Aiyo Sirisena! Cut Out The Bluff!


By Upatissa Pethiyagoda

Dr. Upatissa Pethiyagoda

Poor ex-President Maithripala Sirisena has fallen off his lofty perch and being compelled to become a mendicant, sitting behind a mat, under the Bo tree in Pettah. What a shame that a man fit enough to be the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is too poor to pay One Hundred Million rupees as his share of damages to be paid to the victims of the Easter Sunday Bombing (2019), that killed some 268 innocents and permanently disabled several hundreds more, in explosions at two churches and three luxury hotels frequented by foreign tourists. This was a tragedy of massive proportions.

The Supreme Court finding was that Mr Sirisena, pleading sickness, was away in Singapore. Considering all evidence, the Court concluded that he was guilty of gross dereliction of duty and in callous disregard of prior knowledge that this tragedy was to occur.

In the past, until about 1972, persons aggrieved by our Court decisions, had recourse to The Privy Council in the U.K. However, in the heady days of declaring ourselves an Independent State, we kicked this symbol of justice out of our nation. This was a triumphant change wrought by politicians of that time. We now have no channel beyond our Supreme Court, to seek relief for any perceived injustice, or error of our Court system.     

But, should our erstwhile Leader, be compelled to beg from his citizens, for money to honour the verdict of the Supreme Court? There being nowhere that an aggrieved citizen could plead for review of a verdict, delivered by our highest court.

But clearly, judging by the first attempt in Kandy, the chance of meeting this burdensome plight of our Ex-President, is doomed to fail. Some alternative, if any, has to be found. The dignity of his last office means that he can neither beg nor steal. There seems only one option that remains— he needs to borrow. But then, who will be able or willing to lend such a colossal sum?

I could suggest one other solution. There is a person by the same name, (Maithripala Sirisena) who is believed to have a net wealth of 14 Million in US Dollars, and a further Rs 5.32 Billion (yes, with a “B”) locally. This could comfortably cover the Rs 100 million fine. Failing which, there is a person called Percival. Mahinda Rajapaksa who commands a net worth of US $ 18 billion (Yes, spelt with a ‘B’) to whom a hundred million Rupees would be “Petty Cash”. There was also some 18 million (?) rupees in currency notes, allegedly found in Queen’s House by those who stormed it, after Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa left in a hurry. This is said to be now in Police custody. 

That pitiable request for public donation is ripe. Is it not? Aiyo!!


The post Aiyo Sirisena! Cut Out The Bluff! appeared first on Colombo Telegraph.

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