‘Siri-o-Cracy’ is a genial term for a laundered version of Yahapalanaya, more off than on. Reached the outer border of popularity with the naming of three Special Presidential Commissioners to hear the inquiry into the Bond issue of the Central Bank [Customized as the ‘Central-gate’] where the media [Especially the ‘deep –throats’ from FT/ Sirisa) can take a deep bow with their courageous proprietors to the sound of applause.
Justices Chitrasiri and Prassana Jaywardane - both Chief Justices- in – Waiting (Sooner the better, than late and never) - are not politically bent: Will keep strictly to the rule of law by instinct and desire. Third - a respectable gent, no doubt, with a nod from a worthy Auditor General [Where are you Mr. Commissioner General of Elections–feted in 2015, looks tired at your assignment in 2016: Should emulate the worthy superior] wears a weatherproof vest against climatic changes in politics with a consistent air of independence.
Three worthy names in the Commission cleansed the President partially, placing the Prime Minister in peril with his three-man committee report– shows the difference between ‘good’ and the ‘ugly’.
The ‘bad’comes into play as the term of reference is extended to UPFA times. The Central Bank is the meeting place of Ranil and Mahinda, where the shadows of Mahendran and Cabraal linger a distance more than of their political masters.
Many wonder whether there was bi-partisanship to help common friends?
Hopefully, both epochs are under inquiry, it is prudent for the Commission to inquire into the twin eras of wrong doings simultaneously avoiding possible charges of political favouration. Looking chronologically, if Cabraal era is first investigated, belonging to a distant past, allegations will fly, this is a ‘cover-up commission’ against political opponents amidst the corruption still on?
Will it make the more heinous wrong - too long untouched, unmoved.
Commission must be cautious to keep its name clean, as the offenders wield influence in both political camps. If the credit goes to the Commission they must share it with prime participants that helped in the task of uncovering the wrong and unveiling the truth by being on the ball all the time.
There is no punishment that can be declared by a presidential commission but at conclusion can submit the names the wrongdoers and their side kicks, extent of the wrong doing and provide a road map to bring them to book. The reports of the COPE, the Auditor General and the Central Bank show there is misconduct but does not indicate specifically the master minds of the fraud.
Capable of fast tracking with time limits are imposed to reach a conclusion; without granting periodic extensions causing delay and be not tolerant for adjournments on account of the delicate state of health of the legal practitioners: Forever asking for adjournment on grounds of ill health: More the unprepared.
Display the spirit of eager beavers on the ‘work – to– finish’ rule. Fortunately, these two supreme judges have earned a reputation of not being receptive to vague applications to delay proceedings. Compare these celebrated names of repute with the little-known three champions appointed by Ranil.
A smart political move check-mated Mahinda [On a high after the Nugegoda meeting] though the majority present at Nugegoda was a part of a travelling congregation.
Old pals in the SLFP amalgamated can dethrone ‘King’ Ranil; Did not once but twice to win the adoration of the voters, that have developed mental fatigue with no progress made on recovering the loot stolen from public coffers.
There is too much soft peddling by the gentlemanly Central Bank.
Originally, the intended Constitutional amendments were fixed for debate in February 2017; have remained in the freezer this long because of a Presidential direction. President realised that danger was beckoning with the setting of a platform an Opposition to coalesce to find an isolated issue opposition for then Special Presidential Commission their grit and latch on to the principle that an honest non-political Commission carries value for a better tomorrow.
Men of integrity and ingenuity such as the named Commissioners cannot be found among the apparatchiks that are usually appointed by the present and past governments. Bravo Sirisena.
He has moved a peg up but is in no winning position with his entourage becoming more comical by the day.
There is still a vacuum that needs a filling. Who could successfully prosecute? Either counsel retained by the Presidential Commission on the direction of its members or counsel of the Attorney General’s Department.
Should not fluff the opportunity by relying on the officers of the Attorney General’s Department known to take their work leisurely unless he is an able man (There are able men in AG’s Department) as was the counsel for the State before the Udulagama Special Presidential Commission on Human Rights violations.
In any event, it is prudent to retain private counsel too, as the matters in dispute are too grave to be left in hands of a much-criticized fallen department with a glorious past.
Remember the great George Chitty was retained to lead the prosecution in the Bandaranaike assassination case and in recent times in the celebrated Constitutional Law case, that determined State Land belongs to the Central Government in terms of the 13th Amendment and not to the peripheral administration as was wildly believed.
In the recent land case the writer was retained as counsel with no expense by the last government.
Armed with precedents, President should shop amongst Presidential Counsel to find a home for counsel.