Maithripala – The New ‘Queen’ of Sri Lanka!
Posted on April 27th, 2015

-Metteyya Brahmana

Many astute observers said before the January 8th election, including Mahinda Rajapaksa, that Maithripala Sirisena is simply a puppet of Ranil” – the front guy who enables Ranil Wickramasinge and the UNP to run Sri Lanka through the backdoor.  In fact, Rajapaksa, after his defeat, did not even include Maithripala in the organized transfer of power, and instead dealt only with Ranil.

Now, after 100 days, these observations appear to be spot-on, and even suggest that Maithripala is  taking on a new role as ‘ceremonial president’ – a president with no substantive power but who occupies the position for historical reasons and to create the appearance that constitutional duties are being carried out as prescribed.  Certainly, no real president who is ‘head of the cabinet’ as indicated in the Sri Lankan constitution would dare outsource the appointment of nearly all of the important cabinet positions to his Prime Minister unless he were simply a figurehead.

The problem with the ceremonial president is that Maithripala never indicated to the voters in the January election that this was the role he wished to undertake.  He never said that by appointing Ranil as his Prime Minister he was going to give him de facto control of the Sri Lankan government.  Had he said this, there is a good chance that he would have lost the election given the super-slim 51% victory.  In other words, unilaterally changing the role of the president to a mere ceremonial role defrauds the Sri Lankan voter.  Granted, many of these voters did not want the president to be a ‘dictator’, but going to the opposite extreme by creating a ceremonial president is not something the voter endorsed.

There are also serious constitutional problems with outsourcing the duties, functions, and power of the president.  Article 43(2) requires the president to be the ‘head of the cabinet’, 43(3) requires the president to appoint the person as Prime Minister who ‘most likely is able to command the confidence of Parliament’, and 37(1) restricts the president from outsourcing his duties and power unless he is ill or incapacitated in some way.  It is clear that Maithripala is violating both the spirit and letter of all of these constitutional provisions, as Ranil is the de facto head of the cabinet.  In fact, in one case, Maithripala simply told a complaining state minister – Rajiva Wijesinha – who sought a cabinet position in the new government to talk to Chandrika and to Ranil as it is they who decide on the cabinet”.  Ranil would also lose an up-or-down vote on the confidence issue, which is why he is bribing SLFP members with minor minister positions under the guise of a ‘unity government’. Maithripala is not ill or incapacitated in some way, so the de facto transfer of presidential power to Ranil is plainly unconstitutional.

One can’t help but reflect on Maithripala’s recent visit with the Queen of England, and how impressed he was with her, as we look at his new role as the ceremonial president.  Under the Westminister model in the UK, the Queen does appoint the prime minister who contested as a national candidate from the party who garnered the most votes in the general election, and gives him and his party the first crack at forming a coalition government if they got less than a majority of votes.  Except for times of crises in which the ‘Royal Prerogative’ can be exercised, the Queen does not disturb the running of the government by the Prime Minister and his cabinet of ministers.  Unfortunately for Maithripala, the Westminister model was never adopted in Sri Lanka, and such a major change in how Sri Lanka is governed must be put to the voters in a referendum, not forced upon them through backroom deals with Ranil.  Moreover, even if we were to apply the Westminister model, Ranil never faced the voter as a national candidate of his party, and had he done so, he certainly would have lost again, and this is why he chose Maithripala as the common candidate rather than contest from his own party as president.

It is still too early to tell how this will turn out in the upcoming general election, but if I were Ranil Wickramasinghe, I would face the voters directly this time and accept the result.  And if Maithripala admires the Queen of England as much as he says he does, and Mahinda contests as Prime Minister in the upcoming election and wins with the most seats in parliament, he must act like the Queen and acknowledge that the people have decided that they want Mahinda to be the Prime Minister, and that he is therefore most likely to command the confidence of Parliament.   And like the Queen, Maithripala has to put personal differences aside, and let Mahinda and his cabinet run Sri Lanka just like he is doing now with Ranil.

11 Responses to “Maithripala – The New ‘Queen’ of Sri Lanka!”

  1. asoka2468 Says:

    Wow then we will have a King (Mahinda) , Queen (Sirisena). Also a court Jester( Ranil) !!

  2. Metteyya_Brahmana Says:

    Asoka2468,

    You forgot Princess (Chandrika)!

  3. Independent Says:

    Wishful thinking, Vimutti.
    Many people reported from Sri Lanka end of last year and predicted landslide win for MR.
    Same thing is happening now. MR has not changed a bit.
    Only advantage he has is Mervyn Silva not on his side this time.
    Without the full support of MS , MR cannot win. This is my prediction.

  4. Independent Says:

    Please read to understand MR more.

    From Mawbima

    ඒ.එස්.පී. ලියනගේ

    ASPහිටපු ජනාධිපති මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ හමුවීමට මම දවසක් ගියා. එතුමා පර්චස් දහයක පහළොවක ගෙදරක තමයි හිටියේ. එතුමා හිටියේ එක තැනක. හිටපු ජනාධිපති ආර්යාව තව තැනක හිටියා. දරුවන් තිදෙනා තවත් තැන් තුනක. මේ නිසා පවු‍ලේ සැමට එකට සිටිය හැකි ඉඩකඩ තිබෙන නිවසක් දෙන්න මම එතුමාට ‍පොරොන්දු වුණා. ඒ අනුව තමයි මම පිකොක් මන්දිරය දෙන්න ‍පොරොන්දු වුණේ.
    ඒ අනුව හිටපු ජනාධිපතිතුමා ඇවිත් මගේ ගේ බැලුවා. ගෙදරට ආපු ගමන් කිව්වේ මෙතැන නියම තැනක් කියලයි. ඒ අනුව වාස්තු විද්‍යාඥයින් විසි දෙනෙක් විතර ආවා. ඇවිත් එක එක දේවල් කියලා ගියා. මම මුහුදු වැලි දාලා ස්විමිං පූල් එක පිරෙව්වා. දොරවල් වෙනස් කළා. ඒවා කළේ වාස්තු විද්‍යාඥයින්ගේ උපදෙස් අනුවයි. ඒ වෙනස් කම් කළාට පසුව මට කිසියම් හොඳක් දැනෙනවා. හිටපු ජනාධිපතිතුමා මගේ ගෙදරට එන්න සූදානමින් හිටියේ නැතිනම් වාස්තු විද්‍යාඥයින් එව්වේ ඇයි? ගෙදර බලි තොවිල් නැටුවේ ඇයි? එතුමා එන්න සූදානමින් සිටි නිසා තමයි මේ සේරම කළේ.
    දැන් හිටපු ජනාධිපතිතුමාගේ ප්‍රකාශක කියලා කෙනෙක් ඇවිත් කෑ ගහනවා. මම ඔහු දන්නවා. ඒත් ඔහු මේ ගෙදර සම්බන්ධයෙන් දන්නේ නෑ.
    මේ ගෙදර හිටපු ජනාධිපතිතුමාට දෙන්නේ නැහැ කියලා මම කිව්වේ ආණ්ඩුවෙන් ආපු බලපෑම් නිසා නොවෙයි. මම හිටපු ජනාධිපතිතුමා එක්ක වගේම අලුත් ජනාධිපතිතුමත් එක්ක හිතවත්. මට කා සමගවත් ප්‍රශ්න නැහැ. මම කිසිම බැංකුවකට ණය නැහැ. මේ ගෙදර වෙනත් කෙනෙකුට කුලියට දුන්නානම් කෝටි ගණනක් අවුරුද්දකට ලැබෙනවා. දැන් ගෙදර දෙන්නෙ නැති නිසා ගෙය කුලියට දෙන්න පුළුවන්. ඒ ගැන කියලා මට බලපැම් කළානම් කළේ මගේ නෝනා. එහෙම නැතිව ආණ්ඩුවෙන් කිසිම බලපෑමක් ආවේ නෑ.
    හිටපු ජනාධිපතිතුමාගේ ප්‍රකාශක කියලා තමන්ම කියාගන්නා අයගේ කතා එතරම් ගණන් ගත යුතු තරමේ කතා නොවෙයි.

  5. Sarath W Says:

    It is obvious MY3 accepted large amount of US$ from Ranil and Chandrika on behalf of India and the west. That is why MY3 said “you don’t know the pressure exerted on me by India and the west. They want Ranil to be the PM. They only trust Ranil”. Thais is why MY3 now has to obey to Ranil and Chandrika’s.

  6. Metteyya_Brahmana Says:

    Sarath,

    I never understood WHY the West trusts Ranil so much…it is though they have some sort of leverage over him that I have been unable to figure out. The US has ZERO leverage over me, and I am an American citizen, so I just can’t understand how a Sri Lankan citizen could be so weak that he feels compelled to do whatever the US wants him to do. With most Sri Lankans, the US can always promise green cards and travel to the US and Europe as some sort of carrot, but if you can already do those things, and could go live in the US whenever you want, what sort of promise could the US possibly make that would have any value? Ranil comes from a wealthy family so you would think he doesn’t need more money, so how are they able to exert influence over him?

  7. SA Kumar Says:

    how are they able to exert influence over him?
    USA & West know our weakness since 1505
    NB/ not only wealthy satisfy We slaves …. you got it ??? NO – We have 3 Women head of Mother Lanka now ???Mangala is one other Two ….

    For me MS is god given president in peace time like MR was war time god given president !!!

  8. Metteyya_Brahmana Says:

    Independent,

    It is the VOTER that is going to decide the next election, not MS.

    As indicated the article above, MS DEFRAUDED a large percentage of those who voted for him thinking he would be running the country rather than Ranil. These voters are NOT going to vote for Ranil OR whomever Maithripala tells them to vote for because he has lost their trust.

  9. Independent Says:

    M_B,

    I agree it I VOTER that is going to decide the next election, not MS , but MS did not lose the trust of the voter by even 10% (my guess). MR need MS’s support to get him to contest under SLFP (hand) , otherwise breaking SLFP votes in inevitable. The reason is the ” root causes ” that created the shift away from MR has not changed.

    I have a large number of friends who think whist MR is honoured as the leader who defeated Terrorism, last election was good for the country, even if there is a danger of loosing some ground gained. I did not influence their ideas the all have come to that conclusion independently.

    Surely some votes may have been shifted back, but if you look at it impartially ( shredding racism and blind love) you will see lot of positives as well. MR has started show his true colours again and people surely see it and as more time is passed. Young people are fools. They are fed up of all the old politicians. MR is top of the list for them.

  10. Independent Says:

    MR back to original footing – crying for Muslim votes

    Sri Lankan Buddhist organization rejects allegations leveled by former President

    Tue, Apr 28, 2015, 05:39 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Apr 28, Colombo: The extremist Sinhala Buddhist organization in Sri Lanka, Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has rejected allegations leveled by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa that it was responsible for his defeat at the last Presidential elections.

    BBS General Secretary, Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero told a news conference today that Rajapaksa lost as a result of his own actions.

    Ven. Gnanasara Thero questioned why the former President waited so long to claim that he lost at the election because of the BBS.

    He added that the BBS had never spoken in support of the former President at any meeting before the January 8th Presidential election.

    Former President claimed that BBS is a Western-backed conspiracy to alienate the Muslim community against him and he lost the Muslim votes because of BBS.

  11. Independent Says:

    Note the typo in the 1st comment.
    “young people are NOT fools”

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