By Sannasa –
Julampitiya Amare epitomizes the mockery of our law and judicial procedure, which is now down in the doldrums. The invasion and tragic assault on the JVP meeting at Katuwana on the 11th of June was just the latest in a string of outrageous acts purported to have been executed by this man. Associating with the highest in the land, Julampitiya Amare has been acting as though he has a permanent license to do anything to anyone at any time.
Didn’t this man literally get the law to kneel before him? Julampitiya Amare was once reported to have been illicitly felling jak trees. The police were called in. Amare got the cops to kneel outside in the burning midday sun for several hours before he decided to release them. Such was the metal of this obstreperous character.
The data for this article comes from a news story published in the independent national daily Divaina of the 24th of June 2012.,
What will come of Amare now that there are many eyewitnesses to what transpired on that fateful day of the JVP meeting in the President’s stronghold?
That was a protest meeting against the government. Now, readers, think you are watching one of those countless teledramas that are being churned out to deaden the cultural taste and critical faculties of our people. While the meeting was in progress ’Dushtayas’ arrive in five motorbikes armed with T56 rifles and sticks. The latter descend on the meeting and keep battering the audience. A youth and a woman lay dead, hundreds lay injured having been spared of the T56 but hammered by sticks. Three three-wheelers and a van were destroyed and the marauders, after a thirty minute onslaught, left the battleground.
More than a teledrama, this event resembled a Bombay Masala. The only difference is that in this case there is no hero to tackle the dushtayas. The Divaina story remarked that there are no heroes in Lanka today. Dushtayas can operate at free will with no heroes whatever to counter the latter and to bring them to book. Surely, these criminals would have passed many security posts in their murderous journey to Katuwana? The politicized police are trained to look away at the misdeeds of the powerful. As far as the people are concerned, they are too focused with their own insufferable plight of having to make ends meet; in the case of some others, the latter are in utilizing self -aggrandizing opportunities that are available in a growing anarchy.
For now, we have an anti-hero in the name of Julampitiya Amare. Let’s find out more of this man by going back to the Divaina story. On June 30th in the year 2000 there had been a revolt in the Tangalle prison where prison officials on duty had been taken hostage by some 20-odd prisoners. The officials were physically restrained and some T56 guns and other arsenal spirited away. There was a UNP government at the time and John Amaratunge had been the Minister. A meeting was held by Amaratunge to sort out this crisis. The current President, Mahinda Rajapakse, then Leader of the Opposition, and Amaratunge sat down to discuss. There was another participant brought to this discussion and that was none other than Julampitiya Amare who was allegedly the prisoner that led the revolt. The Divaina report states that by that time Amrae had been serving over three years in prison for alleged assault etc. Amare eventually escaped from prison in the year 2002.
Since then, Julampitiya Amare has been prime suspect in 6 murders. Recently, it was revealed in court that Amare had figured in five more attempted murders and kidnappings. Police had reported that Amare figured in the killing of a Middeniya bus owner named Amila Chooti who had been shot by a rifle said to belong to Amare. As if the list was insufficient there had been reports made to the police against Amare over other charges related to illicit timber felling, Ganja growing, and cattle lifting. The Divaina story says that the police could not touch this man despite all these complaints.
In fact, Julampitiya Amare had played a prominent role during the last General Elections where he appeared on platforms, spoke, and even sang! Lined up with powerful politicians this man Amare had been seen brandishing the T 56 in public. At the time he had another underworld opponent called Neluwe Priyantha. The latter was gunned down by the STF. Neluwe Priyantha was succeeded by Navy Ruwan as mafia leader. Navy Ruwan believed that his predecessor had been killed on a tip off by Amare.
It was well-known that in recent times there was simply nothing that Julampitiya Amare could not do. He went about with a body amour and flanked with rifles and supporters frightening all and sundry into submission and supplication. It was said that even the crows in Tangalle would not dare to fly over Julampitiya Amare.
Thus even before the Katuwana incident we have a picture of Amare who treated the law as a joke and its enforcing officers as a bigger joke. What after the Katuwana? We had it from Lakshman Hulugalle, head of the government media centre, that this Katuwana murder would have been caused by the other JVP faction. The Deputy IGP asked the people to find the culprit. The trend now is for the police to request people to find the culprit. In this particular case there were persons who saw the culprit in action.
While the dilly dallying was going on Amare smelt violent counter reprisals against him and he presented himself to the police. Mind you, Amare’s surrender was not in connection with Katuwana but in a late response to an earlier warrant issued to him in 2002. The story is that Navy Ruwan has been stalking Amare to take revenge on the latter for the assassination of Neluwe Priyantha. Viewed in this context Julampitiya Amare’s surrender to the police was to seek temporary haven.
What precisely will happen over the Katuwana incident is thus an open question. Will Julampitiya Amare be protected as Duminda seems to be protected? We have witnessed over the past several years how paramilitary goons like Julampitiya Amare are being allowed to operate freely. Is the government not content with a politicized police force to give it an unusually strong arm? Is the developing mafia mechanism the outcome of a deliberate step to have a ring of paramilitary action goons doing the dirty work that a police simply cannot do by virtue of the fact that the police force is within the formal government system? Authoritarian regimes all over and open dictatorships have been employing such paramilitary mechanisms. The dictatorships in Latin America are well-known contemporary illustrations. When human rights violations could be attributed to goons outside the official system governments can more easily escape reprisal by international human rights bodies.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Above article was wrongly attributed to Tissa Jayatilaka. It was from www.sannasa.net . We apologize to our readers and to Tissa Jayatilaka.