Trying their luck with the Hizbullah case, and everything else | Sunday Observer

Trying their luck with the Hizbullah case, and everything else

Nineteen. It’s the number that the other legal shyster Jayampathy Wickramaratne sees in his nightmares. The then government used him to draft the hilariously botched 19th Amendment.

Now, there is a babel of voices out there that are baying for what they call new Covid–19 laws.

That’s rich, coming from the same people who foisted or otherwise supported the 19th Amendment that was palmed off on this country, which led to the memorably infamous so called constitutional crisis, and much more significantly, the Easter Sunday attacks.

19th Amendment savants such as the definitely far from independent partisan hack Saliya Peiris, attorney, are now telling anyone willing to listen that there should be an urgent new Covid-19 law because, among other things, he says, the Government has not imposed the Covid-19 related curfews in this country within the proper legal framework.

Having botched or crowed for a botched 19th Amendment, these forever bloviating black-coats want another number 19 law, a Covid-19 enactment in an unholy hurry when this country has probably done a much better job than New Zealand in tackling the pandemic menace using existing laws. Beware of this plague carrying 19 jinx-squad. Social distancing or no social distancing, don’t touch them with a barge pole — you’d catch something worse than Covid-19, or any other plague. Last time they foisted a 19 and propped up their inept and corrupt government during the so called constitutional crisis, they brought the Easter Sunday calamity upon us. What other disaster are they planning to foist upon us with their other 19 enactment, the Covid-19 law which they are now bleating on about?

For those of them who read this and pretend to not know of any connection between the 19th Amendment and the Easter Sunday attacks, nice try, I’d say. Those horrendous acts of terrorism that took many more Sri Lankan lives than the current Covid-19 pandemic, directly resulted from the power vacuum that can be traced to the gridlock that sprang from the disastrous, ridiculously drafted 19th Amendment.


This Government left to its own devices has done and will very probably do the needful to tackle Covid-19. But that does not stop the dyed in wool UNP squad, especially the UNP lawyer cum NGO squad, from shamelessly trying to use the Covid-19 pandemic to bring their favourite inept and corrupt government to power, taking cover behind what they swear are concerns about democracy and good governance. These serial supporters for basically cancelling Provincial Council elections and other important national polls and foisting all kinds of other undemocratic abominations such as a pretender opposition on the country, now preaching to us about democracy, is worse than quarantine-evaders waxing eloquent about their personal hygiene …

Add to this squad, another legal-beagle and pipsqueak by the name of Gehan Gunatilleke whose only rather dubious claim to fame is that his father was the godfather of NGO culture in this country back in the day when NGOs were frantically looking for a future path or ‘marga’ for survival.

Pipsqueak he has to be, this GG the new torch bearer for his father’s NGO cure-all culture of charlatanry.

There would have been no need to mention this guy even by his initials considering his general irrelevancy, but his recent diatribe about the Hijaz Hizbullah detention is so fascinatingly hilarious that we don’t want to let the joke go by unnoticed. Besides, this ridiculously argued concern for Hizbullah is extremely insensitive to say the least, when the Government is trying to get to the bottom of the Easter Sunday terror attacks which were, as stated earlier, the direct result of institutional neglect caused by the 19th Amendment and the retention of the UNP Government in late 2018, which were both moves backed by these do-gooders.

GG the NGO wannabe, writes in a recent newspaper contribution that Hijaz Hizbullah has been his contemporary when they were schooling, and that he (Hizbullah) has been a great champion of democracy fighting for democratic causes such as, of all things, the reinstatement of the lame UNP Government in 2018, that led to the Easter Sunday attacks in the first place.

He calls Hizbullah an excellent debater, and a man who chose the legal profession ‘just like me’ and comes to the strange conclusion that people such as himself who debated in English and were in school debating teams and took to the law, and appeared in some so called landmark cases almost together, can only be heroes, and could never be suspected of terrorism.

GG then writes that the arrest and detention of Hijaz Hizbullah Attorney ‘was an indecent assault on one of the legal profession’s finest.’

So according to pipsqueak, if somebody debated with him in school and appeared in the same types of cases in some favoured legal match-ups that are ‘landmark’ in their imagination, such a person can never be suspected of terrorism.

This writer has no personal knowledge of Hizbullah’s alleged terrorist connections, but Law-Enforcement has all the right under the PTA to take any terror suspect into custody.

The PTA detentions are no walk in the park, but neither was there any walk in the park for the victims and relatives of victims of the Easter Sunday attacks. This is not to assume that Hizbullah was definitely connected in some way to the attacks, but definitely Law-Enforcement entertains that suspicion for now and has taken the lawyer into custody under the strict anti-terrorism laws.


If he is found to be innocent, he would be released — but whether he was indeed connected to terrorism is exactly what the authorities are trying to find out. Nobody should malign Hizbullah in social media, and any prejudgment based on rumour is definitely deplorable.

But the authorities are not doing any of the pre-judging. They arrested Hijaz under suspicion. The due process that’s afforded to normal suspects is not afforded to detainees under PTA, and this has been the case for all those who were arrested under these stringent laws.

The Government cannot be expected to prevent attacks such as the horrendous Easter Sunday murders by being wedded to due process. The US had Guantanamo Bay for terror suspects. Osama Bin Laden was not offered due process; he was shot dead along with his wife and some others as he relaxed at home in Abbottobad in Pakistan.

This is not to say that lawyer Hizbullah is an Osama Bin Laden, but at the moment the authorities have reason to believe he is a terror suspect, and to prevent horrendous attacks such as the Easter Sunday bombings, due process has been held in suspension under PTA.

The arrest of any lawyer should be sad as lawyers are meant to uphold the law, not to break it — but that does not mean that lawyers cannot be arrested. But now we have the spectacle of the same forces that brought on the Easter Sunday attacks with their unstinted support for the flawed 19th Amendment and the retention of the UNP in power in late 2018, calling the arrest of a suspect under PTA ‘an indecent assault on one of the legal profession’s finest’.

So no one can be arrested if he was educated at S. Thomas’ College, debated with the NGO godfather’s son in school and entered one of the finest professions — that of an Attorney?

This writer is an Attorney as well. No, there is no moratorium against arrests of terror suspects just because they are lawyers, just as much as there was no bar against the arrest of Mahadevan Sathasivam because he was ‘one of the finest cricketers of his time.’


But the extent of the entitlement mentality of GG and his like is mind numbing. He is in my profession, he was in my school, for God’s sake we debated in the Queen’s English, so how can we be arrested? What’s next? We frequent the finest cappuccino bars, and imbibe in the finest merlot regularly, so arrest us under pain of damnation?

Yet, this is how the world-views of half baked scions of NGO repute are shaped, and though come to think of it fathers are not to be blamed for their sons’ sins, this half baked mentality is roundly gobsmacking in its retardation.

But, it’s how this NGO-UNP-legal squad thinks. They pronounce they are always right. Therefore freedom and freedom of expression and all of that, is only for them and theirs. Why should there be freedom and freedom of expression for others? Others are never right, insists this thought police.

Here is an interesting anecdote. During the late-2018 so called constitutional crisis, this writer tweeted from a private twitter account that the then new government of Mahinda Rajapaksa was probably legitimate in the eyes of the people because ‘they secured a majority at the local government elections.’

Now, who but GG-boy takes issue with this, tweeting in reply sarcastically ‘you must have a new definition of majority’ because, he says, the SLPP got less than 50 per cent of the vote. I tweeted back saying no the SLFP and SLPP together got more than 50 per cent of the vote, so GG, you must be having a new definition of majority. Not a squeak from the tweep after that, but one of his female hangers on — let’s call her Samayawardene because I forget who in hell she calls herself— who earlier retweeted GG’s ‘you must have a new definition’ tweet, blames me for tagging her in my reply! How cute that they can retweet palpable nonsense against me, but find it grating to so much as see my reply that proves they are pirouetting nincompoops, GG and his female hurrah squad both, of course.

That will be the day when the President takes gratuitous advice from these pipsqueaks who customarily talk through their hat — but insist they are talking through their top hat, or is that a fedora … even a ‘corona’?