Dayan Jayatilleke in an interview with the Mirror of 7 January,2013, which introduces him as a “leading intellectuals, ex-diplomat, Political scientist, university don and raconteur, ” says, “having spoken in support of President Rajapaksa in his re-election campaign in December 2009 - which I do not regret for a moment - I criticized the detention of Gen Sarath Fonseka, in an article in the Daily Mirror and The Island published on Feb 15th 2010, under the title ‘A Perfect Blunder’, in which I listed ten reasons for characterizing it as such. I would call the impeachment motion and the manner of its implementation ‘A Perfect Blunder – 2’.
He calls the present interview an “ Impeachment, A perfect Blunder – 2” ., because he explains, he criticised the “ detention of Gen Sarath Fonseka, in an article in the Daily Mirror and The Island published on Feb 15th 2010, under the title ‘A Perfect Blunder’ ”
Sarath Fonseka , poor man, he committed the worst folly in presenting himself as a politician, sacrificing his well earned title of “Great heroic Son of Sri Lanka” It was perhaps well that he was sent to prison which he should have experienced not as a humiliation, but as a lesson of humility to understand that life is not only for selfish achievements, but also for selfless dedication.
He may have by now understood that all those who gather around a person in his prosperity cannot be expected to be around him in his adversity. Life is after all an experience of learning.
However, lets get back to the Intellectual raconteur Dayan Jayatilleke’s Impeachment, A Perfect Blunder- 2.
He starts off in pious spirituality, “ All religions preach that one should do unto others as you would have them do unto you and that one should not do unto others as you would not wish them to do unto you.”
Then he starts of with his habit of quoting from others. This time he begins with Emmanuel Kant and writes -“ Emmanuel Kant put forward his dictum of the Categorical Imperative, which means that one should take action only if one wishes those actions to be raised to the level of a universal practice.”
From there he explains the complexities of philosophy in his own words, “ those who rightly decry unfairness in the accusations and indictments of the Sri Lankan authorities by international bodies must not be so hypocritical as to practice blatant unfairness in domestic processes.”
Dayan Jayatilleke comes to the first subject on which he is interviewed and says, “ I view this impeachment as a diplomat, or more accurately an ex-diplomat, a political scientist, and as a citizen. I am appalled that in a context in which we are scheduled to host the Commonwealth summit and are subject to a growing campaign of hostility by the anti-Sri Lanka movement in the UK, the government has made this country a larger target and has made the task of these lobbyists easier by embarking on this impeachment motion in this crude fashion.”
Perhaps Dayan Jayatilleke wants the Government to fold its arms and stand by watching the high officials conducts themselves improperly against accepted legal norms, or he wants punishment meted out only against the ordinary citizens, leaving the high officials and social elite to do whatever they please to do ?
This is why it is far better to be an ordinary citizen without all those embellishments and titles of Dayan Jayatilleke, as an ordinary citizen would see the Impeachment differently and would understand the necessity of it according to the simple knowledge of the fact that the Chief Justice the top most official of Sri Lanka cannot be “punished” for moral imperfection like any body else. He understands that there should be a different way to pass “judgement” on a Chief Justice without dragging her before a Court of Law like an ordinary no-body. This understanding is beyond Dayan Jayatilleke, because he thinks differently from an ordinary citizen, as an intellectual in terms of religious philosophy and Emmanuel Kant’s categorical imperatives.
He thinks the Impeachment Motion should have been avoided not because it is wrong or not, but because, “…. in a context in which we are scheduled to host the Commonwealth summit and are subject to a growing campaign of hostility by the anti-Sri Lanka movement in the UK, the government has made this country a larger target and has made the task of these lobbyists easier by embarking on this impeachment motion in this crude fashion.”
And then as the other reason why the Impeachment is A Perfect Blunder -2, he says “I am aghast that we have undermined our own argument that the TNA should enter the PSC, and reinforced the TNA’s argument as to why it is reluctant to do so, by permitting a PSC to treat the Chief Justice in the manner that it has! ”
He is against the Impeachment as the TNA which we wont in the main stream of Sri Lanka politics will not be happy the way the government is treating CJ with an impeachment. Are these really valid reasons ? Are we to accept these ridiculous arguments because it comes from an “intellectual and a political scientist according to his own description ?
Those are really not valid reasons to call the Impeachment Motion against the Chief Justice a blunder, same as it was to call the Imprisonment of Sarath Fonseka, a blunder. Sri Lanka cannot always be mindful of the possible condemnation by the International Community, the NGOs, Human Rights Watch, the Amnesti International , International Crisis Group, UNCHR, or the pro-terrorist diaspora, when ever it has to take action in terms of its own Constitution against those who breach the confidence placed on them.
They may condemn Sri Lanka and may even put Sri Lanka into greater difficulty, but shouldn’t we assert our rights to do what we think is correct without fear of being interfered into by others ? Did these international “watch dogs” help us when we wanted them to settle our problems with terrorism ?
They came only towards the end to try and stop us from eliminating the terrorists and afterwards to condemn us for elimination of terrorists accusing us for “collateral damages” when their collateral damage to civilians keep mounting with their drone attacks in Pakistan.
The TNA three years after elimination of terrorists have still not cooperated with the government even in its development projects in the North and East. The TNA who wants to set up a Tamil Eelam State will oppose the Government in what ever action it takes and go round visiting Western Countries making allegations against the Government of Sri Lanka asking them to urge Sri Lanka for devolution of political power for the Tamils and threaten Sri Lanka with international isolation.
Therefore, if the TNA does not want to understand that the Tamil people want peace and development above political rights, there is no point holding rightful action against recalcitrant officials just to please the TNA hoping they would one day give up their separatist politics and cooperate with the government.
Dayan Jayatilleke then speaks as a political scientist, apparently without any knowledge of the Constitution and its application in an Impeachment . He says, “As a political scientist I am appalled that alongside and behind this impeachment motion there is a claim that the legislature does not have to adhere or respond to the strictures of the judiciary. While it is indeed the legislature that draws up laws, it is none but the judiciary that can decide on the legality and constitutionality of such laws…..”
He says he is “…..appalled that alongside and behind this impeachment motion there is a claim that the legislature does not have to adhere or respond to the strictures of the judiciary .” He comparing it with an example drawn from his “intellectual wisdom” he says , “ Just as we go to a trained and professionally credentialed doctor in the matter of ill-health, we turn to the judiciary to rule on whether a move is legal or not.”
With that sort of view of an Impeachment Motion as a political scientist there is no wonder Dayan Jayatilleke titles his interview, ” Impeachment, A Perfect Blunder-2”
Dayan Jayatilleke goes on to say, “It is with excellent reason that the old adage has it that ‘justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done’. Our most internationally renowned and distinguished jurist, Judge CG Weeramantry has enunciated the basic protocols that must be observed if justice is to be done and be seen to be done. Given his strictures, it is clear that due process has not been observed in the manner that the impeachment motion has proceeded.”
It is “appalling” to read the nonsense as follows with regard to the Impeachment Motion from “one of Sri Lanka’s leading intellectuals, ex-diplomat, Political scientist, university don and raconteur”.
He says, “Today there is a dangerous disequilibrium between two pillars of the state and the third and a consequent polarization in the polity. If the parliament does not accept the rulings of the court on matters of legality and constitutionality, who then decides on what is legal? How then to avoid a situation in which the very legality of parliament and the legislation that issues from it, are called into question? There may be a serious crisis of legality and legitimacy of the government itself. We had an analogous situation with JR Jayewardene’s coercive and fraudulent referendum of December 1982. We seem to be on a time-machine back to that period.”
This intellectual ex-diplomat could have at least read the relevant Articles of the Sri Lanka Constitution in the Internet, before he writes all these meaningless harangue, showing his ignorance about Impeachment Motions despite his knowledge he had gathered from all books he has read and written.
Dayan Jayatilleke then makes a suggestion to solve the problem , which is equally nonsensical as the title he gives to the interview, ” Impeachment, A Perfect Blunder -2” His suggestion is:
“ The only way I see out this dangerous mess is the appointment of an Independent Presidential Commission consisting of or headed by Justice Weeramantry, to review the whole issue and restore equilibrium. We need a neutral umpire or referee.”
Dayan Jayatilleke may be all that he is described to be , a leading intellectuals, ex-diplomat, Political scientist, university don and raconteur, but as a critic of the Impeachment Motion against the Chief Justice, he talks absolute nonsense.