Sep 27, 2020

"President's order, a reminiscent of monarchy" Featured

Convener of the People's Lawyers' Association, Attorney-at-Law Senaka Perera says that president Gotabaya Rajapaksa's order that all verbal orders issued for the common good of the people should be treated as circulars, is an arbitrary act which is reminiscent of the monarchy.

A report published by the Presidential Media Division stated that president Gotabaya Rajapaksa has directed officials to treat all verbal orders issued for the common good of the people as circulars to be implemented, adding that those who neglect this will face stern action.

“I expect public officials to consciously comprehend the problems of the people and provide solutions. I will always stand by the officials who make the right and unwavering decisions on behalf of the people. State institutions take a long time to address people’s issues. If a written inquiry from one institution does not receive a reply from the other institution within 14 days, consider it as approved.” the PMD had quoted the President.

Attorney-at-Law Senaka Perera says that this statement is disregards the existing written law in the country and added that global societies have come a long way in the path of democracy from the eras of monarchy were words were considered as a law.

Mere words of any politician cannot be considered as law and there is an accepted procedure in a democratic society for establishing laws, he adds.

Although the PMD report indicates that only verbal orders of the president should be considered as above, a state of confusion would arise if other government bigwigs start to follow suit, he points out.

He also notes that the 14-day order too, could be problematic, especially if state officials start to act without official approval on matters such as finance and other provisions.

This applies to the entire country and the entire state sector. Although we accept that public grievances should be speedily addressed, it should be done according to a proper procedure. What will happen when written law is replaced by the oral law as the law of the land? This is like in a monarchy. The word of the king was final and unquestionable. Now it is the responsibility of all democratic masses to question whether Sri Lanka is being taken back to an era of monarchy through this order, he says.

(Source :