The Presidency and Other Matters | Sunday Observer

The Presidency and Other Matters

The Supreme Court has ruled that the President’s term of office is five years from 2015. Thus President Sirisena has to leave the presidency in 2019 and re-contest or retire from politics. So be it: the former but not the latter. Not even this cat of the Felidae family, a stubbornly proud species being first cousin to the majestic lion and the mighty jaguar will dare, even in the mildest of whimpers, contest the decision of the Court that is supreme. Considering genus and species, this Felidaen will not flaunt cousinship, though it exists, to the tiger since that cousin has a name with shame in it, spoilt by one branch of Sri Lankans. Another group disgraced the honour of the august House by the Diyawanna by behaving like nariyas, of lower caste among animals.

As usual, this feline is going off the point. And what is the point she was attempting to make? That President Sirisena has been given a ruling that his term as Head of Free Sree Lanka is five years. The good thing about the ruling is that more ambitious characters waiting in the wings of the political stage to capitalize on the Supreme Court saying the 19th Amendment was sans retrospective effect, are now stumped on that vantage point at least.

Well within his rights

Some say this and some say that, but this cat says it was perfectly right and justified that the President sought the Supreme Court’s ruling on the tenure of his presidency in the light of the 19th Amendment.. There were conflicting weighty opinions. He has said, he will leave even today. This feline’s interpretation, that must be that of very many sane thinking, a-political thousands is that he considers his services are needed for a longer term, so he may contest the Presidency again. The country is in turmoil. There has to be a statesman at the head, and he is the closest to a statesman we have had from 1955. He is sane and balanced, calm and collected, and projects a fine image. Personal appearance does count, and our Prez looks good and leader-like, especially now, getting a mite belligerent.

The country does need a president to guide and control it; a president with powers but shorn of those draconian powers that Mahinda Rajapaksa devolved on himself. We, the Nation, celebrating 70 years of ruling ourselves independently, are behaving atrociously, most undemocratically as exhibited by the recent behaviour of MPs. Childish we have become, so we need a firm headmaster. Maithripala Sirisena fits the bill. Thus, since he has to leave office in 2019 and the work he set out to do is hardly done, he must contest again, whatever even he said. Many bring up the name of the venerable Sobitha Thera when talk comes around a second term for the incumbent President. True, the venerable monk must be sorely disappointed in the failure in some areas of yahapalanaya but we’re sure he would advocate a second term for Maithripala S if he is sure corruption, drugs and a demeaning of our cultural heritage can be greatly reduced if he continues as Prez for a second term.

Right to show might

The outburst by the President at the recent Cabinet meeting as reported in the newspapers on Wednesday, January 17 is also completely justified. (The Cabinet spokesman adduces his sudden departure from the room to a more basic call!) The President was right in instituting a Presidential Commission to investigate the CB bond business. However, this cat is disgusted with the going on and on, on the so called bond scam by a certain media channel. She used to wait for 9 p m to watch news on this channel. Many’s the time recently that she has switched off her TV in utter disgust when reporters on the channel moved to pontificate on the bond business. This cat, like so many others, places her all on a bet this will result in thieves and would be thieves learning a jolly good lesson. For the last so many years of rampant corruption, mostly during the Rajapaksa reign, politicians, bureaucrats and even the hoi polloi thought corruption, showing off power and such like were allowed. Not so, they hopefully learnt and will keep in mind. Sil redi made government officers sit up and take note.

Presidential bad move

Reading through what she had written this cat realized she had praised the President, and justifiably. Then on Thursday 18th she read a letter to the Editor by a woman who comments bitterly on the President revoking a gazette notification and thus bringing back an archaic ban passed in Victorian times on women being forbidden from buying alcoholic drinks. What does that stupid law say about women drinking that-which-cheers? This cat knew nothing about such a law and did not really note its being lifted. She once in a while enjoys a cool beer with girl friends and does buy a bottle of sherry or wine for a dinner she is hosting, as Mable Fonseka, the letter writer says she does, totally ignorant of any discriminating, demeaning, sexist law. Now Agamethi Malli is becoming a petulant spoilt sport and arbiter of our behaviour. (No morals mentioned as taking an occasional drink to beat the cold or the blues is not one tot immoral). Whom is he trying to please? There are so many vital abuses and crimes to be banned, calling for the Prez’s intervention. What is the percentage of women who are addicted to alcohol and topers? Near nil. Those very few who may be thus will get worse with bans and restrictions. One do-good that unfailingly fails is temperance movements. Not only do such pseudo puritan moves fail, they also breed subsidiary evils. No need to labour the point. Consider the adverse effect on expat housewives and women tourists who add so much to our national coffers by being here and coming here. DO NOT be repressive like Saudi. Taking an alcoholic drink is a personal choice. The Buddha gave prime place to personal choice even in believing his Dhamma and accepting it. So please Agamethi Malli don’t attempt being a wet blanket thatha to all Sri Lankan women. We are rather loud and getting more powerful and enjoy the freedom most of us have always enjoyed. We are very sensible, know our duties and responsibilities but feel entitled to small pleasures in life.

- Menika