In the aftermath of the horrible 30-year war, Sri Lanka appears to be plunging deeper into a post-conflict traumatic syndrome which has been aggravated by a breakdown in the rule of law and the serious damage caused to the independence of the judicial service and the police.
Among the serious consequences is the unprecedented increase in violence though for centuries all our religions and the realities of life have shown us that violence only begets violence and anger bitterness and hatred could be overcome only by a spirit of understanding, mercy and forgiveness.
The failure or unwillingness to understand this is probably the result of an unbalanced mind and emotions.
The latest and one of the most shocking tragedies in the crimes spree was the hacking to death of five family members in a village off Anuradhapura on Monday night. According to reports, the five—three from the same family together with two of their relatives—had been brutally killed allegedly by a young army deserter who robbed more than Rs. 600,000 which they had obtained from the sale of their house and property in Hasalaka. They were planning to buy a land and build a house in Anuradhapura close to the residence of their relatives. According to horrified villagers in Viharahalmillakulama, the village where the gruesome murders took place is believed to be one of the nine villages where a clan which looked after the hallowed Srimahabodhiya lived and such a grave crime in the sacred area was unthinkable and unheard of.
While the Rajapaksa regime boasts about improving Sri Lanka’s culture and religious values according to the precepts of the much-quoted Mahinda Chinthanaya, the reality seems to be completely different and a stark contrast to what is proclaimed with sanctimonious fervour from political platforms. Almost every day the media report heinous crimes such as murder, big robberies, rapes and gang rapes of women and child abuse. According to figures given in Parliament in April this year, there were 1,750 cases of child rape, 330 cases of rape, 5,475 cases of child molestation and 1,194 cases of child abuse in 2012. These were the number of reported cases and how many were unreported would be known only to the victims and the criminals. The traditional belief that urbanisation increases crimes has been dispelled as according to statistics 173 cases of child rape have been reported from Anuradhapura and 166 cases from Kurunegala while 129 cases were reported from Colombo and 111 cases from Gampaha and Ratnapura.
The report also reveals that there is an alarming increase of crimes against women and children in Sri Lanka. It is believed that a woman is raped every 90 minutes, and 3-5 children are raped daily. Shame! Shame!
The report to Parliament also revealed that domestic violence which was at 60% in 2011, has increased to about 80 percent this year. It is also revealed that Sri Lanka is fifth among the countries that have the highest rate of domestic violence.
While most crime rates are increasing, Sri Lanka also shows signs of becoming a hub of international drug trafficking. On Tuesday a Liberian was arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport while he was attempting to smuggle out 30 kilogrames of heroin valued at about Rs. 240 million.
Most independent analysts believe one of the root causes of the growing crime rate is the politicisation of crime and the criminalisation of politics. The crisis is so grave that Buddhist monks on Tuesday night called on the four Mahanayakas to come together and appoint a Sangaraja to save Sri Lanka from a catastrophe because there was little proper leadership and guidance for the people of this country.