29 September, 2020

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A Kneeling Nation

By Ravi Perera

Ravi Perera

To a thinking Sri Lankan these are universally distressing times. We can accept economic denials and   hardships as   part and parcel of life in a poor third world country. Given the tone of the general interaction between man and man in this land, Political corruption as a social phenomenon seems  an inevitability. The expectation that the wielders of power will abuse it and the ruled will make an appropriate accommodation with that reality is as old as the days of the kings, as the saying goes. But more recent  institutions such as the  judiciary and the constabulary , fashioned very much on British models as it were , remained , although much abused by the politicians, as foreign concepts, and maybe due to that fact , somewhat insulated from the darkness without.

By that we do not mean that our Police force is a shining example to the world. Its reputation is marred with brutality, corruption, favoritism and politicization.  But the fact that it still provides an acceptable standard of civil policing speaks volumes for the basic soundness of its structures. The constabulary, uniformed, disciplined, trained in the objective enforcement of the law is very much an essential feature of a modern State. Except the President, every other citizen if in violation of the law is in the reach of the long arm of the law, enforced by the constabulary independently and objectively. Likewise, the judiciary, decked in very British wigs and gowns, their independence secured by tradition and supporting laws, are to judge according to the law and evidence before them. There is little room for emotion, bias or malice in the process.

At least this is how these institutions are expected function.

Two recent events, one where a very senior Police officer is said to be a suspect in a diabolically planned murder and the other, a judicial officer a suspect in a bribery case, are bound to shake to the core whatever public confidence they may have had in these institutions until now.

We do not know whether these two law/judicial officers are guilty of the offences alleged to have been committed by them. Both allegations are in the investigative stage and of course they are entitled to the protection of the common law principle of the presumption of innocence. We will refer to the guilt of a person only upon conviction in a court of law.

But on the other hand, if the standards in the country today are such that the Police officers are indulging in criminal activity while judicial officers are open to bribery, of what worth is a judgment of a court of law? A police officer who can commit murder will surely have no compunction in fabricating evidence against a suspect. Likewise, there cannot be a credible judicial system if the judges are accepting various inducements. Any serious citing of a case must assume that the investigating officers play by the rules and that the integrity of the judge is not subject to speculation.

In that context do we now have a system worth talking about in the area of law enforcement?

Although the public perception may be different, it may well be that these kind of activities are the exception yet. Perhaps a few rotten apples are damaging the reputation of these vital institutions. But even then it begs the question how such wrong doing could have thrived for such a length of time at a senior level in a service. A Deputy Inspector General is only one step away from becoming the Chief Policeman of the country. To get to that position an officer has to climb the hierarchy and presumably is subject to close scrutiny all the way by his seniors, beside his   peers. Similarly, how could one reconcile the absurdity of a judge whose very function is the administration of justice is also besmirched with allegations of corruption?

The answer perhaps lies far away from the scenes of the alleged offences of these two persons. From a remote area in the North Western Province we read about an incident where a politician humiliated a female school teacher by forcing her to kneel in the presence of her students. Apparently the teacher had enraged the politician by pulling up his daughter for turning up in school in a dress deemed inappropriate by her.

Figuratively, the teacher, the policeman and perhaps even the judge have been all made to kneel before the politician. From that lowly perception,   murder and corruption will look altogether different to the perception of a person who is standing up right.

It is strange how with time all politicians  come to resemble one another in this country; corpulent, faces shinny with good health, perpetual smirk on their faces, deliberate manner of talk, taste in dress the uniform national – immaculate and expensive white and  mode of travel- in convoys. And of course everybody on the road must make room for their convoys. Similarities even extend to their families. Almost every politician will have their boys study in a European university before taking to politics like their fathers! Even the junior is provided with State security and one of the rites of his entry to manhood will be to beat up some unfortunate at a nightclub! It does not matter at what level and where a   person is doing politics. Seemingly the machinery of our politics is capable of producing only one stereotype.

The results of their feckless activities are evident all around.  Once proud and fruitful institutions have been demeaned and destroyed. We are told that even the case concerning the DIG is being investigated only because the President himself ordered it. If the President does not order such an inquiry an affected family can only bury their dead! Corruption is rampant and the State machinery has become a private asset of the rulers. In terms of economics and social development almost every other nation in Asia has overtaken us. Occasionally the fast moving convoys stop on the way and the politician puts his sandaled feet down, waving to the gathering crowd. The armed bodyguards form a protective ring around him. It is the time for a grateful nation to kneel down in homage.

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    I think, Budhism is a cause here as there is no God to watch them hence they do all sort of things as it goes as Karma in next life,. if anyone thinks there is someone watching these, things will turn to diffrent. Well who case of the next life by the way? embrace God beliveing then this country will turn to Gold mine, till this is Budhism and mad unmaried gay monks here, this country will be going to bad to worst.. as they dont believe in GOD the creator. No one of reproducible of anything as it happens by the time and time says that this is being driven by Time. useless preaching to this nation… as its a waste.

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      It’s better to follow the foot-steps of South Korea.74 % of the population embraced Christianity.and it’s now one of the major industrialised nation.

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        In Buddhist Japan, about 70% of Japanese profess no religious membership,according to Johnstone, 84% of the Japanese claim no personal religion. In census questionnaires, less than 15% reported any formal religious affiliation by 2000. And according to Demerath, 65% do not believe in God, and 55% do not believe in Buddha.
        Here Yasalalaka Tissa is making informal police forces such as BeBeSena, Rawana balaya (completely confused with Rawana & Buddhism, Ravana who was a Hindu King in Ramayana myth by Valmiki), spreading racism, not becuase he loves the faith but purely for one single reason, that is to stay in power.
        As long as people support this megalomaniac, ill fated, self inflated, wrongly glorified fake king this land will remain cursed.

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        @Rod Atkins
        @Aryan

        What a lot of moronic rubbish you people write. The Philipines is more than 95% Christian but it is a poor nation with tens of thousands of child prostitutes. Christianity does not make a nation prosper any more than any other religion.

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          @Taraki
          Well said! Take the Latin American continent. Vastly religious, and corrupt to the teeth.
          Then again take the Scandinavian nations and even countries like Australia and Canada, vastly secular and agnostic, with much better systems of governance and rule of law.
          If anything religion corrupts everything.
          If anything all the religions in the world have failed the humanity miserably (not saved)!

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          True, the Philippine is one case. There are many more examples from Africa, South America and the Caribbean region. Under Christianity in Ceylon a hell of brutalities were committed by the Portuguese and English. You guys are blindly linking political issues to religions. Free from the God and the Buddha or Maha Brahma and promote Samma Ditthi to see the political reality of in SL. Please do not divert the arguments from its cause.

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      To believe in a thing that seem very remote is so difficult. The answer is not to believe in some non existent God but create a culture with values, with leaders working to the rule of Law and to get rid of nepotism and to have people in key positions on merit.

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        Absolutely right.

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      NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW IN THE MODERN WORLD.
      So why is the president of Lanka above the law of the land?! The bugger MR and his family are a bunch of corrupt rogues.. The current constitution is a bloody curse.

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      Rod Atkins,

      According to Karl Marx, “Religion is the opium of the masses”.

      God is part of it, but it is blind faith and intolerance that is the problem.

      However, in Sri Lanka, “Buddhism is the opium of the Sinhala masses”.

      Read Monk Mahanama Myths and the racism, and the establishment of monk-king-axis.

      Lanka was peaceful with the Native Veddahs, Yakkas, Nagas and Rakshaya following Animist, Jain and Hindu Beliefs.

      Ravana was a Hindu , if you believe the Ramayana saga is true.

      Bali is 94% Hindu, and peaceful. Sri Lanka could have been 94% Hindu and peaceful, if not for Buddhism, and the curse of Monk Mahanama Myths.

      DeJa Vu….

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      Rod Atkins;

      There is nothing wrong with the BUDDHISM.
      the Phylosophy is a truth,
      and if you like to follow it’s prinsiples,
      you can find Calmity in your life.

      COME INQUIR,UNDERSTAND,
      IF SUITABLE YOU CAN FOLLOW.
      they are not RULES,

      ” Embracing your God and beliveing then this country will turn to Gold mine”,

      You will find nothing in gold or GOLD MINE.
      That is just a metal and no value to your inner mind peace.
      [Gold market Price also gone down, so no value]
      but give you some temmporry satisfaction.

      There are lot of god beliveing countries in turmoil and going down.
      [lower than HELL].

      Many religions,Religious Sect’s got monks, abotts, pasters,pusaris mathaweens who are hiding behind the religions nd do henious crimes
      Sins and inhumane sex acts.

      GOD CANOT DO ANYTHING,
      ONLY MAN and HIS MIND CAN DO EVERY THING.

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        Julampe you are crazy How dare you deny that God Who Created you and me cannot do nothing? Who send the rain? who control the day and night? who provide you with sustenance? you and your like minded people deny God? but God does not need us, We need God for our survival in this planet. Tsunamis, earth Quacks, flooding and other catastrophes do you think can be stopped by you puny human? even so called powerful nations could do nothing when these catastrophes did happened taking away lives whole sale. Who ever who denies the Creator, they are ungrateful worms who will only realize when the real thing happened, and if that were to happened, they will only bite their own finger in desperate.

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      Please refrain from using this forum to create social tensions. Buddhism, Christianity and Islam help people to develop a code of personal ethics. Each leader practiced periods of fasting exceeding 30 days to show their followers the path to salvation. All have the concept of karma, which is do good things to expect a better life after death. The similarities are greater than the differences. The actions of nations are the work of their rulers and not the fault of the inhabitants of a country, whatever their faith.

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    Reports in certain sections of the media that DIG Vaas had 327 Mn and his wife and son 50 Mn in their bank accounts have not been confirmed by the CID. The reason for not investigating and holding back on vital evidence of murders committed is diabolical.

    One can only imagine the accounts held by our politicians and family. Demands that politicians declare their assets have been ignored even though this is required under law. The Govt endlessly tinkers with the law and constitution. All public servants have been made to kneel before the executive. The public in turn has to kneel before the public servants. The irony of the situation is that the politicians are elected by the public. Or is it that they gain election by lying and bribing the public.

    The public servants are mostly political appointees. They are said to number about 1.3 Mn. For a country of 20 Mn this is more than 5% of the population. Considering a family of 4, then they would consitute around 5 Mn or 25% of the population directly benefiting from govt jobs. So no wonder the govt takes good care of them as they constitute a dependable voter base to perpetuate the rule of the politicians in power.

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    What we are now wtinessing in Lanka are the repercussions of the the dismantling of the once proudly prevailing system of law and order headed by an independent and professional police and an independent judiciary. It is now open sesame and nothing should shock the discerning. The intervention of the President “to rectify matters” on an individual basis is a mere symptonm of the system that he alone helped to bring down.Only the uniform is now left of the professionalism of our police ranks.
    Probably the President may be hoping that foolish people will now be impressed by his interventions. Ravi Perera refers to the case of the DIG;it is left for us to see if the so-called intervention here had been genuine. Or is it a show? We will all be wiser in a few days as we are now wiser about Duminda. To me it is sadly clear that Sri Lanka is on an evil path- the bounds of law having been broken.

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      Agree with you. The President will manipulate the system the way he wants. We know that he is not serious about issues such as ‘law and order’, ‘rule of law’, justice, etc. Sri Lanka is in fact a true reflection of the President’s character. I think he has taken us over the precipice and I truly fear that we have passed the point of no return.

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        Some believe that president is not adequately informed. Cant he see the real issue, that we dont have a minister to react injustice related issues in the country today ?

        Do you think that the current levels of lawlessness was the case also in the terms of CBK ? As I am one being out of the country, I have not read the articles based on alarming issues to today´s levels then. Even if some of you accused her of her governance, she was smart enough to handle very many issues, that MR regime has failed today.

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          Sorry, CBK is not the future. Having lived through her time I found her to be indolent, and empty headed. She was also a pathological liar. On the positive side her outlook was liberal and free of racism, but she did not use the enormous power she wielded to carry out her promise of scrapping the Presidential model, and when she had the opportunity she wanted to remain as an executive Prime Minister after her second term and thereby forced the UNP to withdraw support.

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    The non-implementation of the 17th Amendment and recently the the dictatorial 18th Amendment is responsible for making our police force a disgrace. It is the responsibility of the United National Party to pull the rug under the feet of the present government, propped up by a bunch of servile UNP MPs, by inviting these prodigal sons back to their fold. It is the best way to halt further erosion of the democratic form of government, under which people had the power to remove non-performing governments at elections.

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    Who is this guy Rod Atkins. Does he think believing in some imaginary God is the answer to everything. God is the creation of man. I live in U.S.A. and as most know U.S.A. is predominantly Christian. Does this guy know how much crime is happening in U.S.A., both blue collar and white collar. Do Christians follow the Bible to the letter. Buddha has shown the way for a life that is non violent, kind and compassionate toward others. Whether or not one wants to follow is ones choice. This is true for every religion.

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      @Indra,
      I believe Rod Atkin’s logic make some sense, or conclusion one could make as ONE possible root cause for all issues in SL.
      It is said that Christianity and western philosophies focus on OUTER development: love others, tolerate others, forgive others. (God is watching you and helping you)
      Whereas Eastern religions, philosophies (Buddhism, Hinduism) focus on developing their INNER self. (no invisible help, you are on your own)
      In the recent past it is obvious that people who have practiced OUTER development are getting richer (materially) where East is getting poorer.
      Perhaps this material development lead Westerns to more education, improve their core values, getting detached from blind faith & religions; hence more INNER development.
      East which is POOR can’t afford good education (education is not merely maths), they get more and more attached to religions and blind faith, reduce their core human values, getting more corrupt; hence reducing their INNER development as well…
      Just thoughts.. BBS Pl don’t kill me :-)..
      Anura

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        @Anura
        ‘I believe Rod Atkin’s logic make some sense, or conclusion one could make as ONE possible root cause for all issues in SL.
        It is said that Christianity and western philosophies focus on OUTER development: love others, tolerate others, forgive others. (God is watching you and helping you)
        Whereas Eastern religions, philosophies (Buddhism, Hinduism) focus on developing their INNER self. (no invisible help, you are on your own)’

        So how come two world wars were started by ‘Christian’ nations. How come Christian nations invaded and slaughtered and burned so much of Asia, Africa, S America & Australasia? Was God helping them?

        All their greed and cruelty started in their minds didn’t it? Maybe that is why Eastern religions consider the mind so important. May be that is why ‘The Kingdom of God is within You’!!

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      Indra,
      Sure, you may remember how the country was decades ago. Today, the situation has been changed a lot but not to the positive signs. Ruling politicians sponsor all kind of abuses incl. series of contract killings.
      This was not the case with lankens decades ago, even at the times the civil was its highest levels.

      Just imagine, even senior police officers are remanded today for their series of klling activities upon the requests of ministerial orders. There is no respect and dignity. I have no idea how many years you have been living in the US, but what I am well aware while living in the Europe is politicians would never work together with police in killing of their citizen.

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        Today only I got to read the announcement saying that SLFP party will take a disiplinary action against the most brutal uncivilized filthy mouth -who is reported to have directly intervened in the gun killing of Waragoda MP a couple of months ago. Even if prima fasie evidence are there, nobody from the govt paid genuine efforts in this regard. This is not the first time, GOVT openly defended country´s most disgusting politician -Mervin. People s anger has reached its limits now. Under the country leader, no life gurantee for any of his citizens in the country today. It was not comparable to the days in which the civil war against LtterS had been met with every event of the country, but today, even after rebells are fully eleminated, they have not stoped conventional killing tactics.

        May be currently remanded SENIOR police offier could know more about if the REGIME is 100% genuine with crime investigations. Also all about the contract killing of Lasantha – Sunday leader editor, could come to surface soon.

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    The rambling nonsense spouted by this writer is epitomised by his statement that, “By that we do not mean that our Police force is a shining example to the world. Its reputation is marred with brutality, corruption, favoritism and politicization. But the fact that it still provides an acceptable standard of civil policing speaks volumes for the basic soundness of its structures.”
    WTF are you trying to say?

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    If 70% in Japan profess no religion how do you call it Buddhist Japan?

    Religion is something you practice and not a name tag.

    I think Rod could be unto something. At least in Sri Lanka I think buddhist are the problem. I don’t mean Buddhism the two are different. If Buddhist and Buddhism are two individuals they will not recognize each other even if they bump into each other.

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      I lived 9 years in Japan and raised my children there. I can confirm that even 90% of Japanese have no religion or religious faith. Almost all Japanese in Urban areas celebrate Christmas, just having decorated Chrismus trees but they are not Christians either. No idea what is Christian religion is… That is beautiful, isn’t it?

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    Ravi,

    A good pointer. I am not a lawyer but I think most of us have overlooked the two sides of what any law means; interpretation according to the words or the written law and interpretation according to the spirit of the law.

    Most of the judges today do not deliver judgement according to the spirit of the law. It may be due to judges being compelled to live in isolation and also due to them being selected for positions in judiciary based only on experience in practicing as lawyers.

    On the other hand there are police officers who are in charge of police stations trying to settle matters before entering the complaints in the record. However the case of Vass Gunawardene overshadows the good work of the majority.

    As regards the teacher being forced to kneel down before the politician I can only quote a lines from Sunil Edirisinghe’s song; “Sip kiri pevoo Moosilayan udu mahale – ape guruthuma yayi thaamath iscole”. May be it is time to have a fresh look at the school education curriculum which is now student centered and not teacher centered. Yet the issue remains unanswered; Do Teachers and Students have codes of conduct and dress codes and standards for school uniforms?

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    The Sinhalese must try to understand, if they can, that Tamils have rights. They are guaranteed by the UN. They have rights upto “self determination” as defined by the UN.

    No Sinhalese seems to know that it is for this reason that the UNHRC passed the latest resolution on SL.

    As far as Tamil rights are concerned it is not for Tamils to receive and Sinhalese to give. It is there and the Sinhalese only have to honour Tamil rights to be in the same island.

    Sinhalese are now proving that they are not credible. They cannot be trusted even for International agreements.

    The same fate can be with any UN sponsored resolutioln of the ethnic conflict because the Sinhalese have become extremists and dangerously harmful to humanity.

    Therefore, Tamil Eelam and SL in the island is the only solution.

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    Where the Chief Justice is a Cheap Justice, what can we expect. An educated person like the Cheap Justice being part of the lawlessness of the country is unacceptable. It is an insult to all educated people of Sri Lanka. In the recent past most of the emigrants are Sinhalese, has any one asked the question why? Why cannot the Sinhalese live in Sri Lanka and running away. Life in the West is not rosy, its hard. But still they are leaving, why?

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    The report on the inquiry into coldblooded killings of 27 Welikada prisoners – 16 by STF on the evening of the day of the riots, and 11 early morning the next day, by the police who had called out the prisoners by name, taken them out and ‘executed’ them,is being held it appears,in the Presidential Secretariat.
    One of the prisoners killed, was on remand for only 7 days.
    This is now encouraging killings and torture of citizens held in custody in prisons and police stations.
    Noone appears concerned – not the lawyers’ associations,not the judiciary,none of the political parties & none of the lawmakers.
    The diplomats are painting a rosy picture of sri lanka with regard to Human Rights, at the UNHRC and other international fora.

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    The reason for the emergence of such extremist groups as for the BBS and Ravana Balaya is due to the failure of the government to look after its people. It is during times of severe hardship that one would turn to such extremist groups to give them some peace of mind or hope. It’s the failure of the politicians in this country that the common man has lost faith in our governing system and thus blindly follow such groups.
    The problem in this country is not religion or the fact that Buddhism doesn’t acknowledge the presence of a God or creator, such ideas were never considered during periods where the country was performing well economically, as was in the case when Ranil wickramasinghe was prime minister. We as citizens of this country shouldn’t waste our time putting blame on others religions for our problems today but should focus on exposing the failures of our politicians. The more people the people are exposed to the crimes and misdealing of our politicians the closer our country can put an end to this sad chapter in our history.

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    The people of this country who gave the mandate to rule this country to the present ruler MR did it with high hope but MR failed. This is a Godly responsibility to impose impartial law and order. The curse of the victims will haunt MR/GOTA/Basil/and their goons thugs leaders of Buddhist Clergy, who think the rights and dignity of his people can be compromised, denied with impunity, their lands taken forcibly, their wealth robbed in day light, white van abductions, extortions, will enjoy only the fire in their bellies, before the real fire consume them. If justice delayed is justice denied, then what else the victims is left is to seek Divine retributions. WE cannot deny tsunami is false, earth can suck all its wrong doers, lighting thunder can hit them, then who that can help, except the Almighty Lord, the owner of the world

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    Every sane soul shall be held responsible for their deeds, no matter who they are. For God Almighty shall judge all impartially. On that Great Day none can help one another, due justice will be dispensed. So who ever who fear that day, let them mend their ways in conduct their affairs in this worldly life so as to gain the Pleasure of the Lord Almighty. Those who indulge in vain glorious expedition, thinking might is right, let them book their abode in the hell fire.

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