By Emil van der Poorten –
International television broadcasts had extensive coverage of the execution of Rizana Nafeek, by beheading, in Saudi Arabia.
What was patently clear and went unchallenged was the fact that the Sri Lankan government, apart from issuing vacuous appeals for mercy/clemency to the Saudi Monarchy and then recalling its Ambassador to that country after the execution didn’t do the obvious in an effort to save the life of this minor: provide the means for an adequate and appropriate legal defence.
While this is understandable in a government that is only too ready to offer, but not deliver, on promises to compensate the families of those killed, in completely legal protests, by its security forces such as in the Free Trade Zone protests and the protests by fishermen, this judicial murder provides a microcosm of the manner in which Sri Lankan politics and governance work and the priorities of its political elites.
While the financial wherewithal was available for a senseless night-racing extravaganza in Colombo, conducted at enormous cost and considerable inconvenience to the general public, the funds did not exist to provide this citizen of Sri Lanka, a member of an army of slave workers who are the primary financial support of this country, with a decent legal defence.
While the Colombo Municipal Council, controlled by the official opposition UNP, was a prime participant in the monstrosity that was the Colombo Night Races, the UNP has done very little, if anything, while a poverty-stricken Sri Lankan woman was subjected to Kangaroo Justice in one of the world’s most corrupt, venal and socially backward states.
This whole business serves as a tragic metaphor for life in this country where the government, a so-called “Official Opposition” and the so-called “leaders” of the Muslim Community stand by while a Sri Lankan wage slave is murdered in a foreign land.