Read the Con­sti­tu­tion be­fore you re­turn to farm­ing

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - OPINION -

Aiyo Sirisena,

It was four weeks ago that I last wrote to you and what a time it has been since then. Ev­ery­one has been run­ning around in cir­cles, blam­ing you for start­ing all these shenani­gans. In the mean­time, we have achieved what must surely be a world record-- go­ing from hav­ing two Prime Min­is­ters to none!

Aiyo Sirisena, most politi­cians abide by the rule that any pub­lic­ity is bet­ter than no pub­lic­ity. In the last month, you have got an enor­mous amount of pub­lic­ity that you could have only dreamed of but I feel that in this in­stance at least, no pub­lic­ity would have been much bet­ter than the pub­lic­ity you got.

I also heard that sales of the book about you, ‘ Janaad­hipathi Thaaththa’, have in­creased greatly in the last month. Still, did you know that peo­ple are cir­cu­lat­ing ex­tracts that are sup­pos­edly from that book that are not very flat­ter­ing? These ex­tracts are fake but the prob­lem is, most peo­ple think they are real!

Any­way, Aiyo Sirisena, why I wanted to write to you now is to in­quire about a few state­ments that you have made in the past few weeks. Al­though noth­ing you say or do can sur­prise us now, what you have said raises se­ri­ous ques­tions, so much so that some peo­ple are re­ally ques­tion­ing your san­ity.

For in­stance, you were lament­ing that the Green Man has de­stroyed the great Green party of the Se­nanayakes, Jayewar­denes and Pre­madasas. The Green Man has cer­tainly presided over the de­cline of the Greens, but haven’t you done the same to the great Blue party built up by the Ban­daranaikes?

You also called the Green Man a ‘ karu­maya’ or a curse, urg­ing us to get rid of him. Most peo­ple will feel that you are be­ing un­grate­ful to the man who got you to the top. Oth­ers will say that he is in­deed a ‘ karu­maya’ only be­cause he is re­spon­si­ble for get­ting you--and, there­fore, us-- to where we are to­day.

You even said you will not ap­point the Green Man as PM ever again-even if all 225 MPs sup­port him.

Aiyo Sirisena, there is this doc­u­ment called the ‘Con­sti­tu­tion’ which you should start read­ing, in­stead of go­ing to bed at 10 o’clock af­ter read­ing a few pages from ‘ Janaad­hipathi Thaaththa’.

If you read the Con­sti­tu­tion which, by the way, you have taken an oath to up­hold, it says you should ap­point as PM, the per­son who has the con­fi­dence of Par­lia­ment. In say­ing you will never ap­point the Green Man you are vi­o­lat­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion, Aiyo Sirisena--though that is noth­ing new to you now.

I agree that there is di­vided opin­ion about whether the Green Man should re­turn as PM. He hasn’t done him­self any favours in the past three years, what with bond scams oc­cur­ring un­der his watch. This is his fourth stint as PM and he hasn’t led the Greens to a de­ci­sive vic­tory in twenty-five years.

Still, many feel he must be al­lowed to re­turn as PM even for a day. Or else, it sets a prece­dent where the Pres­i­dent can hire and fire PMs at will, dis­re­gard­ing who the peo­ple voted for. We have now seen how ab­so­lute power cor­rupts ab­so­lutely, es­pe­cially when it is in the hands of petty, in­se­cure lead­ers.

I was also sur­prised to hear you say, re­fer­ring to the re­cent or­der from the Court of Ap­peal pre­vent­ing Mahinda maama and his min­is­ters from func­tion­ing, that it was like a priest in a vil­lage tem­ple do­ing what the ma­hanayake priests should do. Clearly, you didn’t agree with what the Court of Ap­peal did.

You may be do­ing as you please these days, Aiyo Sirisena, but you must mind your lan­guage. Ran­jan has been ac­cused of con­tempt of court and what you said can amount to that too--but, as Satel­lite will tell you if you are still on talk­ing terms with her, pres­i­den­tial im­mu­nity lasts only till you leave of­fice.

You-- and Mahinda maama, for that mat­ter-have been telling us that what you have done is for the greater good of the coun­try and that you are act­ing in the best demo­cratic tra­di­tions by try­ing to hold a gen­eral elec­tion, prob­a­bly be­cause you feel the tim­ing is best for you--and not so good for the Greens.

The courts--or the ‘ma­hanayakes’ as you like to call them--are de­cid­ing whether that is the case but if hav­ing elec­tions to re­flect the will of the peo­ple is the best op­tion, I can tell you what else you should do: along with a gen­eral elec­tion, why don’t you also have a pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, Aiyo Sirisena?

Yours truly,

Punchi Putha

PS - You had said that if you are pushed to your lim­its, you will re­sign and re­turn to farm­ing in Polon­naruwa. That is a plan that will put the na­tion out of its mis­ery and it won’t be dif­fer­ent to what you are do­ing now-- get­ting your­self bathed in mud. Think about it se­ri­ously, will you, Aiyo Sirisena?

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