Posted on November 21st, 2012

Editorial The Daily News

Is there a legal coup brewing in Hulftsdorp? The inspired may say it’s a judicial coup, but since that could be mistaken falsely as effrontery of certain upstanding sections of the judiciary, the educated description would be a ‘legal coup d’etat.’

There are constitutional coups, and then there are constitutional coups that are launched through the legal apparatus, and these become quasi-constitutional coups, or what can be termed ‘legal coups’, at least to coin the apt phrase.

There are sections within the greener than green legal community in Hulftsdorp (no, the reference is not to the active anti global-warming’ lobby…) who are seen to be carrying out a not so subtle campaign to derail the elected Executive and Legislature by staging what can be termed for want of better description — a legal coup. When all attempts to undermine the elected legislature by other means fail, it’s not uncommon to see the agit-prop as it were, resorting to all other methods — some of which can be rather unorthodox, and unavailable in the rule book.

There have been attempts to say within the last few days on Hulftsdorp Hill, that the unelected judiciary is somehow the fountainhead of sovereignty, though this should be absurd and rather risible considering that sovereignty, as per constitutional guarantees, lies ultimately with the people. But none of what seems to be obvious and incontrovertible has deterred the gold-fingered black coats of Hulsftsdorp, from furthering their own mercenary-minded political agendas by advocating a line that is tantamount to staging a legal coup d’etat.

First, there were the moves, allied closely to NGO money-backed research papers, to subvert the constitution by painting the Divineguma Bill as unconstitutional. Already, writers have made it clear that this is not the case, and that the Bill point by point, in no way undercuts the provisions of the 13th Amendment.

But all that notwithstanding, and notwithstanding the fact that there were clear affronts to the elected legislature, such as dispatching a determination on a Bill to the Secretary General of Parliament and not the Speaker, there was then an impeachment motion arising from the elected legislature that sought to restore integrity to the judiciary by removing from office a Chief Justice who had been (prima facie) compromised by the fact that she presides over the promotions of the magistrate, to take one example — who is hearing corruption cases her husband happens to be embroiled in.

The Parliamentary Select Committee on that issue is now in session and this newspaper doesn’t under the circumstances desire to comment on those matters, as any individual under law is deemed innocent until proven guilty.

But what’s curious is that when there is an entirely legal constitutional move underway to course-correct what may be an erring judiciary, there are moves in parallel to make out that the judiciary is in any event supreme — which then it is said, makes it an affront for the legislature to engage the judiciary in any way, least of all constructively and for the public good!

That is almost by definition, a legal coup d’etat. It is an attempt to derail constitutional process and bring down an elected government by resorting to specious legalese and law-book skullduggery.

The least that can be said of such an attempt is that the people of this country will not stand for it. In simple terms, they would never allow a coterie of millionaire legal sharks to manipulate the system to serve their own petty parochial ends, primarily dictated through long-term mercenary considerations.

Why so? Everybody knows that the essential political allegiances in Hulftsdorp Hill are not progressive, because most of the lawyers, in plain terms are traditionally anti-SLFP if they are not in fact card carrying members of the lawyer-loving party, the UNP.

The slightest chance to bring scepter and crown tumbling down — speaking in the imperial context in which the law we use was bequeathed to us of course — and they will use it. To contextualize, the scepter and crown in this instance belongs to the people, they elected their government. To attempt to bring down that government by subverting the first principles of statehood by attempting to transfer power from the elected legislature and elected executive to the appointed judiciary, is nothing short of an attempt to engineer a legal, constitutional coup.

At these levels of legal-wrangling, the bedrock principles of statehood can be purloined, and black be made to look white. Let not the sharks in Hulftsdorp rob us of our birthright to universal adult franchise, and the power of one person one vote – WE the people!


  1. Lorenzo Says:

    What should go? Divineguma of the people OR CJ saving 13 amendment?

    CJ saving 13 amendment.

    UNP traying to save UPFA appointed CJ just months after OPPOSING her appointment AND calling for her removal!!

    Funny as hell.

    If the male team looks winning, UNP leaders wear sarongs, if the female team looks winning, they wear sarees. Soon UNP will find it is better to be naked than confuse their voters. :))

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    “The District Court of Mount Lavinia entered a judgment against the Leader Publication for a sum of Rs.250 million for defaming Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

    The court also issued a permanent injunction preventing further defamation.”


  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    The Divineguma Bill ought to go through. It is basic help to the masses, long overdue.

    ‘Sad the day and long’ when governing forces within the country are at odds with each other. Both forces must unite to uplift the People. The goal must be clear – Help the People, Unite the People.

    In a Democracy, it is “We the People’ all the way, forever. Let the keepers of Justice be not blind to Justice to the People.

  4. Dham Says:

    if playing politics, every cj should be impeached.Bar association UNP kingpins conspiring to topple government elect

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