Mahinda Rajapaksha served the two legal terms as Executive President and through greed for power amended the Constitution with the help of his steamroller majority to enable him to contest a third time but was defeated by over four million votes. He is thus a defeated and not a retired president. He was being paid by the state and as such is like a dismissed government servant who is not entitled to any retirement benefits. But he is said to be in receipt of all the perks of a retired president. This, I believe, is big anomaly vis-a-vis other government servants.
Now he has contested the general election and won a seat in the Kurunegala district. He is thus an MP – at the bottom of the political ladder having fallen from the top of it and a backbencher, first timer, unless he is selected as Opposition Leader. For all practical purposes he will be referred to as MP for Kurunegala district and not a former president.
Several readers including academics had openly advised him not to contest the general election but rest on his laurels but MR wouldn’t listen.
My questions are,
(1) Is MR a retired president who is entitled all retirement benefits approved by the Constitution?
(2) A defeated president yet entitled to all retirement benefits, or
An MP entitled to only an MP’s salary and pension after five years like a government servant who gets only the perks attached to the last post held. The government must move the SC and obtain a ruling very early. This is of utmost importance.
Incidentally, Rajitha Senarathna vehemently stated that MR will get only the salary and perks due to an MP and nothing due to an ex-president. The country expects him to pursue the matter and get a SC ruling and prove himself right.