Vijayakala’s Treachery: Removal from Ministerial Post is not enough

When a MP, not once but several times publicly & openly professes to revive a terrorist movement that murdered thousands of innocent people it is an act of treason that cannot be erased simply by removing the person from his/her post. From 1980s to 2009 a wave of horrendous murders, suicide missions, assassinations were committed by the LTTE. Ironically people are mourning the LTTE & neglecting the lives LTTE eliminated for no fault of theirs. It took the lives of over 30,000 soldiers to eliminate the top ranks of the LTTE fighters. That many LTTErs ran away & are living in foreign countries is good enough reason for people to still fear the return of terrorism & force the government to be alert & take precautions to ensure terrorists do not take up arms again. So when a member of the government in the presence of even its foreign minister says that her main target is to revive the LTTE, this statement cannot be taken lightly & as damage control be removed from her portfolio & the citizens forced to forget & forgive her. She has to be charged & sentenced. In a country where people are sent to prison for stealing mangoes to eat, or insulting people when a Minister says she wants to resurrect a terrorist movement the sentence cannot be simply a removal from post & be given another post when people have forgotten the incident!

As per Sri Lanka’s constitution if according to Chapter 7 Article 38 (2) (II) the President can be removed for TREASON, given that Parliament is also voted by the people, an MP committing treason should also be not only removed but criminal charges filed against him/her. No MP can be immune from justice simply because they hold a portfolio of a Minister. Given that MPs enjoy the tax payers money the punishment for committing treason should be harsher.

Capital punishment reinstated since 2004 also includes treason.

Sri Lankan Penal Code Section 120 

Whoever by words, either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs, or by visible representations, or otherwise, excites or attempts to excite feelings of disaffection to the State, or excites or attempts to excite hatred to or contempt of the administration of justice, or excites or attempts to excite the People of Sri Lanka to procure, otherwise than by lawful means, the alteration of any matter by law established, or attempts to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the People of Sri Lanka, or to promote feelings of ill will and hostility between different classes of such People, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years.”

The relevance of the 6th amendment and Article 157A is crucial should also be applied.

Some main points covered in this 1983 amendment are

  • it is the duty of the State to safeguard, the independence, sovereignty, unity and the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka
  • IF the sovereignty, unity and the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka has been threatened by activities of certain persons, political parties and other associations and Organizations…it has become necessary to prohibit such activities and to provide punishments

What are these violations that Persons, Political Parties & Other Associations & Organizations commit in violation of the independence, sovereignty, unity & territorial integrity of Sri Lanka as per Article 157A?

(1) No person shall, directly or indirectly, in or outside Sri Lanka, support, espouse, promote, finance, encourage or advocate the establishment of a separate State within the territory of Sri Lanka.

(2) No political party or other association or organization shall have as one of its aims or objects the establishment of a separate State within the territory of Sri Lanka.

(3) Any person who acts in contravention of the provisions of paragraph (1) shall, on conviction by the Court of Appeal, after trial on indictment and according to such procedure as may be prescribed by law

It is clearly stated that if a person violates above, IF CONVICTED BY THE COURT OF APPEAL, the punitive measures are:

(a) be subject to civic disability for such period not exceeding seven years as may be determined by such Court

(b) forfeit his movable and immovable property other than such property as is determined by an order of such Court as being necessary for the sustenance of such person and his family

(c) not be entitled to civic rights for such period not exceeding seven years as may be determined by such Court

(d) if he is a Member of Parliament or a person in such service or holding such office as is referred to in paragraph (l) of Article 165, cease to be such Member or to be in such service or to hold such office

(4) Where any political party Of other association or organization has as one of its aims or objects the establishment of a separate State within the territory of Sri Lanka, any person may make an application to the Supreme Court for a declaration that such political party or other association or organization has as one of its aims or objects the establishment of a separate State within the territory of Sri Lanka. The Secretary or other officer of such Political party or other association or organisation shall be made a respondent to such application

Therefore, the video which very clearly states that the UNP MP’s desire is to resurrect the LTTE is linked to her appearance in a private television debate which she said life was better under LTTE rule & gave a list of reasons for it. Not only was no action taken by the political party against her comments but she ended up getting a Ministerial portfolio too. What is also interesting is that the banned LTTE fronts are doing their utmost to not only remove the Prevention of Terrorist Act but also the removal of the 6th amendment too… Their money has even influenced EU, US, UK & UN officials who are plugging aid & other government to government transactions with the assurance of removing, clipping or diluting these provisions & these are all eliminated in the draft new constitution also being promoted by these same players which is enough reason to completely refuse to accept a new constitution by these lobby groups.

Justice cannot be applied selectively and directed against political opponents only. It is only when proper justice is delivered that it serves as a deterrent for others not to commit similar acts breaching the constitution, the penal codes & the general morals that every citizen of Sri Lanka is expected to up hold.

We cannot have a government claiming to be the beacon of good governance & punishing only its opponents while its own MPs are committing a plethora of illegalities & irregularities. No person can be above the law & therefore the whole nation must demand punishment against this Minister so that others don’t follow her thinking they too can stand on stages and dream about bringing back terrorists for there are plenty of people ready to fulfil that dream to open avenues for them to make money. Let us not forget the LTTE while murdering people was & is making $300m annual profits which must have now doubled since they don’t have to spend on procurement of arms & ammunition & the maintenance of its terrorist cadres.

Shenali D Waduge

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