It is indeed depressing to continually bring out the appalling actions by Sri Lanka Police. The most recent incident is the gunning down of a 24-year-old youth for no apparent reason. According to Police the reason for shooting was that the motorcycle was driven extremely fast and the cyclist did not stop when the Police signalled them to do so.
However, the 18-year-old pillion-rider, who sustained injuries and survived, describes the incident entirely differently. According to him when the Police signalled them to stop, his friend who rode the motorcycle stopped it and both of them got off the bike. Then a seemingly drunken Policeman who came to them drew his pistol and shot his friend at point-blank range.
The statement by the pillion-rider appears to be credible as the victim had not sustained any injuries apart from the gun shot wounds while the motorcycle had not been damaged.
The other significant factor is, if the Police were shooting at errant riders, who were speeding, the likelihood of the rider who was accompanied by a pillion-rider getting shot was minimal.
Given the shooting practice Sri Lanka Police have, it is not unrealistic to say the chances were almost zero! However, according to the Police spokesperson the unthinkable has happened proving Sri Lanka Police’s marksmanship!
The only question we have to ask from the Police is, is this how you take revenge on those politicos who beat, insult and literally make a mockery out of you? Is it by beating and murdering innocent civilians that the members of the Police relieve their stress and frustration about the system?
A Police Constable was recently beaten up and his car set on fire by a group of thugs, because a few days before, he had issued a speeding ticket to a Deputy Minister, whose driver was exceeding the speed limit on the Southern Expressway. Another one was beaten by a member of a Pradeshiya Sabha for taking a land-master into custody while it was carrying a load of sand mined illegally.
When the Police arrested the Pradeshiya Sabha member, a powerful Deputy Minister in the government is alleged to have staged a protest in front of the respective Police Station demanding the release of the suspect.
The media also recently reported an incident where two Policemen were assigned to a Member of Parliament were allegedly told to do household work.
Hence, we believe that it is high time to reinstate the discipline and the respectability of the Sri Lanka Police by making it independent. Then it will be free of political influence and will be able to safeguard the law and order and the people’s rights.
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