22 January, 2020

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Catastrophic Results: Gota And A Haven For Criminals

By Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena –

Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s claim during a recent address at the Kotelawala Defence ‘University’ that Sri Lanka is presently enjoying the ‘full benefits of peace’ sits strikingly at odds with the headline of the country’s newspapers on any given day.

Complete degeneration of law and order

And to be clear, I am not talking in this instance of high profile ‘terrorism’ cases or even the military’s excruciatingly intrusive role in the North and East under the guise of so-called ‘civic-military’ activities. On the contrary, this reference is to the South and in relation to what may be termed as ‘ordinary’ law enforcement. For example, the family members of the businessman who was robbed of millions by an armed gang last Saturday while carrying the money to be used for his daughter’s wedding may not quite agree with the Defence Secretary’s comfortable illusions. This businessman who was clearly traumatized by what happened, died of a heart attack not soon thereafter. Such incidents are not uncommon but fill daily news reports with highly disturbing regularity.

Certainly the issue therein is not the occurrence of crimes but the complete inability of the police to solve them. During the worst of the conflict years, though general law enforcement was never at its best, the degeneration that we see now was certainly not evidenced. Ironically enough, it is in the post war period that we increasingly see senior policemen being involved in perpetrating crimes with an astounding degree of impunity.

Powerful policemen untouchable by the law

The arrest of a much feared Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Vass Gunewardena for complicity in the contract killing of a businessman some weeks ago is just one symptom of a general pattern of politically powerful policemen and army personnel involved in criminal activities for sheer profit. This is a senior policeman who had been repeatedly implicated in instigation as well as cover-ups of torture and killings in the past but who received powerful patronage and was never brought to a reckoning. His unprecedented threat to the policemen who came to arrest him that he was a murderer and that he would deal with those who opposed him, shows how untouchable by the law he is. Understandably, many are cynical about this arrest, predicting that it will be quietly shelved when public interest in the case drops.

In its post-war years therefore, Sri Lanka resembles an exceedingly dangerous haven for politico-criminal activity rather than a peaceful island paradise as is sought to be made out by the country’s Defence Secretary. Mr Rajapaksa’s explanation, at this same event, that the Department of the Police remains within the supervision of the Ministry of Defence as part of a comprehensive National Security strategy, is therefore highly unconvincing.

His stand also continues to be directly contrary to the recommendation of the Lessons learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) as pointed out in these column spaces in the past. The LLRC’s recommendation was not tossed into the report to fill up its pages. Rather, there were very good reasons as to why the Commissioners recommended that the police revert to its civilian authority without continuing within a military structure. Capturing the public goodwill through divesture of its military image, restoring civilian command and reorganizing effective internal disciplinary control within the Department were part of these reasons, no doubt.

The prevalence of breathtaking impunity

Indeed, the near total lack of internal disciplinary control within the Police Department has been one reason for international scrutiny into Sri Lanka’s law and order status. As the United Nations General Assembly was informed in February 2008 ‘statistics relating to departmental lapses show that disciplinary proceedings are almost exclusively initiated against low-ranking officers; there is a determined unwillingness to hold police officers with command responsibility accountable for torture and killings engaged in by their subordinates, whether at the disciplinary or at the criminal level; this applies to both internal and external accountability mechanisms; in 2001, constables were found responsible for 86% of departmental lapses; superintendents were found responsible for only 0.04% of such lapses’ (Sri Lanka Administration Report, 2001) quoted by the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Philip Alston; Mission to Sri Lanka, 28 November – 6 December 2005, E/CN.4/2006/53/Add.5, 27 March 2006, at para. 57, footnote 38).

What was prevalent in 2005 when that Special Rapportuer’s report was written, has now increased a hundredfold. The extreme politicization cum militarization of police structures is impacting on ordinary people in a way that no one, not even the economically privileged, can protect themselves from. Moreover, the sheer impunity that prevails is breathtaking. So when thugs carrying bicycle chains and iron rods stormed the hostel of the University of Kelaniya in broad daylight to assault students last week, no perpetrators are arrested. There is no expectation either that effective investigations will follow. This is what is most frightening. In that context, how does the Defence Secretary justify the effectiveness of the supervisory control extended by his Ministry over this Department?

Catastrophic results of remaining silent

Some years ago, when a constitutionally functioning National Police Commission tried to discipline the police force, it was met with stiff resistance by the police establishment (retired as well as serving) along with politicians. The NPC was then systematically stripped of even a modicum of its integrity by the unconstitutional appointment of its members prior to being virtually done away with altogether under the 18th Amendment which condescendingly allowed its powers in regard to public complaints remain as a sop. As currently constituted, the NPC has no real authority whatsoever against corrupt and politically powerful policemen who act in tandem with underworld groups and criminal military figures.

Currently and quite contrary to the comfortable illusions that the Defence Secretary appear to be labouring under, what predominates is a general breakdown of law and order in Sri Lanka from the purely inane to the intensely serious. It is a heavy but inevitable that we have had to pay for remaining silent when the 17th Amendment was virtually abolished and the National Police Commission (NPC) was ruthlessly emasculated by this administration. And each and every one of us is liable at any given moment of the day, to suffer from its catastrophic results. In truth, this is the reality.

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Latest comments

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    One remembers tha case of one Nishantha Gajanayake who was accused of abducting Tamil and Muslim Buisnessmen during the height of the war. He was operating from a hotel in a Very High Security Zone close to Temple Trees.

    What happened to him or the case no one knows. It was exposed by the late Lasantha Wickremaatunge in the Sunday Leader who was bumped off. The case of Vaas Gunawardene needs to be investigeated fully in the interest of the Public and People of this country. We need to know who the real brain behind all these illegal killings and abductions is.

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      Very near future we may have Depatrment of Criminels with petronage of Ministry of defence.
      We can rent a CRIMINAL WITH A low price tag from King’s government.

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        Why in the future, we have already almost any crime being perpetrated him being the head of crime promoting body of country under the lead of defence minister – MR who is his brother ?

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    Dear Ms. Kishali-Pinto Jayawardane,

    This is all propaganda by the Mara Mafiosos. This is a police state where the police take contacts.

    What is the difference with the Nazis? Only in degree only.

    This is the 21st century?

    “Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s claim during a recent address at the Kotelawala Defence ‘University’ that Sri Lanka is presently enjoying the ‘full benefits of peace’ sits strikingly at odds with the headline of the country’s newspapers on any given day.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Goebbels

    http://www.psywarrior.com/Goebbels.html

    As Reichsminister for Propaganda and National Enlightenment, Goebbels was given complete control over radio, press, cinema, and theater; later he also regimented all German culture. Goebbels placed his undeniable intelligence and his brilliant insight into mass psychology entirely at the service of his party. His most virulent propaganda was against the Jews. As a hypnotic orator he was second only to Hitler, and in his staging of mass meetings and parades he was unsurpassed. Utterly cynical, he seems to have believed only in the self-justification of power. He remained loyal to Hitler until the end. On May 1, 1945, as Soviet troops were storming Berlin, Goebbels committed suicide.

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    Excellent analysis of a perverted system being rationalized by one of the main players.

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    There’s some cooking to be done at home. Stop writing the crap & take a nap rather than cooking stories. If GR or MR had prevented the arrest of Vass & SI then this crap has some legitimacy.

    It’s unfortunate that writers like you wants to point a finger at GR or MR for everything happens even when a neighbour far* it’s GR’s fault. Even on a day that you all write something that is legitimate, people will take it a joke. Remember that Gamarala’s story who claimed that tiger was coming for nothing and on the day it really happened there was no one to rescue or help him.

    Do some work at home & bring up a child who can be an asset to this country. That’s a more worthwhile cause than writing this crap again & again.

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      Daham:
      You really do have a warped sense of humour to pick the pseudonym you have. Or is it merely yet another example of your abysmal ignorance and stupidity?
      Instead of asking Ms. Pinto Jayawardena to go and raise a child, why don’t you join the rest of your neanderthal family under the rock from which you keep emerging?
      I don’t intend to insult you, merely to make a suggestion appropriate to someone of your obvious intelligence(?)

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      Dham Crap.

      Better you spred your handkerchief in front of fort railway station and beg.
      it is very proud job for you.

      Remember that old FOX@S’s story who ate all KIRIBATH [milkrice] and put a stop peg on his anus.
      that is more suitable for people like that.

      we think you dont have a home to go,
      if so, you go out near some area, where some xxx manics rounding,
      you type of can earn a living.
      VERY SHAM MAN, OF YOUR TYPE OF MEN

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      Dumb Daham was hurt.
      You pathetic joker, do you think that others
      are deaf and dumb. People with atim of a brain
      know who are the criminals ruining this country and its peace.
      You are so comical.
      By the way are you a Chicken Buriyani Gnanasatan group member?
      You sound so though with your ‘bring up a child’ part.

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      You are another idiot who will lick rajapassas ass nto get your personal benifits. You dont care what has happened to the country. You still encourage the rogue regime. MODA GAMAYAS.

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    If we have calibre of powerful officers of forces and army and police, do we need any more criminals for Sri Lanka? Wonder of Asia.

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    It was an “Army Commission” that reached a conclusion that the Police
    Services remain with the MOD opposing the LLRCs recommendation.

    Daham (above) has not realised that the evidence emanating from Vass arrest is one going back to implicate higher-ups and the threat issued by Vass.Gs wife is indicative.

    If another Department was involved as deep as the MOD, its Secretary
    would have resigned or be removed. As this does not happen with the
    present set up we must expect more fireworks?

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      you should not care about these type, ex; Daham Crap like cowards.

      they are planted shit eating pigs by present governance.
      only they write for their pay check given by their masters fro our tax money.
      they wiil pay for their sins in duecourse.

      THE WHOLE LOT OF SHIT EATING PIGS.

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      VAAS G’S WIFE’S THREAT IS OBVIOUSLY, SHE IS PART OF THE ABDUCTION AND MURDER OUTFIT OF THE KILLER MONSTER SCOUNDREL GOTABAYA,WHO WILL SOON
      SEE THE RESULTS THEY ARE GOOD BUDDHISTS-CAUSE AND EFFECT.

      EVERY ACTION WILL BRING ABOUT ITS REACTION.

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    Yes police department is under Ministry of Defense, but what he has not said is that after the police department came under the Defense ministry the worst illegal activities of the police department was let out without any control.

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    In the Defence Secretaries speech at the Kotelawela Defence Academy he referred to the security threats to the state, in particular to Internal Threats. He did not mention the threats from the security apparatus itself. This is one of the biggest threats that must be recognized, that is, the threat to the life of the citizen from the Government.

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    Lo and behold! A living specimen of a species thought to have gone to extinction long ago – at least in the modern civilized world – Daham! A man who believes that woman is there only to look after the children and the kitchen. Perhaps an old cook-appu or a Lord “Kitchener” himself from the manor of Medamulana! This Homo sapiens dahamensis instead of trying to make some sense of what Ms Pinto has to say, not only utters some nonsense but makes some derogatory remarks as well.Everybody knows that Sri Lanka Police – at least some of the higher-ups – were corrupt due to politicization much before MR was elected President. Subsequently it rapidly grew from bad to worse through more and more politicization and got accelerated beyond belief since the emasculation of the National Police Commission. Now, who wanted it that way? And why? Will you please answer Daham?

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    Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa must be out of mind or a Psychopath to tell academics at the Kotelawala Defence ‘University’ that Sri Lanka is presently enjoying the ‘full benefits of peace’ while people in peace time are killed like rats everyday and those who are responsible are top brass of Sri Lanka Police escape unpunished with help of politically appointed Chief Justice/ Attorney General.

    “The arrest of Vaas Gunawardena and the descent into rulelessness. The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Vass Gunawardena is now in remand custody while an inquiry into the conspiracy to murder a businessman for pay is ongoing…” https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-arrest-of-vaas-gunawardena-and-the-descent-into-rulelessness/

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    May GOD protect us.

    • 0
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      There is no god to protect anyone. Tap your inner energy. Then you will know who GOD is. 99% sri lankans who live in sri lanka will not understand what I am saying.
      THANK YOU

  • 0
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    Similar story from a true backgound from Rio de Janairo
    Movie :Elite Squad: The Enemy Within (2010)
    The sprawling slum that towers over Rio de Janeiro is one of the most dangerous places on Earth, and as the head of Rio’s BOPE (Special Police Operations Battalion), Captain Nascimento (Wagner Moura) has seen his share of intense situations. When a BOPE mission to stop a jail riot ends in violence, Nascimento finds his job on the line–and BOPE accused of a massacre by human rights activists. But a public fed up with the violence and gangs that plague Rio loves it, and Nascimento finds himself embraced as a hero who gets results. With elections around the corner, he’s promoted to Sub-Secretary of Intelligence. In his powerful new post, Nascimento strengthens BOPE and brings the drug gangs that run the slum to their knees– only to come to the sobering realization that by doing so, he’s only made things easier for the corrupt cops and dirty politicians who are truly running the game. After years in the trenches, Nascimento now finds that his new enemies are much more dangerous and, even worse, sitting at desks just down the hall.
    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/elite_squad_the_enemy_within/

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    JULAMPITIYE AMARAYA ..qUOTE “Very near future we may have Depatrment of Criminels with petronage of Ministry of defence.
    We can rent a CRIMINAL WITH A low price tag from King’s government.

    nO….NO…NO…. CAN BURROW ONE FOR CHEAP FROM BF’S AHRC AS THEY ARE CRAVING $$$ VULTURESTO MAN THE SHOW TO ENABLE THEM TO MAKE MORE $$$$.
    How about a Rtd HK civillian policeman fron AHRc or an Indian.??

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