The truth hurts
Posted on October 2nd, 2019

Editorial Courtesy The Island

Thursday 3rd October, 2019
It is a supreme irony that Chairman of the National Authority for the Protection of Witnesses and Victims (NAPWV) Suhada Gamlath, tasked with drafting laws to protect whistle-blowers, has been asked to resign for whistle-blowing! Minister of Justice Thalatha Atukorale is out for his scalp. She has asked him to resign as he has made what she calls political statements to the media. She insists that public officials are not allowed to do so. Gamlath says he has not done anything wrong, and there is no reason for him to resign. He rejects as baseless the allegation that he has made political statements. He is not holding that post for any financial benefits.

Why Gamlath, who held the posts of Justice Ministry Secretary and Solicitor General and functioned as the Acting Attorney General, has got under the skin of many a government politician, is understandable. He has recently revealed that while he was serving in the Attorney General’s Department, some ministers tried to pressure him to have former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and several others arrested over the Avant Garde issue. Naming names, he has said he refused to give in to political pressure as he did not want to violate the law. He made this revelation following the recent leak of a telephone conversation between Solicitor General Dilrukshi Dias Wickremasinghe and Avant Garde Maritime Services Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi, an accused in the floating armoury case. Dilrukshi has since been interdicted.

Gamlath earned a name for himself as an outspoken public official with an excellent track record. He refused to lick politicians’ boots and sandals. His uprightness cost him the Attorney General’s post in spite of being the most suitable candidate therefor. The Constitutional Council (CC), packed with pro-government members, chose to overlook him, without giving any reasons for its highly unreasonable, politically motivated decision. Had he been a stooge, he would have got the job with ease. The CC is also responsible for the appointment of incumbent IGP Pujith Jayasundera, who is under a cloud.

Instead of going after Gamlath, Minister Atukorale should investigate the allegation that several ministers abused their positions in a bid to make Gamlath get their political rivals arrested. Such politicians do not deserve to be ministers. In any other country, ministers accused of such an offence would have had to resign. In India, ministers resign over even train accidents. A whistle-blower, recently, exposed US President Trump for having asked his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, in a telephone conversation, to help investigate some of his political rivals including former Vice President Joe Biden over an alleged scandal. The Congress is investigating the revelation and not the whistle-blower who made it!

The JVP never misses an opportunity to take moral high ground and pontificate to others on the virtues of justice and fair play, independence of the Attorney General’s Department, etc. Gamlath has levelled a very serious allegation against JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake as well. The impression one gets from Gamlath’s revelation is that Dissanayake joined government ministers in trying to influence him. Those who have rallied behind the JVP leader, in the presidential race, claiming that their mission is to cleanse politics, among other things, ought to confront him on this score. An explanation is called for! Shouldn’t they put their own house in order before being critical of others?

We are aware that when Gamlath was denied the Attorney General’s post, which he deserved, the government made an offer to appoint him to the Supreme Court by way of compensation. He turned it down out.

The less said about the former regime and its interference with the legal and judicial processes, the better. Now, it has been revealed once again that the yahapalana government is no better.

The truth hurts. Gamlath has unmasked some self-righteous yahapalana grandees and made them writhe in pain and fury. Such intrepid men and women deserve public plaudits, and certainly not barbs. Gamlath can rest assured that all right-thinking people are on his side. We look forward to some more revelations.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.



Copyright © 2024 All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress