Gerald H Peiris
Having collaborated with Professor S. W. R. DE A. Samarasinhe (Sam) in several research projects, I have had the occasions to admire his extraordinary analytical skills and his clarity of thought. I also recollect that he was one of the earliest in the intellectual firmament of Sri Lanka who applied his expertise in ‘Banking and Public Finance’ to expose procedural irregularities in the infamous issue of ‘Central Bank Bonds’ early in the tenure of the Yahapalana regime, disregarding his own leanings vis-à-vis the party configuration of Sri Lanka. However, I have to say that his article titled ‘Implications of the Supreme Court Verdict’ (The Island of 15 November) is a rare instance of his departure from scholarly understanding and impartiality.
In the first place, what the Supreme Court (SC) issued on the 13th of November was not a ‘verdict’. As explained to me by two of Sri Lanka’s most respected lawyers about 45 years ago, an ‘Interim Injunction’ is no more than a postponement of a verdict. Despite Sam being aware of that, it is disappointing to see him in the political mob (which includes representatives and lackeys of the global powers that contributed substantially towards the processes that installed the Yahapalana government) attempting to persuade the people that the Court issued a verdict against President Sirisena’s decision announced on 26 October to reformulate the Cabinet and, on 9 November, to dissolve the parliament which was prorogued at that time. Thus, what did happen was that, due perhaps to the legal intricacies concerning the presidential decision, the SC gave itself and the lawyers on both sides of the dispute 22 days until it could sit once again to arrive at a decision. Continue reading