18 June, 2021

Blog

Making Of A “Free Crime” Zone

By Basil Fernando

Basil Fernando

Social reformers in some countries have spoken about crime free zones. This meant putting special effort to experiment with the possibility of making a particular area within a country crime free. The purpose of doing that is to create a model which would gradually spread into the whole country so that the crime would be reduced or eliminated gradually.

This same idea is embedded in the making of criminal justice systems. The idea of control of a crime through proper criminal investigations through competent and confident officers, through impartial prosecution systems and a judiciary that will uphold the basic principles of fair trial are all meant to reduce crime drastically if not for altogether eliminating crimes.

As against the crime-free zones, what has been happening within Sri Lanka is the deterioration into a free crime zone encompassing the whole of the country. This has happened in many ways and the basic system that was established during the colonial time to control crime has been undermined to an exceptional level.

However, what is proposed through the political victimization commission, by recommending withdrawal of criminal indictments filed in courts, is to make Sri Lanka even more of a free crime zone. If any commission or even the highest authority in the country has the power to order that criminal indictments file in a court should be withdrawn, that amounts to declaring that the crimes against which these indictments have been filed are not crimes at all. If that could be done once, then it could be done again. With that, the entirety of the system substantially changes. The facade of the system can remain but once the substance is removed, the result will be one that only the criminals could celebrate.

Therefore, the situation has reached a final critical moment.

The preparation towards that moment has been made over a long period of time. The series of measures by which this situation was brought about can be briefly mentioned as follows: Five judges of the Supreme Court and an Attorney General, who also later became a Supreme Court judge, agreed in 1972 to act outside the normal law of the country in deciding on the innocence or the guilt of persons without granting fair trial to the accused as is required by the system of law prevailing in the country. Till then, the judiciary mostly adjusted cases involving ordinary crimes such as theft, robbery, murder, rape and other individual crimes. With the incidents that took place in 1971, where the J.V.P attacked some police stations, a new situation came about. And instead of trying to find a solution to the new problem within the framework of the existing legal framework that guarantees the right to a fair trial, the very idea of the fair trial was abandoned. That paved the way to the collapse of the criminal justice system because once the foundation of the infrastructure is damaged, then gradually the whole structure that stands on it is bound to collapse.

Even before that, by gazette notifications under the emergency laws, disposal of dead bodies was allowed without following the proper legal process of having postmortems and reports. This was a deliberate move to prepare the ground for political assassinations. Similar provisions have been repeated later from time to time. On each of those occasions, large-scale killings have taken place in the hands of the security personnel and these killings have taken place mostly after persons were arrested. The most basic and the sacred rule relating to the right to life and the right to due process under the law is the protection given to persons who are under arrest as they are in the custody of the state. This basic provision has been repeatedly violated. Since the first killing of prisoners in 1983, there have been several instances in which prisoners have been killed inside the prisons. Also, prisoners being killed at the police station after even being arrested for normal crimes, being subjected to extrajudicial killings is an occurrence that happened many times during each year. Again, none of these crimes have led to proper investigations or prosecutions.

Later, with the development of organized crime, again situations developed where either due to political influences or by way of other corruption and bribery, crimes go unnoticed or they get hushed up.

Then various methodologies were developed, particularly by the use of national security laws and anti-terrorism laws, to keep people in prolonged detention without trial. Often there was the complaint that many of these people who were kept in that way were put into that position due to political reasons or due to the influence of powerful persons.

All these matters affected the machinery of criminal justice. The quality of criminal investigations went down rapidly and the reason very often given for this is political interference. The fear that doing a proper investigation could lead to serious consequences for the investigators became a major factor undermining the entire process of investigations. It became common that even crimes of very serious nature affecting the lives of many people did not lead to proper investigations ending in prosecutions. The Easter Sunday massacre of 2019 and the aftermath itself is an illustration of the extent to which the system has collapsed.

Added to this, there are the entrenched problems of delays in justice which most of the time were in favor of the accused. These delays, according to a Parliamentary Select Committee, could go up to 17 years or more. How could any system of criminal justice survive with those kinds of delays?

With all that, if some elementary system survived, that too has now been challenged by use of presidential power for pardoning crimes without following any guidelines acceptable within a rule of law framework. It is against the backdrop of all these things that now the recommendations of the political victimization commission has arrived.

The virtual demise of a criminal justice system is a disaster of the greatest proportions that could ever happen to any society. Life, liberty, the right to property and right for the use of public space by way of free speech, right by free association and assembly, all can be protected only to the extent that the country’s criminal justice system works. However, even more serious is the fact that the country’s economic system is almost entirely dependent of the existence of a functional and credible criminal justice system which is capable of maintaining the respect for legal rules and respect for the obligations under contract intact. Without an effective criminal justice system, daylight robbery is possible at all levels.

What we are witnessing now is a catastrophe of great magnitude. There does not seem to be sufficient public awareness of the danger with which the society is faced. Or it may well be that there is such a level of despair within society about the inability to do anything about the kind of problem we are faced with. Whatever be the reason, this lack of awareness will not lessen the catastrophe but it will add to it.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 18
    3

    A free crime zone is in making.
    :
    No matter the law and order would be somewhere else, Rajapakshe criminals dont have any respect of any law and order system.
    :
    Just imagine, Prof. TV is proved to be WHO expert having worked for it for such a long time. But now SLGO is buying astrazeneca vaccine loads each 5.50 US dollars while India is selling it to 2-3 dollars to the other countries.
    :
    So what happened to diplomatic relationships with INDIA and other countries ?
    :
    Former minister of Health, Dr Rajitha Senaratne is known to WHO for such a long time, could be well instrumental in speeding up of purchases of VACCINE loads. TODAY one apprentice man by name Fake Prof. Jayasumana is said to be man handling purchases. It is like the scalpel is given to the untrained newbie nurse in a severe heart surgery.

  • 16
    4

    When the crimes like Easter bomb attack are initiayed/supported by state machinery which is embedded with personally loyal people of war crime syndicate putting the blame on an innocent community, free crime has started..
    A wAr criminal will naturally want free crime country as he was so used it in killing fields of Sri Lanka.

    • 10
      3

      Did u hear that a former CID officer is believed to have involved in the planning of Easter mass murder,? so what else we need to suspect GOTABAYA and HIS Brother should be those bosses that two young MP s were talk6 about. Malcom Ranjith should wake up from his long slumber.😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎

    • 1
      11

      Dilshan
      “A wAr criminal will naturally want free crime country as he was so used it in killing fields of Sri Lanka.”
      —-
      Are you talking about Velupillai Prabhakaran?

      • 0
        0

        No he is talking about ur beloved Rajapakshes, born criminals, cattle thieves, mass murders. Demented slaves of ur nature would not get it. That is the curse of this country 😎😎😎😎😎😎😎

      • 1
        1

        These are the fellows committed crimes.
        DSS set the road map and SWRD, SB, JRJ, RP, CK, MR and Nandasena Gotbaya Rajapkse followed.

  • 12
    3

    Crime free zone in Sri Lanka is impossible because the leading religious leadership and political leadership and majority are the barriers who wish to see the blood in this soil every day.

    • 1
      9

      Ajith,
      It was Tamil terrorists who wished to see blood in this soil every day. They did not shoot Sinhalayo. They slashed Sinhalayo into pieces using machetes because they wanted to see the soil in Sinhale is soaked with the blood of Sinhalayo.

  • 13
    1

    Congratulations Basil Fernando,

    You have hit the nail on the head.

    Rule of law in Sri Lanka is now fast approaching zero.

    It took 73 years to develop free-crime country out of Ceylon!

  • 14
    1

    What do you except other than a “Crime Full” state, when it is ruled by a “Criminal”?

    • 2
      2

      RohanaW
      India too is ruled by a criminal who was prosecuted but escaped punishment.
      The USA refused him entry for several years on that count until after he was elected PM.
      *
      Nobody notices such things unless there is an ax to grind.

  • 15
    0

    A few decades ago Sri Lanka was a “Crime Free Zone”, unfortunately, today it’s a “Free Crime Zone”. Who is to be blamed? Definitely, the politicians that too the leaders of various political parties that won elections (both ruling and opposition parties). Why I say this is because it’s the leaders of these parties who gave nominations to murderers, drug dealers, rapists, thugs, and bribe-takers including chain snatchers and uneducated fools.

    The leaders of these political parties including JR, Chandrika, Ranil, Mahinda, Premadasa Snr., and leaders of minor parties. Even those who had credibility such as Dinesh Gunewardena today has become a “Thug” and a “Bully” in the Parliament. Democracy has been ruined by those MPs who are today with SLPP who have no voter base of their own but they hang on to the Rajapakse Sathakaya to get elected. Above all worst are those “Monkey Politicians” such as Diana and the Muslim MPs who “thoppi perala” went and voted in favour of 20A. Their two party leaders Rishad and Hakeem are also part of these groups as these two permitted their members to vote for 20A, although they pretended to be against 20A, for the fear of their names being dragged on to hurt the feelings of the so-called “Deshapremies”.

    • 7
      0

      B1;

      You question who is to be blamed

      The straight forward answer – Rajapakshe brothers. The harm they have made to this nation is unestimable than any good. For their political survival only, they mislead the nation from dawn to dusk. Unfortunately, MERCY COWS in the disguise of MEDIA MEN are plenty to support them. As of today, nothing is achieved… but entire world have turned their backsides to srilankens. Thanks go to MEDAMULANA criminals…. not to any body else.

      +++
      Right at th emoment, with COVID killing the people, ballige putha led govt has been unable to order second dose of VACCINE for those who were injected with 1st dose. The greater danger before them, without receiving the second is really high.. but GOVT does not seem to take it serious. With interchangeability of vaccine products not allowed, there will be no other options than leave people in a lurk….. thanks go to THE STUPIDITY of the brothers.
      :
      Just imagine, how they handle things. We criticise SORYSENA from dawn to dusk, but he could manage many things better than current double-pakshes.
      .
      +++
      Today, they have been boasting to have given the VACCINE to 0.9 mio of 22 million-Nation. However, they dont have documented well to whom the first dose was given

      • 2
        0

        Dear LLM: Your answer to B1 is wrong. I ask you: Who put Rajapakse to “Rule” the country? If the PEOPLE allowed Rajapakse to “Hang” on to the window of the Medamulana, we would have been OK by now.

        • 2
          0

          My dear Simon,
          thank you.
          .
          Media mafia men put Rajapakshe to rule the country. Nobody else. As you prove it from your KADAMANDIYA info, it is very easy to mislead SRILANKEN people.
          :
          As some young MPs and opposition leader make it very clear, ” this is a country where an unedcuated mason could become a panacea maker also upsetting MBBS degree holders”. The man who offered “4-lacks worth machineries” of state funds (none other than BURUWANSE) is gone missing today. Very likely, he is sitting under the bed of Mafia boss.
          :
          Putting the blame on the gawky people would not bring us an inch of forward.. but those mlechcha MEDIA men plus vicious politicians (symbiosis for their survivals) mislead the nation, also amidst COVID crisis.

    • 7
      0

      B1, you say
      “A few decades ago Sri Lanka was a “Crime Free Zone””
      That is interesting.
      I have lived here a little longer than a few decades, but failed to notice.

      • 1
        0

        Relatively speaking compared to today!

        • 3
          0

          Rajapakses have taken crime and corruption to a new level, that’s all. If there was a Nobel Prize for corruption they would stand a good chance of winning it.

      • 2
        0

        SJ,
        Agree, senior citizens should break their silence about the facts.
        .
        looking back, SL has always been a Free crime zone from the begining on. Extra judicial killings are not new to srilankens. No proper court investigations on misterious killings. Not only against minorities but also for majority sinhalese. No land grabs and such cases are plenty within the last 2 decades.
        :
        If anyone would closely archive the reports, crimes became routinized once Rajapakshes became the leaders. Whoever whatever being said, from 2015 – 2019 end, rate of crimes went down drastically as no times inthe past. THat was connected with implementation of police commisions and RTI and several other good steps taken by them. However, then joint opposition led by today s rulers, did not let the message be outreached to the masses. As a result, people started attacking ” good governance”.
        :

  • 6
    0

    It depends on who the victims are. If the victims are politically worthwhile the government will take action. If the victims don’t vote for the rulers then nothing happens.

  • 3
    1

    We should have crime free zones at the top FIRST. Start with the President’s office, the Prime Minister’s office, their administrations, and the Parliament.
    Example is better than Precept.

    Sri Lanka is plagued with corrupt leaders, and presently an entire family runs the show. Corrupt leaders attract unscrupulous nations to prey on our vulnerability, and desperation. We are in a very catastrophic situation indeed, in far more ways than one. We are being given on a golden platter to China so easily. There was such a hue and cry about the Americans wanting to broadcast the Voice of America from a small part of the country, and we have to wonder where these patriots are now, to protest this Island turning into a Chinese colony. Where are the Sinha Le, Nationalists, and Saffron robed extremists, who were loud in their claim to this country when it came to the minority?
    Dead silence.

    What is happening to this country from all angles is frightening. Our basic rights are being rudely taken away, activists and political rivals are being arrested WITHOUT CHARGES, a citizen arrested for telling motorists to honk their horns in protest, the minority is targeted with racist policies, and crimes are being committed at the top.

    The small boutiques that sell fried rice will now be selling chop sticks too.

  • 2
    12

    The Police is responsible for Crime in SL.

    I find the SL Police to be too lenient. They are not armed with automatic or at least semi-automatic weapons. All they have is a baton stick with which you cannot do much other than stick it up there.

    It’s time the STF takes over Policing duties.

    • 6
      1

      Shemale@

      Would you agree if CANADIAN police becoming like that ? treating you the kind of refugee men be harmed from dawn to dusk ?

      You have much in common with INCUMBENT president. BOth left for US/Canada seeking greener pastures. So with that mentality can we the srilankens ever be successful ? Consequences are before your eyes today….. PISSU gota should better be appointed as hang man… by bringing gallow back in the crime friendly sl.

      • 3
        7

        Tell me which Canadian Police force is not armed to the teeth.

        You want to test the limits of the Canadian Police forces, try raising your hands and jumping up once or twice. They’d shoot your brown rear-end in no time.

        • 3
          1

          Why u guys compare our begging country with far developed countries such Canada and the situation up there? Srilankens dont have funds to purchase the second dose of vaccine for 1 mio of it’s people. Criminals back power loot from where they were stopped by 2015. Srilankens would have been doing well, these criminals were punished by Covid and taken away for our good 😎😎😎😎😎😎😎

    • 3
      3

      Regi Shemale girl, where have you been. I know that you are a racist and absolutely dumb, but I did not know that you are blind too. SL Police have batons, really when did you bugger run away from the army? back in the early 70s? Idiot the SL Police one of the more corrupt corrupt cops in the world. They carry AK47s fool. Do you know what an AK47 looks like? They were even carrying RPGs, what world have you been living in all these days?

      • 3
        5

        Tamil from the north,
        “They carry AK47s fool. Do you know what an AK47 looks like? They were even carrying RPGs, what world have you been living in all these days?”
        —-
        Demalu do not feel ashamed to tell blatant lies!

        • 0
          1

          What about mlechcha sinhalayas led by weeraketiya cattle thieves? They are born to destroy sinhala race😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌😌

    • 0
      0

      ‘The Police is responsible for Crime in SL.’
      .
      Very true Reginald. The Police are responsible for many crimes as well as state inflicted terror on innocent citizens.

  • 9
    0

    The President’s attempt to BRIBE the Attorney General with an ambassadorial post is a serious historic insult to Sri Lanka’s judiciary.
    To his credit, the Attorney General had the guts to refuse the offer point blank.
    This news will help anyone to develop an ability to predict the judgement of the Supreme Court on the Port City Bill.
    I wonder how many other lowball offers were made by the President to have his way.

  • 0
    2

    What will happen to the Police and Lawyers?

    Soma

    • 0
      0

      They will be name after ” RAJAPAKSHE POLICE” and “RAJAPAKSHE LAWYERS”.
      .
      New policists and new lawyers will also be brainwashed for the benefit of Medamulana Rascals.

  • 4
    0

    EE can you find out why Karina who had killed many Sinhalese has not been brought in front of the court?
    Why Pillaiyan a man convicted over a murder is in the Parliament?
    Why KP the fund manager of LTTE is living free? It is sad to see the innocent civilians are in prison and the criminals are free and enjoying the life.

  • 3
    0

    The people of Sri Lanka need to declare Sri Lanka a Rajapaksa political family & cronies free zone….
    Then Sri Lanka will become a crime free zone

  • 1
    0

    “A people that elect corrupt politicians, impostors, thieves and traitors are not victims… but accomplices.”

    George Orwell

  • 0
    1

    I say Blind eagle alis HLD, arent you ashemd to utter BS while being a refugee in a civilised country like Australia with your demalu wife? Have you forgotten how you ran without your slippers even from Lake House on that kotti Friday, breaking a record for “Runner Sinhas”? Some of you guys are only good at killing women and kids or detainees. There is proof that even female dead bodies were raped. Perverts. Dont you remember how a Inspector cut off the head of his hora gahani and dumped the rest of the body in Pettah taking the body in a bus. Have you forgotten how the poor girl Manamperi in Kataragama was stripped naked and made to walk along the road while pervers were sh…ing. VP was sent to earth by Lord Buddha to teach you morons a good lesson. When he was around where were your racist hero Sarath, or Weeramonkey or Gamon-Pulle? Mahinda was in a bunker. Then wne Sarath Fonseka finished the war he came and kissed the tarmac to claim credit. The he got this army chief to be dragged along the road by his subordinate to a jeep. You know what happend to that subordinate. He gotkilled at the site where he was building a house from a falling log of wood on his head. That is Karma what Buddha said.

  • 0
    0

    There is nothing new. I knew a chap who accidentally ran over and killed a small child. A child of a poor family that spoke no English and knew nobody of influence. This chap bought an expensive bottle of whisky for the local ASP. The end of the matter. This took place in the Sixties.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.