This week, Sri Lankans were privileged to hear that the Principal of the country’s Law College who was summarily sacked for what is mysteriously termed in public as ‘examination irregularities,’ the nature of which is familiar to any person with a nodding acquaintance with the legal sphere, has been appointed as the Legal Director of the Presidential Secretariat by President Mahinda Rajapaksa (see Daily Mirror, February 1, 2014).
Piquantly, this appointment was made amidst a well publicized media blitz by those responsible for governing Law College that there would be stringent reforms of the administrative structure of this institution. As a wit marked in passing, this was something akin to locking the stable doors after the horses have bolted. The focus ironically enough is on those lecturing at the College, with new examination and marking procedures that would appear to be highly impractical in their implementation. But as we should well remind ourselves, the origin of this furore was elsewhere.
The immediate issue certainly was the allegation that the sacked Principal had engaged in nepotism. Yet even preceding this, ugly rumors circulated during his term regarding the manner in which the Sri Lanka President’s own son had passed the Law College examinations. And regardless, if allegations are made, they must be fairly inquired, made open to the public and concluded with propriety. Yet, this is not the case. Instead we have interesting games of tit for tat; an individual is sacked for alleged irregularities and is then employed elsewhere with a blinking of an eye. This indeed is a good case of the institutional breakdown that this country faces where the law as a norm, is openly and defiantly flouted.
– Taken form Kishaly Pinto Jayawardene’ s column