Sunday Times Satire
Citizenry watch (Original Title)
My dear Citizen Silva,
I thought I must write to you when I heard that you are initiating action in the courts of law against the postponement of provincial council elections. Now, anybody going to courts against postponing elections should be applauded, but in your case I am a bit confused which is why I thought of writing.
Firstly, I hope you don’t mind me calling you ‘Citizen Silva’ because that is what you are now even though you have been used to decades of being ‘Your Lordship’. Besides, it is in your capacity of a Citizen Silva that you are canvassing the courts now- and hopefully, not as a former Chief Justice.
Of course, I would have called you Sarath but I didn’t think you would like being confused with the ‘other’ Sarath, the uniformed one. Maybe it has something to do with your first names but it appears that both of you seem to be in this habit of opening your mouths and putting both feet firmly in!
The reason why we are confused by what you say and do, Citizen Silva, is that you change your tune faster than the Gypsies do at a musical show. I know justice is supposed to be blind, you seem to look favourably on different individuals at different times and we do not know what to believe anymore.
Let me explain, Citizen Silva. You came to our attention when Satellite plucked you out of the second highest court in the land and appointed you to the highest court instead. Hardly had a year gone by and she decides to remove you from that bench and appoint you as the state’s chief legal officer!
There were suspicions then that you were being given preferential treatment by Satellite. That was because she appointed you as the big boss of the big court a few years later over and above the heads of other more experienced judges. Somehow, she seems to have missed the mark at that time!
Then, Citizen Silva, remember when the Greens tried to impeach you citing some indiscretions? Satellite went well beyond her call of duty, proroguing Parliament so that the impeachment motion was no longer valid. One thought you would be grateful for that, but you weren’t, were you?
That is why, when Mahinda maama went to courts challenging Satellite’s decision to stay in office for a full twelve years you stood firmly with Mahinda maama and delivered a verdict that cut short Satellite’s term of office by one year. Satellite never forgave you – and who can blame her for that?
But that was not all. When the Tsunami struck and ‘Helping Hambantota’ became a controversy, you intervened once again to save Mahinda maama. Instead of punishing him, in an unprecedented decision, you even imposed a fine on the complainant- poor old Kabir from the Green Party!
By that time, we knew that you were also ‘best man’ at Mahinda maama’s wedding. Mahinda maama went on to win the election that you ensured would be called ahead of schedule. So, he had his best man in the best job in the best court. We thought the two of you would live happily ever after.
That didn’t happen. By the time Mahinda maama ran for office for a second time you had not only retired; it seemed you had retired hurt. Why, you even endorsed your namesake, the ‘other’ Sarath in uniform. There was even speculation that we would have a Sarath as President and a Sarath as PM.
Then, towards the end of Mahinda maama’s second term you said something very strange. You apologised to the nation for not sending Mahinda maama to jail. You asked for our forgiveness for what you did. You said that, had you done so, you would have saved the country from a grave crisis.
Pardon us, Citizen Silva, but that had all of us confused. We thought that you delivered judgments based on the merits of the case argued before you and not depending on who it was about. After all, you were the head of our highest court! Soon, you went public, supporting Maithri’s campaign.
That didn’t last very long either. Now you are back on Mahinda maama’s side, saying Yahapaaalanaya is not what it is supposed to be. There are many who will agree with those sentiments but very few of us are able to change our loyalties whenever you decide to change your mind about someone.
Citizen Silva, you are entitled to your opinion and you have a right to challenge anything in courts, especially if it about postponing elections. Still, I hope you realise that when you now say you support something, we now take it with a pinch of salt; after all, even you can’t fool all the people all the time!
PS: I hope you remember SB. He is the chap that you sent to prison for calling your decisions ‘balu theendu’ or decisions worthy of a dog. He has done well for himself and is still a force to be reckoned with. And, with your latest pronouncements, people are asking whether SB was right, all along?