The day the judges
pulled out Fernandopulle
MP was sent out for an airing clean out of the High Court precincts,
only to return to those sepulchral surroundings in Hulftsdorp after
one lawyer de-frocked himself - sorry de-cloaked himself -- and
gave his own cloak to Fernandopulle. Why did the judges pull out
Pulle? Listen to Fernandopulle say it, and your guess is as good
as mine. But from all reports of what had happened Fernandopulle
has been in High Court to witness the proceedings of an important
case. But, he soon mingled with the Attorneys-at Law at the Bar
table, being a lawyer himself with twenty four years on the roll.
But, he was not wearing a cloak, and soon one of the judges on the
three judge bench pointed this fact out to him, and asked him to
leave the court premises. Fernandopulle returned however, when a
lawyer who was in the vicinity gave the MP the benefit of his cloak
for the day.
is said to be very angry - angrier than when the President gave
him a telling off for being too 'loud' and angrier than when he
was chased down by an elephant at a procession in his hometown a
couple of weeks back. He told a phone in interview that he is 'very
disturbed'' that the 'opposition will use these facts against me'
and said the judges 'did not do the correct thing'' because the
legal rules in the tomes he had read allowed him to be in High Court
without his cloak on, at the Bar table. Sounding like a schoolboy
about to burst after a pep talk by a sadistic schoolmarm, he then
blurted out "obviously the judges know the law -- then why
did they do it?''
can think about it. If he took some time off to stop licking his
wounds, he might even arrive at some possible conjectures.
the judges may have been charitable, because knowing that Fernandopulle
was a parliamentarian, they did not want him to be mistaken for
a suspect. Generally, Sri Lankan parliamentarians are seen in our
High Court under guard and headed towards the dock, and there have
been a whole procession of them that the Straits Times in Singapore
recently carried an article titled 'Sri Lanka's parliament of crooks
and criminals.'' So the judges may have wanted no mistake on that
count, and therefore asked Fernandopulle to don the cloak, or stay
out of court, so that he, being an MP present in High Court, will
not be mistaken for a criminal or a hoodlum. So why does Fernandopulle
have to go on high dudgeon when the judges have only been doing
him a favour?
But he is bent
on making it a cloak and dagger affair - and that's why he says
in suitably hushed tones - "
being judges they knew the
law, then why did they do it?" The Minister may have even cited
sartorial reasons -- being in a spotless white national dress, donning
a colonial hangover of a black cloak above it, he would have looked,
well, like Ranil Wickremesinghe wearing a blue shirt for the annual
UNP convention. But anyway, if Jeyaraj Fernandopulle reads half
the books that he read over this matter for all important matters
that happened to this country during his tenure as Minister, he
would have been a learned man by now - not just a learned friend.
He would have
been able to write a couple of newspaper articles and give a couple
of phone in interviews dripping with acquired wisdom. " According
to the tenets of ahimsa as laid down by Mahathma Gandhi the father
of non violent agitation my supporters in Katana have been in breach
of the fundamental tenets of peaceful electioneering - mea culpa
mea maxima culpa.'' Or, he could have said "according to the
proven laws of physics mass into velocity is equal to momentum --
which is why Anura Bandaranaike has the momentum to be the next
Presidential candidate, no matter what any of us in the party including
Mahinda do in the next few years.'' With such, erudition Fernandopulle
would be able to pull anything over anyone in the future, including
High Court judges.