Aluthgamage's dream | Daily News

Aluthgamage's dream

Joint Opposition firebrand Mahindananda Aluthgamage, who has a string of corruption cases pending against him, before the courts, has assumed the role of anti-corruption crusader, these days, and, has come out like a knight in shining armour, to assail the UNP members of the COPE, who are alleged to have been in contact with Arjun Aloysious, during the COPE sessions probing the alleged Central Bank Bond scam. Aluthgamage, who has yet to explain how he purchased two luxury residences, at elite addresses in Colombo, not to mention the acquisition of business ventures, with the stipend of a Cabinet minister, under Mahinda Rajapaksa, has gone to the extent demanding that President Maithripala Sirisena leave the Yahapalanaya Government, sack Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and appoint a new PM. No prices for guessing who that new PM should be, in Aluthgamage's book.

The JO spokesman, obviously, has got himself into knots, and, is speaking at cross purposes.

Were President Sirisena to leave the government, as Aluthgamage suggests, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will automatically be the President of the country, as per the constitution. Besides, the Prime Minister cannot be dismissed until the lapse of four years into the present parliament, which has only completed two years and three months.

Be that as it may, President Sirisena, no doubt, is bound to meet the suggestion of Aluthgamage, to dump Premier Wickremesinghe, with a wry smile, not least because, he (Sirisena), owes that office to Wickmesinghe, to a great extent. To begin with, Wickremesinghe renounced his claim to the candidacy, from the UNP, to make way for Sirisena to contest the Presidential Election, at tremendous sacrifice. The fact that he was elected by the overwhelming vote of the UNP, too, will not be lost on President Sirisena. The President also has other good reasons not to take Aluthgamage's gratuitous advice, quit the Yahapalnaya government, and sack Premier Wickremesinghe. The President, on more than one occasion, had stated that had his opponent won on January 8, he would be lying six feet under terra firma. Does the JO parliamentarian seriously believe that President Sirisena, after initiating investigations into the mega corruption, by members of the Rajapaksa family, will take a chance, and, leave the highly secure position of Executive President, and, revert to a lesser being, exposing himself to the collective wrath of the Rajapaksas? Is Aluthgamage suggesting that President Sirisena meekly heed his advice, and, step down from office after Basil, Namal and Yoshitha were thrown behind bars, at some point, or other, after the fall of Rajapaksa? Or, has the Kandy District MP received instructions from the Rajapaksas, to say what he said, on the basis that President Sirisena will be spared the full might of the Rajapaksa vengeance, and, welcomed with both arms into MR's parlour? Aluthgamage and co. are going to town about the alleged bond scam, taking the public for morons. They (public) are only too aware of the massive swindles, the frauds, and, open theft, of public funds, that took place during the ten year rule of the Rajapaksas, where impunity reigned. That is why the voters showed the door to the ruling family, on January 8.

True, there appears to be some irregularity, in the bond transaction, and, the conduct of certain individuals. But, the difference, is, that the matter is being probed by a Special Presidential Commission, and, powerful personalities in the government subjected to virtual inquisitions, with a Finance Minister, no less, losing his portfolio. The Prime Minister of the country is slated to appear before the Bond Commission, today, voluntarily, after some reference was made to him in the course of the proceedings.

Could such a scenario ever have been envisioned, under the former dispensation, which drove out the country's first lady Chief Justice, from office, for ruling against an arbitrary decision of a Rajapaksa sibling, cum powerful minister? Aluthgamage, and his cohorts, in the Joint Opposition, would do well to first clear the names of their own leaders, and, themselves, before posing as paragons of virtue, to throw dust in the eyes of the public.

Not done

The revelation of the call details, between UNP members of COPE, and, Arjun Aloysious, have raised several questions, particularly concerning privacy of individuals. These UNPers have even met Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to complain about their privileges, as members of parliament. True, there is no question of the availability of advanced technology being used to trace telephone conversations, to detect criminal acts such as murder. This is exactly what is sought to be done in the case of the Thajudeen murder, where, a former VVIP's son is being implicated.

But, there is bound to be an overlap, or, a thin line, separating what can be construed as a crime, financial, or, otherwise, and details of a purely private nature, which is in the possession of third parties, which, to say the least, is a gross invasion into one's personal life. The matter, therefore, should be dealt, with due consideration of this vital aspect. 


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