25 September, 2020

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Minilaw In A Lawless Land

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph and self-abasement…. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless.” – Orwell (Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Just 24 hours after the new Ministry of Law and Order came into existence, an armed gang invaded the home of Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema, Associate Editor of the Sunday Leader.

The Ministry of Law and Order – that has a distinct Orwellian feel, rather like Oceania’s Ministry of Truth (Minitrue), Ministry of Peace (Minipax), Ministry of Love (Miniluv) and Ministry of Plenty (Miniplenty). And as in Orwell’s dystopia, in Rajapaksa Sri Lanka the actual task of the Ministry of Law and Order would be the protection of the Rajapaksa Law and the strengthening of the Rajapaksa Order.

The regime has claimed that the attack on Ms Isamil, her home and her family is a perfectly ordinary robbery. Since three of the attackers are in custody, hopefully the truth will emerge, in a court of law – unless, of course, these prisoners succumb to the same fate which befell innumerable other suspects during the Rajapaksa ‘war on crime’ – killed while trying to escape.

Governments lie. This government rarely tells the truth. It has compromised the integrity of every public institution, from the Central Bank to the Judiciary, from the AG’s Department to the Central Environment Authority.

Dismissing every human right violation, every act of persecution as enemy action or ordinary crime is an integral part of the Rajapaksa modus operandi.

When five students were murdered in Trincomalee in January 2006, the authorities claimed that they were terrorists who died when their own bomb exploded, prematurely. In 2006, a series of horrendous murders took place in the government-controlled North. The regime blamed the Tigers and ordinary criminals; subsequent exposes, especially by the UTHR, revealed that most were committed by state/para-sate killer squads[i].

A similar process of ‘Crime and Denial’ is evident in the South. When Justice Manjula Tilakaratne, the Secretary of the Judicial Services Association, was attacked in the run up to the Impeachment of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, the police and the government declared it to be an ordinary crime. Parliamentarian Arundika Fernando proclaimed in the House that he saw Prageeth Ekneligoda in France. Questioned by the court he amended himself and said that an armed group may have abducted Mr.Ekneligoda and released him, ostensibly in France![ii] The parliamentarian was following in the illustrious footsteps of Mohan Pieris who informed the UN Committee Against Torture, “Our current info is that Mr. Ekneligoda has taken refuge in a foreign country…. it’s not something that I am saying with a tongue in my cheek, it’s something that we are reasonably certain of….”[iii] But when cross-examined during the court hearing into Mr. Ekneligoda’s disappearance, Mr. Peiris did a consummate volte face: “I have no information that the corpus is alive or not and I do not think the government does either and that God only knows where Ekneligoda is”[iv].

Early signs indicate that the regime is planning to lie its way out of the Weliweriya imbroglio. According to media reports, the two state agencies tasked with checking any connection between water-contamination and the glove factory owned by a Rajapaksa-acolyte have come up with two ambiguous reports. The government analyst has said that ‘reduction of pH values cannot exactly be attributed to the factory while the central environmental authority report had no conclusion’[v].

Given the de facto nexus between the Rajapaksas and the glove factory, state entities cannot be expected to act in a fair and a judicious manner. The authorities’ blasé dismissal of a political motivation/angle in the Mandana Ismail incident is similarly suspect. According to Ms. Ismail, the intruders said that they were on a contract; they were also reportedly looking for documents. The inescapable conclusion is that this is not quite your average robbery. But the police have already pigeonholed the incident as a normal crime – just as the Elections Commissioner will label every Rajapaksa election free and fair and the army inquiry into the Weliweriya-shooting will exonerate the army.

Using ordinary crime to cover up political persecution is far from rare. Does the Mandana Ismail incident herald a stealth offensive against Rajapaksa critics/opponents – politically motivated attacks made to look like ordinary crimes, murder, robbery, rape et al?

Counterfeit Solutions

The Rajapaksas have a particular panache for creating brand new, politically enamouring bottles for their customary poisonous brew. The new Ministry of Law and Order was hailed by none other than Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as the fulfilment of yet another LLRC recommendation. He seems right, superficially; the police and even the STF are no longer under the Ministry of Defence. On the surface it looks as if Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has lost out, that President Rajapaksa is trying to rein his brother in.

A suitable stooge can tell the UNHRC that the new ministry is indicative of the gravitas accorded by the regime to the strengthening of the rule of law. The Commonwealth Secretary General can proclaim that the establishment of the new ministry proves the correctness of his ‘policy of engagement’. How many countries in the world can boast of a Ministry of Human Rights and a Ministry of Law and Order? With such institutional arrangements can Sri Lanka be anything but a hub of democracy and freedom?

The reality behind this façade is as antithetical as the reality behind other Rajapaksa facades. The Minister of Defence, President Rajapaksa is the Minister of Law and Order; he also controls the Attorney General’s Department for good measure.  The Secretary to the new ministry is not a civilian or even a retired cop but a retired military officer. Major General Nanda Mallawarachchi was a one time Army Chief of Staff; he was subsequently appointed by the Rajapaksas as the Ambassador to Indonesia.

So the new ministry is the perfect Rajapaksa ploy. It will enable the Siblings to retain total control over the police while creating the impression that control has been ceded. Can anyone seriously believe that the new secretary will say no to any order by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa?

So what seems – and will be hailed as – a move towards demilitarisation is actually a move towards greater militarization – and more effective Rajapaksa control.

That the Rajapaksas intend to use the military to subdue the South is clear; “Asked whether the army would cease deploying troops in the wake of civilian deaths during the recent army crackdown at Weliweriya, Brigadier Wanigasooriya[vi] said that troops were constitutionally empowered to participate in operations in support of the police. Responding to further queries….Brigadier Wanigasooriya said that the military couldn’t arbitrarily decide not to deploy troops in the wake of Rathupaswela incident”[vii].

When the next Weliweriya happens, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa will be in the clear. Since the request for military involvement will come from the Ministry of Law and Order, all consequent Sinhala civilian deaths can, very conveniently, be blamed on Secretary Mallawarachchi. The Rajapaksas will be able to deploy the military to assault and murder any number of democratic opponents without risking even an iota of de jure responsibility.

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    Ms. TG:

    You did not give any examples of law – abiding lands, particularly by rich people or by politicians. Because, you are biased in your writings.

    LAw is poor for the poor and for the weak.

    • 0
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      Is budhism good for all?

      • 0
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        Hey Dudes – Thanks a million again Thisaranee.
        A bit like the Syrian Govt using Seran Gas and killing hundreds when the UN inspectors were visiting.
        Gota the Goon’s been busy Blocking CT and attacking Mandana on the eve of the visit of Navi Pillai..

        Lanka seems bound for Syria at this time.. Rajapassa brothers will not give up power before they destroy the people, the multicultural social fabric and the country itself… Lankans beware…

        CT has been blocked in Sri Lanka – why is no one talking about this media censorship!

      • 0
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        It’s a lot better than militant Islam!

    • 0
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      Editor CT,

      Please retain the detalis of these individuals as above to be divulged once the change occurs to be tried out for their villainy for propping up this Corrupt regime. They deserve Just Punishment as those who commit them as well. As much as they try to drive fear in to us, preventing the readership here by shutting CT, they fully deserve a bit of their own medicine in the not too distant future. Good Day to all.

    • 0
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      So anything else that the Rajapakshe acolyte like you would is far from rare. None of us the CT readership would expect the opposite from you :( – but the days are numbered.

  • 0
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    /*The Ministry of Law and Order*/
    When everything in Sri Lanka is controlled by MR, GR, Basil & Namal why do they want a new ministry ?

    May be MR want to get another additional salary as minister of law and order. -:)

    • 0
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      That Is; Not that The Ministry of Law and Order,
      But,

      Ministy of RAJAPASSA LAWS And RAJAPASSA ORDERS.

      Those Rajapassa Laws and Orders are Not for Their Clans,
      Their Axx Licking Goons,
      RajaPassa Rapists and
      Rajapassa Thugs.

  • 0
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    Why do want to know about the law abiding rich lands?
    You Geek, you cant digest what TG is writing.
    She said enough about the crimes of these Jarapissas.
    I dont think any of you could sleep peacefully.
    Down with Jajapissa…!

  • 0
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    The crime family rule with smoke and mirrors. A journalist’s house violently attacked, and the police come to their rescue in minutes, anti Muslim attacks are less, investigations called for regrading crimes up North, and there is a new Ministry for Law and Order. Navi Pillai is coming to town, and it MUST BE CHOGM TIME!

  • 0
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    Tisaranee you are an Angel in disguise helping the trapped innocent civilians in a corrupt lawless Banana Republic with jungle law and ruled by a crazy corrupt family of Dictators. Only the UN can help these helpless innocent civilians from the iron fists of the criminal administrators or what ever you may call them. If they ignore what is going on in this former Democratic Sri Lanka and let those lunatics free, slowly but surely we are loosing our Mother Lanka and the UN has miserably failed in their duties. God save former democratic Sri Lanka.

  • 0
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    puravasiyani!!!!

    Is’nt is a sad plight that all have to vent our frustrations on-line whilst we sit safely in front of computers, with none of us prepared to step out of our homes to make our voices heard????? That includes me!

    No wonder the Rajapakses are making hay, whilst the sun is shining and mother Lanka is suffering !

    • 0
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      It is only a no shame cheap Bast…d Kelawedda who has no reputation at all will stay dumb when all the atrocities and corruption going around, while his spies are installed all over the country to check what others do.

      That’s why he got the Sambarani treat, not once but twice in London.

      Very soon he will get the kunu karavala treat in Colombo.

  • 0
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    Weren’t’ all the alleged horrendous crimes in “Ms Pilay’s list”,occur in May 2009?.

    How can the Govt do crimes in the North under the nose of the Supremo when he was in his element in 2006?

    Didn’t Dr Kumar David,absolved, sorry, expressed doubts about the Weliveriya being Gota’s handy work.

    Ms T seems to keep immaculate and accurate diary entries of even the heretherto unknown BASL patriots who get bashed by the prolateriat in the South.

    When Her backers in the West are in to bigger and better things like trying to nail and punish the dirty Assad and his murderous Regime which attacked the Damascus dwellers with Snarin Gas.especially when the UN inspectors sent in by the West were just a few blocks away.

    And the Rajapakssas haven’t thrown even “stink bombs” into the apartments of the Colombo elite who have been desperately truing to roll the Govt for the last four years since Nanthikadal.

  • 0
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    What a Ministry of Law and order to a uneducated and uncultured Hambanthota Gan Kabaraya, the villege crocodile.

    What happened to Kangetta, Julampitiya “Aiya” Amare,Atha Kota, Thangalla British National Murderer and Rapist.

    Beware the Hambanthota Gan Kabaraya…..the fake one man show master is taking the whole country and it’s people on a Murderous distructive no return path. Already the crook has polished our foreign currency reserve and CB gold reserve.

    It’s time for people to think ahead before the crook who think Sri Lanka is his Grand parents Dowry will further ruin our whole country.

    Gan Kabaraya Andarae planning to feed “Polkudu”….coconut dust and “Thanakola”..grass to it’s people pretty soon while they are watching helplessly.

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    we are the happy toopers.We read we exclaim and are mad and sad for mother lanka.Then we write and we read on line and think there are people now against the regime.Thats all.
    what have we contributed to better SL.—nothing.
    So singhala south has to wake up fully and not go back to sleep.It is not enough.
    Shake up the GOSL.Make them see right from wrong.

    Its a surprise that the police acted this fast on the journalist’s home.Now they have discovered all 5 were army goons.
    Surprise –surprise.This is the first time I have heard of Police rushing in when army guys were involved in murder,robbery or mayhem.

    The inside scoop is that Namal sent the army gons in civil attire to get all of the info on his own shady deals which Mandana had.If that was so how did this happen.

    Is this a show for Navipillai?After she leaves the guys will be released on Gota and Namal’s oder.

  • 0
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    Only now,after years of subjugation and harassment of the tamils of the northeast since the end of the war,the people of the south are experiancing same and bleating about the army shootings etc.
    Now Tisaranee has shown that militarism will INCREASE with the new ministry of law & order.
    Thus the state has slowly militarised the whole of sri lanka.

  • 0
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    What can you expect from an uneducated and uncivilized person like Gotha? The new ministry is still under the defense ministry and headed not by a civilian but by a military sucker of Rajapakse. Whom are they trying to hoodwink? Gotha is so lame that he thinks the entire world is as dumb as he is and will swallow the pill they are trying to feed by saying this was a requirement of LLRC. No it was a different requirement. LLRC recommendation was to bring police under a civilian monitoring body not under the defense or any military head. Gotha please do not judge us, we can see through you. Although your brain has been affected due to LTTE attack on you, it has not had any impact on us.

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    This man is a threat not only to us srilankens but also to entire world.

    It is not secret that entire world is against Sudan regime. But what I got to read now was… lankan regime is discussing with Sudanese leaders.

    Sri Lanka and Sudan discuss military cooperation
    ———————————————————————-
    A Sudanese military delegation is visiting Sri Lanka to discuss joint military cooperation between the armed institutions of the two countries.

    The Sudanese delegation led by the former secretary general of defence ministry Gen. (Retd) Abdel- Rahman Mohamed Zein was received on Monday by Sri Lanka’s Secretary Defence and Urban Development, Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

    The two sides discussed “areas of mutual interest and bilateral relations”, said the official website of Sri Lankan defense ministry.

    Rajapaksa visited Khartoum in August 2012 where he discussed with the Sudanese defence minister Abdel Rahim Hussein ways to cooperate between Sudanese and Sri Lankan military training institutes in order to share expertise and knowledge.

    Hussein and Rajapaksa last year signed a memorandum of understanding for bilateral cooperation in the field of training.

    The Sudanese delegation visited Sri Lankan military training institutes for exploring further training opportunities.

    During his visit to Sudan, Sri Lankan official delivered a lecture at the military college in Khartoum on “Sri Lankan Experience in Defeating Terrorism and Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Reconciliation”.

    In 2009, the Sri Lankan army defeated militarily the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The local authorities accused at the time India and Western countries of supporting the Tamil Tigers. (

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