Friday, April 27, 2012
Technically the General should be freed on bail – but what is technical?
The General was seen as a threat to the dictatorship of the sibling triumvirate, and so he was conveniently incarcerated on trumped up charges, hoping he would quietly fade into oblivion. All his battlefield medals have been forfeited, all references to him in history and all the various memorials have been removed, and a concerted effort has been made to erase his memory from all State and Tri-Forces memorials and documentation. How absurd that is! The rest is history!
Today, the completion of a sentence, permits him bail. We live in an autocratic democracy where independence of the Legislature, Judiciary from the Executive does not exist, the fate of the General is completely in the hands of the President.
There are two schools of thought in the Government. To free or not? Those who wish to keep him locked up feel that their tasks are made easier if he is inside. So Ranil and Sajith could attack each other without attacking the Government and Ranil will always have the upper hand. It will also be less of a security threat with General inspired anti-government rallies, especially at this time when the government’s popularity is rapidly diminishing and they are resorting to religious bigotry to stay in power thanks to radical Sinhala Buddhists.
The other school of thought is if he is out, as his civic rights are taken, he does not have any legal right to contest the Presidency AT ANY TIME so there will have to be a President who is willing to pardon him and permit him to get back into elected positions. He will be less of a rallying cry and as was the example that was created in the Presidential campaign, he will shoot his own foot, with the ridiculous statements he is most likely to make. They believe the leopard has not changed its spots, and if anything his resentment has risen and would be making incendiary statements which will only frighten the public to be wary of a barking dog.
In my opinion, it is an either way scene, and only the President, fearing his personal popularity will take a beating with a virulent General at the helm, wants him locked up, whilst Ghota and Basil do not fear him out on bail entangled in legal hurdles, and want him to make a veritable fool of himself. Take your pick.
If it was up to me I will free the General and completely exonerate from trumped up charges. It will be up to him to be fooled into going into politics, which I believe is not his forte, as he does not have the tact, and patience for that vocation.
I will reinstate all his rights including his pension rights and allow him freedoms that all other citizens in this country enjoy.
It is up to him then whether he joins with Sajith and Karu and his usual suspects like Arjuna and forms a New DNA as a strong third force or gently fades into happy retirement in the USA with his daughters. I guess in a free country the choice is completely up to him. Is this country free however? If not he will not have choices!