been brought to the FCID for questioning, a process that had generated a great deal of bitterness among government servants. The Attorney General did not file action against Gotabhaya as he could not prosecute him under the PTA or Firearms Ordinance due to the fact that he was the man who worked with FM Sarath Fonseka to destroy the Terrorists outfit, and also the firearms came under his authority.
Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption had filed this case on a certificate, where the Chief Magistrate’s chances of granting bail are restricted. When the CM granted bail to eight accused they planted a fabricated story in the media to tarnish the image of the Magistrate saying that he was given a petrol station by Mahinda Rajapaksa. All done with the intention of crippling President’s popularity.
They tapped the telephone of SC Judge Gooneratne, who exonerated Duminda Silva of murder charges. The President has appointed a committee to investigate and report on the incident. Why did His Excellency choose the war path instead of summoning the relevant people for a meeting and give a bit of his mind in the presence of his Prime Minister? Was rocking the boat and hitting headlines useful in diverting the attentions of the public from the disturbing events of the past week?
POLITICIANS ADDRESS THE ISSUES THOUGH A POLITICAL ANGLE
A breakdown of morale among the genuine officers, who are carrying out these investigations, is inevitable. Surely he would have gained quite an amount of mileage at the cost of self-esteem and dignity of some honourable people at the top positions in the Statutory bodies handling investigations. It also throws into distrust the credibility of the Independent Commissions. The Government has to restore its dignity. Bribery Commission’s Chairman too, as per reports is to quit. Remedying the shortcomings of the unity rule and going forward with an added vigour and strength is how some SLFP leaders [Maithri wing] interpret the outburst, while the UNP hierarchy believes that the President is bound to protect and safeguard Good Governance and the supremacy of the law. “They wanted political reforms, protection of law and order, supremacy of the law, freedom, democracy, human rights and fundamental rights. When I am executing these things,
I will not be submissive or under obligation to anybody. As the President I am bound to ensure the national security, to protect the tri-forces, give necessary facilities to them and protect their honour,” The President said that he would never allow the weakening of the Security Forces: “If the intelligence officers now in remand custody have allegedly committed any offense they should be tried in courts, after getting them released on bail. If not ensure their early release. The suspects have their Fundamental Rights to secure bail and get their case be heard before the courts of law,” the President stressed. The President stated that he does not wish these institutions to be politicised. Appointing a suitably qualified independent person to head the Bribery Commission is President’s next priority.