Sri Lanka The cost of Lawlessness?

2 February 2016 12:55 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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There had been instances when the Police had listed out more than 50 odd local level politicians, including certain parliamentarians who were involved in drug trafficking

Sri Lanka has gone through difficult times economically, socially, culturally, politically and even due to lawlessness over the last couple of decades. How did they happen? Most of our leaders in the past did not work towards achieving the core purpose and the focus. A properly crafted mission statement was conspicuously lacking. However, the former regime succeeded in defeating the LTTE, the most ruthless terrorist organization in the world. It is unfortunate that they failed miserably to triumph over the other hurdles such as corruption, misrule, nepotism etc.

 


Furthermore, having won the war, it was unwise that the majority of parliamentarians too did not perform their legitimate duties. Even State institutions such as the Police, the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) and the judiciary were also manipulated. They did not punish the wrongdoer according to the nature of the crime.
Let me also point out that there has been a sense of increased distrust growing among different communities under the former regime. Major political parties and certain religious leaders too had fuelled ethnic divide and created ethnic conflicts in places such as Aluthgama. Politicians, particularly those in the Common Opposition, have also begun using ethnic emotions in their quest for power. Shouldn’t they stop arousing communal feelings? Sinhalese politicians in the past too exploited the imbalance and relied on ethnic emotions to win political support from the majority to capture political power. SWRD Bandaranike laid the first foundation for such an ethnicization of politics by introducing the ‘Sinhala only’ language policy, and thereafter over the next six decades, other Sinhala politicians adopted the same ethnic gimmicks to capture political power by misleading the poor Sinhalese voters in the village. Black July in 1983 caused irreparable damage, including life and property. It left a black-mark on the country too. Police seemed to have been sent on long leave during this period. It now appears a newly-established organisation called ‘Sinhal-ley’ has sprung up and let me ask what are they up to?

 


The Tamil opportunists politicians too effectively mobilized Tamil ethnic support to win their elections. It must not be forgotten that the Muslim politicians too have now started campaigning on ethnic lines, which would also eventually divide the country ethnically. Time has therefore come for all communities to stop radicalization of ethnic groups. There should be no room left for any political party to campaign on ethnic lines and cause division among the people. If this could be banned by the Rule of Law, it could be a step in the right direction.
The Homagama Magistrate had ordered the Police to arrest and produce Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Gnanasara after the latter had made an abusive speech when the Court case pertaining to the disappearance of journalist Ekneligoda was being taken up. It is unbelievable how a Buddhist monk could speak and behave in that fashion. I do not think it is appropriate for a Buddhist monk to make hate speeches.

 


It is the considered opinion that governments in the past protected and helped breeding criminals. They were not brought to book. In addition, the police officers who were punished by the Supreme Court and fined had been promoted and their fines paid by the government. There were also politicians who used lawlessness for their personal benefit. The number of incidents such as rape, murder, robberies, sexual abuse on women and children, fraud, corruption etc. owing to lawlessness in all parts of the country had been on the increase. We must never forget that there were broad daylight robberies of banks and jewellery shops. We should now be happy that the judicial officers are free to pronounce their verdicts independently. Accordingly, the two Magistrates in Kaduwela and Embilipitiya have ordered the arrest of Ven. Gnanasara and the relevant police officers, if there is evidence, due to the death of a person who had allegedly been pushed from an upper floor of a building. There were three schoolboys who had been bailed out for committing serial robberies at various shops selling mobile phones. The intellectuals have raised concern for lack of respect for moral values at a very young age. One of them had said “teachers, principals and parents don’t have a hold on students/children. The youth are not scared and youngsters have grown bold enough to engage in unlawful activities. We need to reform the school system to enhance discipline among both teachers and students.”

 


It is encouraging to note that the present government does not permit lawlessness since Good Governance, the Rule of Law and transparency are key requirements to progress. The President has taken steps to establish a strong and an Independent Commission to inquire in to massive frauds and corruption. The judiciary too has been permitted to handle matters pending before Courts independently. They have introduced the 19th Amendment for the establishment of numerous Independent Commissions for the purpose of establishing the Rule of Law and Good Governance. It took over 30 years to destroy and would require an equal number or more years to achieve the dreams. The President has identified that the biggest problem affecting our country was the total failure owing to poor performance, corruption and severe politicisation of law enforcement agencies. 
It is well-known that the Police have apprehended suspects of gruesome murders. However, they could not implement the law when it came to the all-powerful politicians. This proves the police have been helpless in the hands of corrupt politicians. Let us empower the police personnel properly, so that the handful of honest, dedicated and hard-working police officers could be able to make the change. There had been instances that the Police had listed out more than 50 odd local level politicians, including certain parliamentarians who were involved in drug trafficking. 

 


I have reason to believe this government is keen to develop tourism in order to earn much -needed foreign exchange. Lawlessness has impaired tourism as well. It is an area which has been seriously affected owing to thuggery, drugs and inaction of  the Police. I am aware of an incident about a wallet belonging to an American was being grabbed forcibly by a thug down south who had links with a local politician who was killed by a gunman. 
Both the President and the Prime Minister had come out openly that they do not permit lawlessness. May I say politics, drugs, and corruption have brought disaster to this country. Certain rulers and law enforcement authorities punished members of the public without trial or conviction in the past. The citizens must now be happy that they have elected a government headed by a President and a Prime Minister who are genuinely committed to do the change for the benefit of the people.

 

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