Sri Lankans have just been confronted with the abduction of two policemen, one of whom was assassinated. The other narrowly escaped by struggling and running into the jungle naked. He is now receiving treatment in a hospital. This incident happened at Kurunegala. The immediate reaction of some persons who were interviewed by the press agencies was: if this is what is happening to our policemen, what can we expect for ourselves? Such reactions sum up the extent of the lawlessness that has spread throughout the country.
There is no need to try and list all the reported incidents of lawlessness that is happening in all parts of the country. In fact, the space available to a short statement would not suffice if all the incidents were to be mentioned. The impression that has been created in the country of the depths of lawlessness which has paved the way for all types of crimes such as robberies during the day and night, murders, rape and the sexual abuse of women, frauds of all type and corruption spread into every possible area of national life has made such a large impression in the minds of everyone that requires no further proof of the extent of the insecurity in the country. The most recent incidents include the robbery of jewelry shops and also breaking into banks.
What is most worrying to all citizens is not merely the magnitude of the crimes but that this problem seems to have no solution. Expecting the worst tomorrow is no consolation. In fact, the government is not even trying to console the population. It does not appear to be embarrassed or humiliated by the sheer audacity of the criminals.
The problem of the impact of the lawlessness cannot be judged solely by the numbers and the magnitude of the crimes. The related phenomenon is that of the neglect spread into all aspects of life in the country. Just taking the example of the national failure to deal with the dengue mosquito which keeps parents in a state of anxiety at all times is sufficient to illustrate the consequences of the negligence arising from the absence of law enforcement.
Why the problem is without a solution is because the government has relegated the law into a position of insignificance. That the government can better manage the country without the law is their basic position. That the legal system is an obstacle to development and therefore for the purpose of pursuing what the government considers as development, the law needs to be neglected is an integral part of the development philosophy of the country.
As a consequence, even for a crime like the abduction of two policemen and the inhumane treatment they suffered, and finally the shooting of one of them will not convince the government that such crimes are to be expected when the law is relegated to a position of no importance. The probable reaction to this crime will be to arrest some persons and shoot them; claiming that they attempted to harm the arresting officers in one form or another and therefore it became necessary to shoot them in self defence. This is not a new scrip in Sri Lanka. The more embarrassed the government and the law enforcement agencies are the more often will this scrip be repeated.
In fact, the government is without a solution to lawlessness because lawlessness has become a part of Sri Lanka’s official political philosophy. The blue print for lawlessness is provided by the country’s constitution itself. The 1978 Constitution displaced the law and created a one-man system, thus assigning a task that no chief executive of any government could hope to perform. The law requires a system and not just a man who is supposed to be all powerful and strong. That claim of being all powerful is a myth that can never be realised in a practical sense.
The problem for the government is that it has sunk its feet so deeply in the shoes of the former president, J.R. Jayewardene, that it cannot move its legs in any direction other than that of the founder and creator of this accursed constitution.
Further, the present government has itself used lawlessness for its own benefit. If the criminals are to be brought to book it is simply not possible for many holding top positions in the government not to be included in that list. Thus, the logical conclusion is to not do anything practical for the elimination of crime.
However, what the government is learning everyday is that no nation is rich enough to pay the cost of lawlessness. The cost increases everyday and the worst is that the losses that come as a result of crime also increase every day.
Where does this leave the nation? That is the question that every Sri Lankan, whether they are part of the government or not, are faced with. Either pay more and more each day as the cost of lawlessness or find a decisive way out.
The killing of the policeman after kidnapping him and his companion is a glaring reminder of the nation’s sad fate.
The return to the rule of law is the question, to be or not be, for Sri Lanka.
*Statement issued by the Asian Human Rights Commission
Ben Hurling / May 7, 2014
My fellow citizens,
All I can say is “Suba Anagathayak”!
Amarasiri / May 7, 2014
First they came, Nazi and Sinhala “Buddhist” Nazi styles
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.
Sri Lanka Version
First they came for the Tamils, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Tamil.
Then they came for the JVP, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a JVP.
Then they came for the Christians, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Christian.
Then they came for the Muslims, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Muslim.
Then they came for me- The policeman, and there was no one left to speak for me-The policeman..
Ajith / May 7, 2014
Kidnapping and Killing is nothing new to this soil. This land has produced such a great leadership over the time since 1948. You won’t be surprised if the kidnapping and killing included in the constitution of the nation. Unless it comes to our door step, no one cares about it. Over 65% of the Sri Lankans endorsed democratically that kidnappers and killers should be our leaders.
len / May 13, 2014
[Kidnapping and Killing is nothing new to this soil.]
King Kasyapa had his father murdered by entombing him in a wall.
justice / May 7, 2014
It appears that the police are reaping what they sowed.
The neumerous deaths of persons in police custody which have never been fully investigated,the many unnecessary arrests,assaults,incarceration, rape of women in police sations,torture etc. are well known and documented even by UN Rapporteurs.
This abduction & killing using a white van appears to be ‘poetic justice’.
The recent Welikada Massacre has been concluded by the “commission” as entirely due to prisoners shooting each other dead !!
Such a verdict shows that the state is unable to enforce justice for the common man, and will be held in ridicule and incredibility in any other country.
There is no mere ‘lawlessness’ – there is complete repression of citizens – innocent and guilty – also prevented from seeking justice.
In short,we are in a Police State,foisted on a militarised society.
Park / May 7, 2014
We are not living in Sri Lanka we are now living in Kudu Lanka. When the President of the country under whom the forces come sits on the same platform with his MPs and Ministers who are rapists, killers, kudu mudalalis and above all openly violate the laws of the country, what else can we expect. First of all a leader should have guts to act, if he or she does not have the guts then these types of acts will be rampant. It appears to me that there has been a Military Coup that has taken place in the country where the President is only a puppet but the country is controlled by armed forces.
Kumar David / May 7, 2014
What Ajith is saying, tongue in cheek, is that if the people themselves don’t wake up, the country WILL go to the dogs. Amarasiri and Ben Hurling, in different styles, are saying the same thing. I too have been screaming this for a few years, but the public takes no notice. The PRIMARY problem is a somnolent public.
I want to add this. We (those prepared to fight back) may not be as powerful or as ruthless as this government; but we must never give up. Let it not be said that “nobody spoke up”. I am certain that if fair minded people keep up an unrelenting fight, in time they can win over the majority.
JimSofty / May 7, 2014
AHRC is a Catholic/Christian Organization.
So, it writes for their’s interests
Amarasiri / May 8, 2014
JimSofty and Avtars,
“AHRC is a Catholic/Christian Organization. So, it writes for their’s interests”
Amarasiri did a little bit of Research. Do they deal with issues and facts related to humans and human rights? Are they Egalitarian? Jim Softy and Avtar’s need to be honest to themselves. Read Buddha’s teachings. Amarasiri finds that AHRC has more credibility than
1. Mr. Mahinda Rahaapaksa Dictatorial, Sinhala ‘Buddhist” Chauvinist state exposition of Para-monk Mahabama racism and “Buddhism”. aka Maraism, based on lies and imaginations.
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) was founded in 1986 by a prominent group of jurists and human rights activists in Asia. The AHRC is an independent, non-governmental body, which seeks to promote greater awareness and realisation of human rights in the Asian region, and to mobilise Asian and international public opinion to obtain relief and redress for the victims of human rights violations. AHRC promotes civil and political rights, as well as economic, social and cultural rights.
AHRC endeavours to achieve the following objectives stated in the Asian Charter “Many Asian states have guarantees of human rights in their constitutions, and many of them have ratified international instruments on human rights. However, there continues to be a wide gap between rights enshrined in these documents and the abject reality that denies people their rights. Asian states must take urgent action to implement the human rights of their citizens and residents.”
Principles Guiding AHRC Programmes
Find out our principles guiding AHRC Programmes
Read more about what we seeks to achieve the objectives:
Communication and Information
ela kolla / May 10, 2014
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Hooker / May 8, 2014
We have seen a progressive decline of our once sublime social and standards of governance since of late. While the Rajapakses in their “reign” in recent years certainly made it maddeningly worse – CBK, Premadasa’s and Maru Sira’s Kehelwatta Govt, JRJ all contributed to the death of the democratic system of governance here. One chief cause is the lack of religion here. Religion is not in the blood of the Buddhist Sinhalese as it is in the adherents of other faiths here.
That may be because the shallow Buddhism here – notably since the 1960s has given way to a kind of activist Buddhism aimed at the capture and consolidation of power within the Buddhist Sinhala majority. While the Catholics and Christians are well organised and can offer solutions to stop the slide they dare not because of the reactionary type of “Buddhism” we have here practised by such creatures as Elle Gunawansa, Galaboda Atte Gnanasara and so on – at the head of which are a group of safe-playing Mahanayakas who care tuppence to what happens to Buddhists and Buddhism so long as they live in splendid comfort.
If there are further killings among Policemen, it is possible the rank and file joined by the lower officers will take notice and react against Govt men. This will predictably bring in the well-armed army and the other two forces – all of which can result in the country descending to civil war. We escaped in 1971 and 1988/89 and thanks to the Rajapakses the next one can be “the real one”
Sengodan. M / May 8, 2014
Obviously, the country is on a steady decline. How far will it decline? We won’t have to wait too long. Maybe another year at most!
If the people don’t wake up in time to stop this slide, the country may be irreversibly LOST.
punchinilame / May 8, 2014
There is no need to take any step in the slide that is occurring, simply
because the trend must remain if the Regime is to curb witnesses in the
forthcoming International Investigations. How could Soldiers who may
have been witnesses to certain incidents be warned ahead? The Regime is
prepared to face ANY situation!
Muhammed Fazl on FB / May 8, 2014
vishvajith / May 9, 2014
Await social collapse and political fiefdoms.
We voted, for the protector of Buddhism and we deserve what is dished out.
Now, we will look to the North and ask where is our Sampanthan, Sumanthiran and Wigneswaran ?
We hammered our Tamil Brothers and Sisters. They rise and shine.
shankar / May 9, 2014
Why is gota killing these policemen?Or is it a copycat using white vans?
In future gota better use a white van with the defence ministry seal prominently displayed on it,otherwise he will be blamed for copycats.
lal / May 9, 2014
Killing of a policeman is bad. However when the condemnation comes from people who were silent when police, military person and civilians were butcherd by Tamil Terrorists is hypocritical indeed! More policemen get killed in US in a month than in Sri Lanka since ending of Tamil Terrorism in 2009. True, Sri Lanka has become more restless as a result of having to lock horns with Tamil Terrorists. Nobody could deny Sri Lanka is a better place now since handing a humiliating defeat to racist Tamil Terrorists. Of course, the defeated supporters of the Tamil project would pick any incident to potray a bleak picture of Sri Lanka as many who write to CT do. Time for those diaspora elements to bury their follies of the past, pick up a Sri Lankan flag and join in the Victory Parade. See you at Galle Face Green soon. Enjopy the peace!
Thondamannar / May 9, 2014
Reward the gallantary of Police Constable Ajit Weerasuriya who escaped from his kidnappers…..
He deserves to be promoted to the Rank of Sergeant………
He had the guts & the will to fight back and survive against all odds.
Turth / May 17, 2014
who knows what happened!! In Sri Lanka, Politicians, army and police are capable of staging dramas to suit their ends!!
K.A Sumanasekera / May 10, 2014
This AHRC obviously has an axe grind.
250, kids have been abducted in Nigeria, by Terrorists.
600 cops who surrendered were shot in the head by the Terrorists in Srilanka.
Cop bashing and Cop killing happen even in the first World which fund the AHRC.
Criminals harming these two cops in Lanka some how has drawn the full attention of the AHRC as if there are no other issues worth attending to.
perera / May 12, 2014
crime and criminal activities are not unique to sri lanka and sri lanka is not unique in being a ceor peace loving country. obviously things have changed in the last 50 years, so has many countries.
crime is prevelant in almost every country and murders are rampant in lots of countries.
There ias nbo need for sri lanka and its citizens to despair as some would suggest.