Citizen files petition seeking writ of mandamus directing inquiry into Sirisena’s mental health

Tuesday, 11 December 2018 01:22 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A writ petition has been filed in the Court of Appeal seeking a mandate in the nature of a writ of mandamus against IGP Pujith Jayasundara and the Fort Police HQ OIC directing them to institute judicial proceedings in district courts by virtue of Section 2 of the Mental Diseases Ordinance for the purpose of inquiring into the state of mind of President Maithripala Sirisena.

A person by the name of Thakshila Jayawardena has filed the petition as a matter of “public interest”.Speaking to the media from the Hulftsdorp courts complex yesterday, Counsel Sisira Kumara Siriwardena, a lawyer representing Jayawardena, said many citizens in the country had already come to the conclusion that President Sirisena was suffering from a mental disability.

President Maithripala Sirisena

He said there were three possible reasons to suspect that Sirisena was suffering from a mental disability including the stress stemming from his natural inability to meet the demands of the job, a history of mental health issues in the family and an inability to cope with the stress stemming from the arrest of I.K. Mahanama, the President’s former Chief of Staff, over a bribery charge.

Siriwardena also said Sirisena’s biography, written by his daughter Chathurika Sirisena, indicated that the President had a “family history” when it came to mental health issues.

He said the President could only enjoy his immunity if he was found to be of sound mind. “If he is suffering from a mental disability he can no longer enjoy presidential immunity.”

The Sri Lankan Constitution bars a person with a mental disability from functioning as the Executive President. 

“Any Member of Parliament may, by a writing addressed to the Speaker, give notice of a resolution alleging that the President is permanently incapable of discharging the functions of his office by reason of mental or physical infirmity,” the Constitution stipulates. (Source: