The naked emperor's Friday night horrors
I am writing to you for the second time in two weeks. That is unprecedented but then, what we are realising is that you are an unprecedented President. With you in charge, everything seems to happen on Friday nights, when the nation shuts down for the weekend -and this happened this Friday as well.
Two weeks ago, on a Friday night, you sacked the Green Man as PM, ignoring every rule in the book. All hell broke loose because, even though our country’s commitment to democracy has been tested many times, no Head of State had acted in such blatant disregard of the laws of the land until then.
Two days ago, also on a Friday night, you dissolved Parliament. Even a Year Ten student of Civics could have told you that you do not have the authority to do so. I shudder to think of what might happen next Friday. Maybe you will issue a gazette saying you are President for life, Aiyo Sirisena!
What is with you and Friday nights, Aiyo Sirisena? Do you have ‘ aappa’ (hoppers) for dinner every Friday night and then suffer some ailment which makes you unable to think straight? Or, is it that you are now acting as Mahinda maama’s ‘Man Friday’ and doing his bidding, with no questions asked?
I don’t know what book of rules you followed when you were Grama Sevaka many years ago, Aiyo Sirisena, but when you are running a country, there is a document called the Constitution, the supreme law of the country. That is what you abide by. It tells you what you should do -- and even more importantly, what you cannot do.
From your recent actions, Aiyo Sirisena, it looks as if you haven’t read this document or, if you read it, you have forgotten most of its contents. Some are also beginning to wonder whether you are losing your marbles because what you have forgotten is what you yourself introduced -- the 19th Amendment.
Three years ago, people voted you into office, ignoring the mighty Mahinda maama because you promised to abolish the Executive Presidency or at the very least, take away most of its powers so that he or she couldn’t act like a dictator. Now you are behaving exactly like such a dictator, Aiyo Sirisena.
Going by what we saw recently, you act as if all you need to govern is the power to issue a gazette. I’m surprised that you stopped at swearing in only a handful of ministers. Why, you could have sworn in five dozen because you don’t care about limits set out in the Constitution, do you, Aiyo Sirisena?
After you sacked the Green Man -- even if you didn’t have the power to do so -- you boasted that you would show a majority in Parliament. Obviously, you couldn’t do so despite the attempts at bribery by your cronies like SB, who I’m told is now more popularly known as ‘Rungay da, oya enne nedda’!
You then told us that you offered the Premiership to Karu and Sajith, but they wouldn’t take it. It is heartening to know that at least some people in politics are decent and behave like gentlemen and not backstab their leaders at the first opportunity they get -- although that is something foreign to you.
Next you got on stage and spoke about butterflies and about the Green Man and his loyalists in the most personal and disgusting manner, offending an entire community of people. That is not how a Head of State should speak in public but you need to be a fit and proper Head of State to realise that.
You also said that, by appointing Mahinda maama as PM, you had played only one trump and that you had many other trumps up your sleeve. I suppose dissolution of Parliament was what you were referring to but do you realise that everyone now treats as the ‘Joker’ of the pack, Aiyo Sirisena?
Did you know that a few days ago the people who worked hard to bring you to where you are today gathered to commemorate Sobhitha hamuduruwo? Did you know that they apologised to the country for their folly? Thankfully, that hamuduruwo is not with us to witness your treachery, Aiyo Sirisena.
Before ‘dissolving’ Parliament, Aiyo Sirisena, you appointed many ministers. Among them were the people who abused you during your campaign. Then again, wouldn’t Wimal be happy that he is able to distribute more houses to his family and Johnny must be thrilled he can do a few more trade deals?
You have now set a precedent by doing what you want, ignoring the Constitution altogether. So, it wouldn’t surprise me if Mahinda maama does the same -- saying that he can run again for President. After all, who cares about the Constitution now? Isn’t that a comforting thought, Aiyo Sirisena?
I am reminded of what you said at Nikaweratiya a year ago. ‘ Koley iraagena angey halaaganna epa, laundry hathakin wath sudda karanna behe’ (Don’t tear the gravy bag and spill it on your clothes, it can’t be cleaned even by seven laundries). Isn’t that what you have just done, Aiyo Sirisena? Yours truly, Punchi Putha PS - I am sure you would have heard of the tale of the Emperor’s new clothes where someone tricked an Emperor into believing that his new clothes were visible only to ‘smart’ people. The Emperor walked about naked and no one dared to tell him, until a little boy pointed it out. In this instance, however, many people are pointing this out to you, Aiyo Sirisena, but you don’t seem to realise how politically naked you are!