In the aftermath of the Easter Sunday suicide bombings where over 250 persons lost their lives in all places of religious worship, even tourist hotels and schools have been provided security by the state in the form of armed military guards. These guards are armed with T-56 or AK-47 assault rifles, which are normally used in combat zones.
On Friday, July 5, all sections of the media, from print to audio and visual led with a story of a parent -- a father -- who on being informed by school authorities that his child had taken ill, was shot by an armed military guard when he failed to follow the guards warning that he could not enter the school. Military guards are deployed to ensure that anyone is not permitted to enter schools while it is in session unless they have special permission from the heads of the institutions. The duty of the armed military guard is to prevent unauthorised persons from entering these halls of learning, worship or the hotels they guard.
On Friday, the victim parent, himself a fomer member of a different arm of the military apparatus had allegedly attempted to rush into the school premises brushing past the security officer. When the warning was not heeded, the soldier is said to have fired on the intruder and killing him. The victim who should have known better -- being an ex-military man himself -- probably felt that the law did not apply to him. He allegedly broke the law and has now paid the ultimate price, with his life. The soldier on duty has apparently fulfilled his duty and has now been imprisoned. Had he not stopped the intruder and had he (intruder) caused some mischief, the soldier would have been held responsible for negligence of duty.
A parent has been killed, and an innocent soldier who was providing security to a school, finds himself incarcerated for performing his duty. Who will take responsibility for the tragedy?
The lines between right and wrong; correct and incorrect; true and false are fast disappearing. Both the victim parent and the security guard are victims to the breakdown of the law and ensuing disorder in the country. And the disease seems to have overtaken all sections of our body politic. On a different, but similar track, the law breakers who swindled the country of billions (remember the bond scam?) are moving around freely. Again, our President says he is going to implement the death penalty on drug peddlers and drug traffickers. But parliament is attempting to abolish the death penalty with retrospective effect.
"The lines between right and wrong; correct and incorrect; true and false are fast disappearing. Both the victim parent and the security guard are victims to the breakdown of the law and ensuing disorder in the country. And the disease seems to have overtaken all sections of our body politic"
Then we have the Easter Sunday bombings... the leader of the Islamic State claimed with photographic evidence that members who swore allegiance to his organisation carried out the despicable act to avenge the defeat of his caliphate in Syria. Yet, a political leader of this country, without a shred of evidence, disputes the claim saying the suicide bombings were an attempt to distract from the war on drugs programme in the country! Worse, we now have a government where the executive and its legislative arms are at war with each other.
The Prime Minister would like to embrace the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) with the US. The President is totally against, and what he and many others see as a sellout of the country to the US. The original 2007 ACSA permitted US military vessels to anchor in Sri Lankan ports on an ‘on-off’ basis. The 2017 document is more exhaustive. The new 2017 ACSA provides for joint military co-operation between Sri Lanka and the US, includes logistical support and supplies services and the use of airports and ports during ‘unforeseen circumstances’. The agreement turns Sri Lanka into a virtual base of the US.
To make matters worse, the US is now pressurizing the government to replace ACSA with SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement), the agreement establishes the rights and privileges of US personnel in a country. SOFA would grant US military personnel, US military contractors and US military suppliers the same perks and privileges granted to technical and administrative officers of the US Embassy. It allows US personnel to enter the country with only an ID card issued by the US Government. Worse, these people will not be subject to Sri Lankan law.
Today lawbreakers act with impunity and the legislative and executive arms of government are in confrontation with each other. It is no wonder that our country has descended into anarchy... When law and order crumble, we descend into anarchy.