21 June, 2018

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A Minister For Law & Order – Thinking Out Of The Box

By Rajeewa Jayaweera

Rajeewa Jayaweera

The dilemma of a full-time Minister for Law & Order continues while President Sirisena vacillates over Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s nominee, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka. According to at least one media report, no UNP Minister is agreeable to accept the post resulting in the UNP deciding to resubmit Fonseka’s name.

Reasons for the President’s reluctance to accept the Prime Minister’s nomination are unknown. One is justified in questioning if the President’s reluctance is due to political reasons. Law and order should not be traded off for political expediency. 

Meanwhile, law and order in the country is going to the dogs, the latest being the episodes in Ampara and Teldeniya. The Police and STF, unable to bring the situation in Teldeniya under control have requested for assistance from the army. Both incidents have begun to take a communal dimension. Images of burnt-out shops and marauders armed with poles in the streets have started to trickle through social media. Such incidents are bound to reverberate in the current and future UNHRC sessions in Geneva.

Not a single day passes without multiple traffic accidents, often involving fatal causalities.

It is understood, over a dozen senior Police officers, many of DIG rank are opposed to Fonseka’s appointment. The Police force of today is not the force of years gone by. Recent news about the conduct of senior police officers is appalling. One about to be arrested former IGP has managed to obtain a court injunction preventing his arrest over the improper influencing of the investigation in the death of a well-known sportsman a few years ago. A Senior DIG, a DIG, and an OIC too have been taken into custody for questioning over the same crime. Another former IGP had a proven track record for keeping the company of leading members of the underworld and drug trade. It is no wonder senior police officers are opposed to the appointment of a military man known to be a disciplinarian. 

Fonseka might be the answer for a thorough cleanup and instill some badly needed discipline in the Police force.

There is yet another very valid reason for the appointment of Fonseka. The former Minister for Law & Order, a Wickremesinghe protégé, was accused of going slow on following up on corruption charges against members of the previous government and Rajapaksa family members. Politics and politicians in Sri Lanka being what it is, most appointees will suffer from the ‘you tickle my back, I tickle your back’ syndrome. On the other hand, Fonseka will be one of the few who will not suffer from such a syndrome. He has the necessary motivation to pursue pending corruption cases relentlessly. Some rapid results could be expected with him heading the Law & Order Ministry.

One of the several reasons attributed to the poor performance of the current regime in the recent Local Government elections was the lack of delivery on promises made before Presidential and Parliamentary elections to prosecute stalwarts of the previous administration accused of corruption.

Commencement of proceedings against even a few such politicians during the next two years will help the image of President Sirisena and Yahapalana government tremendously.           

Law and order in the country has been deteriorating beginning shortly after the Yahapalana government assumed office. Regular protest marches resulting in traffic log jams are a common occurrence.  University students protesting over SAITM, wild cat strikes by GMOA members, some others protesting over ETCA, Petroleum Corporation employees over the leasing of the oil tank farm in Trinco and Hambantota Port workers over the handing over of the Port to a Chinese company despite generous redundancy packages offered, are a few of the many other instances.

‘Invest Sri Lanka’ forums will not gain traction with foreign investors so long as regular work stoppages take place due to strikes and protest marches bringing the central business district to a halt regularly.

Right to Protest is a hallmark of a democracy. However, too much of anything including freedom is counterproductive. Police response time in situations such as Ampara and Teldiniya need be much shorter. A robust mechanism is required to keep protestors in check and thugs off the streets. Sterner measures than barriers and water cannon may be necessary at times to bring demonstrators and arsonists under control.

A few broken heads and limbs may be easier to defend in Geneva than murders and torching of businesses and homes, especially of minority communities. 

It is time to think out of the box. Let us give Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka a crack at law and order for one year. If the experiment does not work, he could always be replaced. 

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Latest comments

  • 3
    26

    Some hidden hands of UNP is at work creating an uncontrollable situation by using violence to prove that appointing Sarath Fonseka as the Minister of Law and Order is the solution. And they are coupled with some other jokers who want to show that there is anarchy in the country and the government is unstable. And there are some extremist sidekicks too to complete the picture. All of them are too self-centered to care how much damage they do to their own country.

    • 5
      1

      Rajeewa, you and other Sinhala commentators took offence at LTTE supporters shouting Prabakaran’s name and waving LTTE flag during the demonstration in front of SL High commission on independence day. Did you hear that today in Kalmunai Muslim demonstrators chanted Prabakaran’s name and said if Prabakaran was alive nothing like this would have happened to Muslims. How is that these Sinhala card board weerayas who were hiding under the bed suddenly get this courage after demise of LTTE. If this situation continues, I will not be surprised if Muslims wave LTTE flag openly, not in London, but in Srilanka..

      • 3
        2

        Gnana
        LTTE supporters have been shouting VP’s name and waving LTTE flags in front of the London High Commission and other embassies in Europe for decades and it was nothing new on 04 February 2018.
        *
        Do not read too much into emotionally upset Muslim demonstrators chanting VP’s name in the heat of the moment.
        *
        They are not about to forget the 72,000 Muslims expelled from the Northern Province during the month of October 1990 by VP which included 38,000 from Mannar, 20,000 from Jaffna, and Kilinochchi, 9,000 from Vavuniya and 5,000 from Mullaitivu. They were resettled in Puttalam and elsewhere including Colombo. They are not about to wave LTTE flags!

        • 3
          1

          Rajeewa do not try to cover up the present situation by bringing what LTTE did in 1990. For you Muslims must remember only atrocities committed by LTTE and keep quiet about atrocities committed by Sinhalese. For your information Prabaharan’s name was chanted in Alutgama incident in 2014 also. In the videos circulated in social media about Alutgama, Muslims were clearly asking “Where is Prabaharan”.

      • 0
        1

        oh really? LOL

      • 0
        0

        If Prabha was alive: Dosthara A Gnana, you say, if Prabakaran was alive nothing like this would have happened to Muslims.

        I agree with you, A Gnana. If Prabha was alive this wouldn’t have happened. That stupid Army Pvt Nimal Maharage is responsible for all this. He shot dead Velupillai Prabhakaran like a dog in the Nanthikadal Lagoon – I mean metaphorically. We all know it is impossible to shoot a man like a dog because the dog is such a good friend of man. Additionally, in this case we cannot take the metaphor too far because dogs in general do not lick your feet and say ‘Aiya Samy, Please do not kill me. Andavane.’ as VP did. They may lick your feet or any other preferred part of your anatomy. But they will never say the pathetic words “Aiya Samy…”. It is not that dogs are braver than VP. But a dog’s vocabulary does not include those words.

        I ask all of you, is that the way to treat the leader of a world class freedom movement? . A movement that set international standards for terrorism and invented tools such as the bomb vest and inspired hundreds of suicide bombers. More than that, VP was a lover of wild life including birds, even chicken – eating only the dead ones. Because of Nimal, VP could not fulfill his side of the bargain with Mahinda, to destroy 95% of the young generation of Tamils.

        Extinct like Chicken: If Prabha was alive, there would not have been any Muslims to attack. They would be either an extinct species like Vanni Chicken or so rare that they would be a protected species.

    • 5
      0

      champa, Why not give L&O ministry to SF and see what he could do. Why oppose it? Of course he could not get sufficient votes but that has not hindered him getting parliamentary entry thanks to this Yahapalana Government which keeps a bunch of rejected candidates as ministers and also call it Democracy. I think he should be given the post, I see many who comment here and in daily mirror are in support of SF becoming L&O. It would be a do or die position for him.

    • 7
      0

      This is the exact reason a tough person is needed for the job to see who’s hidden hands are doing such damage be it UNPs or SLFPs or any other faction. DISCIPLINE is the most important thing whether in a country, organisation, parliament, party, schools anywhere. Even a ‘bulath kade’ cannot function if there is no discipline. This country is going to the dogs due to lack of DISCIPLINE. Tough rulers are needed if our country is to turn around.

    • 6
      1

      Viagra Vimal, 100Gommanpila are the main culprits. Even at the Ampara incident, they were the first to jump the Gun. IF SF is appointed these things will be rectified and acted upon immediately and these double ID Heroes will be questioned and will not utter a word in the future.When the President stated that he’ll be 6′ under if he had lost is having secret deals with the very same murderers.

  • 22
    0

    Rajeewa Jayaweera

    “Reasons for the President’s reluctance to accept the Prime Minister’s nomination are unknown. One is justified in questioning if the President’s reluctance is due to political reasons. Law and order should not be traded off for political expediency. “

    Incorrect.

    The reasons are known.

    1. Protect the crooks.

    2. Protect the criminals.

    3. Protect the racists and arsonists.

    4. Protect himself from incompetence, that will become clear when Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka becomes Law and Order Minister. This everybody in the UNP and the country knows.

    5. Prevent Sarath Fonseka running against Sirisena as the President, and surely Sirisena will lose against the Hero.

    6. Sirisena Balla (dog) is not eating grass, and not letting others, cattle, who can eat grass eat it.

    7. Sirisena is showing his colors as a Sevalaya )( Sleaze) and Perethaya ( Greedy person).

  • 1
    11

    I heard Ranil wants to micromanage everything and his hands go over the influence of ministers. SO, I do ot thuink, even if Appointed, Sarath Fonseka can do much. IT will be highly controlled.

  • 3
    0

    The problem here is that the government lacks confidence due to the erosion of its legitimacy which showed up with its poor performance at the LG polls.A govt that hAs lost the confidence of its people’s is a lame duck govt, and that’s what Yahapalana is today. That’s the reason why Govt Ministers have no guts to go to the troubled areas and appeal for calm. They fear the mood of the people. It is time for Yahapalana to show some statesmanship even if it lacks political credibility. Sirisena should contact Mahinda and they should make a joint appeal for peace and restraint.There may be a few political points lost from both sides in the process, but they should sacrifice political expediency in the national interest, and more importantly in maintaining law and order, the very essence of a civilised society.

  • 4
    4

    Rajiva Jayaweera, We think that you should stay inside the box (within an aircraft cargo hold preferably), for the good of our nation. Only a dimwit would suggest that Fonseka has the level head needed to manage law and order. Giving him control over an armed police force will be like giving a monkey a razor. Stop joking!

  • 1
    0

    in other countries when the going gets tough the tough gets going
    in SL when the going gets tough the weak gets going
    that is yahapalanaya

  • 3
    0

    Rajeeva “A robust mechanism is required to keep protestors in check and thugs off the streets. Sterner measures than barriers and water cannon may be necessary at times to bring demonstrators and arsonists under control.”

    There is a simple solution to all this.
    Arrest all Buddhist Monks who are encouraging the rioters and put them behind bars.

    so dont bla bla bla Rajeeva and bury the facts

  • 2
    0

    Field Marshall for Law and Order? Go on then, light the touch paper and retreat.

    As for the new found target of our ethno-nationalists, the stable doors are well and truly wide open and the only solution might to be bring in a strongman who will brook no nonsense from the ring leaders and their mischief makers.

    Alternatively, let us watch our politicians scratch their balls and procrastinate until Colombo and Kandy go up in flames.

  • 3
    0

    Rajapaksas know what a strategist SF is and no wonder they all agreed and declare the best Army Commander in the world just after 2009 (check a Google Search)

    There is a deal among MA-RA and SIRA not to appoint SF as the minister as he will dig all the corrupt acts of Rajapaksas and their henchman. SIRA is such a waste he agreed with MA-RA provided that MA-RA will let SIRA continue until 2020 and the only condition is not to appoint SF.

  • 3
    0

    Someone has to tie a stick to the back of president Sorisena, we need a strong person as the minister of law and order as 1/5th of the population is nothing but rice eating buffalos.

  • 2
    2

    champa, Why not give L&O ministry to SF and see what he could do. Why oppose it? Of course he could not get sufficient votes but that has not hindered him getting parliamentary entry thanks to this Yahapalana Government which keeps a bunch of rejected candidates as ministers and also call it Democracy. I think he should be given the post, I see many who comment here and in daily mirror are in support of SF becoming L&O. It would be a do or die position for him.

  • 1
    1

    SF, if assumes duty as Law& order minister, will bring everything under control and pull very sensitive cases which includes several high profile cases that were put under carpet. It worries MS more than that of the worries expressed by senior police officers. How many murders have gone unanswered in Sri Lanka? Comparatively, Sri Lanka is the country that has witnessed more politically motivated killings than any other country in the region. How to stop this menace and who will stop these unwanted suffering? People vote to elect their Govt. to create change but happens after they become rulers is a sad story. This should change.

  • 2
    1

    Rajeewa Jayaweera, Shymon Jayasinghe and Ranil Wickramasinghe want Sarath Fonseka appointed Minister of law and Order .

    Sarath Fonseka must be either from hell or an asylum to look good these three men .

    There is nothing in his career to show the character of a good minister but only bravado, bullshit and abuse of power ( how many body guards has he got now ? , after all a field Marshall must have many body guards and many vehicles)

    If he is appointed, it will be a short , furious and abusive term .Maybe his sons in law also should be given in charge of procurement.

    Hope the gods that protect this country will not let it happen. They were negligent when Mahendran was appointed

    • 2
      0

      Kolla,

      Why are shivering the moment SF name is mentioned.

  • 1
    0

    Sorry Rajeewa, your chinthanaya is not very compelling.
    A factor which distinguishes good policing from bad is the police acting impartially and independently.
    As to who is Law and Order Minister must be immaterial.
    In SL the Police have been manipulated into a servile arm of the politician – the ‘Yes Sir, Yes Sir’ incident shows this. The IGP, DIGs are political appointees and loyalty obtained with post-retirement carrots . We have been conditioned to accept this as the norm.
    The pro and anti SF tirades suggest that the Minister of Law and Order actually issues very very detailed instructions. The police may decide on whether a Police-person meditates or not.

  • 1
    0

    Srilanka need effective people who are result oriented, not people who belong to NATO ( NO action Talk only). SF will do the job entrusted to him , We did see how effective he was and also worked on a time frame to bring in the desired results . So lets go for him to manage the next two years

  • 0
    1

    Rajeewa,

    Did anyone ask from SF where he got the millions found in his vault!

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