The establishment of a special police unit in the Ministry of Buddha Sasana “to deal with complaints relating to religious matters” is unconstitutional and would lead to further deterioration of Rule of Law and escalation of religious disharmony in the country, says the Lawyers’ Collective.
Issuing a statement today the Lawyers’ Collective said; “Sri Lankan Constitution recognizes accountability of the Executive including the police, within a well recognized legal framework. The Government has not established Provincial Police Services and therefore there is only one central Police Department. Under the present legal scheme, in our view, it is not constitutionally possible to set up external police units under identified Ministries not connected to law enforcement and without introducing appropriate statutes, to deal with ordinary crimes. Practically, such police units, dealing with ordinary crimes pose a definite challenge to police accountability, as the Police Department is placed under two Ministries,”
The statement issued by JC Weliamuna on behalf of the Lawyers Collective, adds; “The Police Department, being the primary law enforcement agency of the State, is expected to enforce the general law, irrespective of the nature of the crimes and without religious or any other bias. Unfortunately, in the recent past Sri Lanka has seen total lack of commitment on the part of the police to deal with crimes committed against followers of minority religions and their religious places of worship. The Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Law and Order and the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs, all of which are directly under the President have displayed their lackadaisical attitude to control political hate campaigns and religious extremism.
“Establishing another police unit, in our view, will strengthen the hands of the extremists to use such a unit to intimidate minority religions and their devotees further. This unit will also be perceived as a license for ordinary police officers to shirk their legitimate responsibilities and pass them on to this unit and get away with their duties. There is a grave danger of this unit becoming a centrally controlled tool to intimidate the followers of Hinduism, Christianity and Islam.
“The establishment of this unit amounts to recognizing the inability on the part of the police to deal with general crimes of the country in the present political environment. Thus, we as lawyers committed to Rule of Law, urge the Government to disband this unit and strengthen Rule of Law of the country by making the i police independent of political interference so that every police officer of the state will be able to deal with all types of crimes.”
Sama / April 30, 2014
JVP opposition parliamentarian Sandunhetti doubted yestreday, appointing a special Unit of Police all of sudden by president could last until the medal is awarded to him by Baharain mission. So, steps taken by this stupid president has no basis to this day. Now it is high time very same folks who danced, ate kiribath to realize that this buffaloes principles fit only kindergardens (montisoris).
Don Stanely / April 30, 2014
Good work by the lawyers collective.
Minority rights must be MAINSTREAMED in the ENTIRE POLICE FORCE all over the contry. Setting up a “special unit” in of all places the Buddhist majority Ministry will actually further undermine minority rights.
The attacks on Muslims, Tamils, Christians has to be stopped by ALL police officers and this unit will do the opposite by ghettoizing minority protection.
The fact is that BBS Balu Sena must be tried for its crimes and attacks all over the country on minorities in open court.
Mainstreaming Minority rights and anti-corruption education must be done for the WHOLE police force of Sri Lanka which is one of the most corrupt institutions!
Dinuk / April 30, 2014
Jarapassa is visiting and cultivating the world’s DICTATORS. Bahrain is a dictatorship and there were massive protests during the Formula 1 Races last year.. Women have no rights too!
Ben Hurling / April 30, 2014
Wow! A seperate Police unit?
I am impressed by these Rajapassa cronies.
They seem to pocess endless tools in the “Sri Lanka Eye Wash” bag.
Rationalist / May 1, 2014
Ben Hurling, “Wow! A separate Police unit”
Well it looks good on Paper doesn’t it?
Adds to the list of ‘Developments’ by this Government, for the consumption of people who do not know the Truth.
Sama / April 30, 2014
Bravo bravo, Lawyer´s collective should come foward to animate the all justice loving people of this country. If you make the first step, all academics will lead it. Jaya niyathai, now it has reached to the levels- enough is enoough.
Pooty Poo / April 30, 2014
Where does the Lawyers Collective begin and (non)Transparency International and J.C.Weliamuna end.
Lawyers are good collectors of course.
Rajash / April 30, 2014
“Establishing another police unit, in our view, will strengthen the hands of the extremists to use such a unit to intimidate minority religions and their devotees further…..There is a grave danger of this unit becoming a centrally controlled tool to intimidate the followers of Hinduism, Christianity and Islam.”
I expressed a similar opinion last week elsewhere in CT on the same subject.
This special police unit is to give protection to BBS. This special unit will join all future BBS agitations and meetings to protct them.
Sapumal / April 30, 2014
I am happy to see at least lawyers collective see this development. This religious police is not only unconstitutional. It is unlawful and very dangeoures in its divisive nature to the way to build a secular society. MR learn his democracy from somewhere in middle east and try to implement here to establish his facist rule. You can see in certain countries including Taliban administration has this kind of democracy.(eg. Tatoos incident) We are a country which enjoys a liberal thinking and freedom for long time in our history. What ever dispute can be sort out with our existing law enforcement agencies and laws. According to my personnel opinion, I consider this as a anotther attempt to discriminate and harass opposition parties and gruops.We all must raise our voices to safeguard our freedom and Democracy in the country.CHASE THIS DEMONIC REGIME FROM POWER!ESTABILISH A DEMOCRATIC ADMINISTRATION>
Lasantha / May 1, 2014
Already Packer has decided to move his casino to either Japan or Macaw.
Soon JKH and Wijewardena will disappear from casino scene.
Yes, the land will go back to build the car park.
Yes, changes are coming and coming fast by winning the game with offensive tactics. Come June, things will change rapidly.
Yes together we can break the strongest walls and barriers.
David / April 30, 2014
Who are collective Lawyers, Ghanasara above all. He requested it and given.
Mallaiyuran / April 30, 2014
Disband this unit and right away form a Minority Reconciliation Commission under commissioners Mervyn Silva, Champika Ranawake and Aathe Galapola Thero.
Urgent special police unit required to take complain from the UNPers visiting Hambantota Airport and Harbour. Form it under president and election commissioner supervision. UNPer visits has become weekly celebration and more and more tourist are departing to these two attractions.
The Professional / May 1, 2014
The issue that needs to be addressed is whether the policemen attached to this unit should be atheists or fundamentalists or graduates of comparative religion. The best option would be to out source the operations to the underworld where religion has no place in routine business. The performance in the recent past qualifies PM’s office for operating this unit with the underworld.
“Most to least religious countries
Ghana- 96%, Nigeria- 93%, Armenia- 92%, Fiji- 92%, Macedonia- 90%,
Romania- 89%, Kenya- 88%,Iraq- 88%, Peru- 86%, Brazil- 85%,
Least religious (% of atheists)
Ireland- 10%, Australia- 10%,Iceland- 10%,Austria- 10%, Netherlands- 14%,Germany- 15%, South Korea- 15%, France- 29%, Czech Republic- 30%, Japan- 31%, China- 47%”
Sri Lanka ????
But can safely assume to follow China with casinos amidst protests by Council of Religions.