Photo by Walt Jabsco.
There is no rule of law anymore. Even the concept seems quaint, Ceylonese. What the President is doing is often illegal. In particular, not implementing the 17th amendment (Constitutional Council), but also less obvious corruption and state violence. What the Supreme Court Justice is doing is also not legal (in the sense that it rests on case law rather than his whims). In particular, regulating the thickness of siri-siri bags, canceling legal contracts (hedging deal), etc. Everyone in power is generally doing whatever they please and it’s basically a bunch of alpha gorillas bumping into each other. They may be wearing legal wigs or national dress, but their titles have very little to do with their behavior. It’s just a run of the mill power struggle using the law as just another thing to beat each other over the head with. Which is like, whatever, if it didn’t inflict so much suffering on the nation of Sri Lanka.
If these guys are on your side then I guess what they’re doing is fine, noble even. Which I understand, but it’s very short-sighted. Yes these men may rule or do things in your favor now, but they leave no functional systems that can operate without them and, more importantly, above them. It is far better to be ruled by laws rather than men, if only because one is further removed from gorillas than the other. Just like the ‘best run companies run SAP’, the best run nations run this novel subroutine called ‘law’. As in, stuff is thought about and written down by a democratically elected legislature. And then interpreted by a judiciary. And executed by an executive.
What we have now is a bunch of executioners, and all our heads on the block. Mahinda Rajapakse or his family directly control the vast majority of our national budget, which includes a shitload of guns. Chief Justice Sarath Silva rules on everything from plastic bags to what Ministers keep their jobs to the price of petrol. I may agree with individual decisions occasionally, but overall it’s a great disservice to a country that had laws to be suddenly ruled by gorillas.
This is in response to Free Media SL’s post Sri Lankan president issues threat against Supreme Court judges.