The establishment of a Law and Order Ministry under the President has been announced. The Secretary to this Ministry, according to reports, is Major General Nanda Mallawarachchi, a retired military officer. Gen. Mallawarachichi is a former Chief of Staff of the Sri Lankan Army. He later became the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Malaysia. He reported to have played a major role in kidnapping Kumaran Pathmanadan of the LTTE from a hotel and taking him to the Airport with the help of the Malaysian security forces.
While the establishment of this ministry is justified under the pretext of following a recommendation from the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), what this represents in fact is a further step in the militarization process.
The recommendations of the LLRC are made within the framework of the rule of law. Under the rule of law, law and order simply means the establishment of the supremacy of the law and the enforcement of the law through legitimate authorities, which are the civilian police, an independent Attorney General’s department as prosecutor, and an independent judiciary. Under the rule of law, the place of the military is to be in the barracks and to serve only when called for, when there is a threat to the nation. However, what is happening in Sri Lanka now is the process of bringing the military to the forefront under the pretext of maintaining law and order.
At Weliweriya, the nation saw how the military can be called upon to intervene into a peaceful demonstration of villagers, who were only demanding the right to have clean water. Snipers acting as soldiers opened fire and killed many innocent people. Other soldiers even entered church premises and assaulted people taking shelter in the church. As a result, one person was killed and many were injured on the church premises. Two others who were killed were young boys of sixteen and eighteen, who had no connection at all to any protest. When an inquiry was called, it was handed over to the military themselves. The military officer who headed the military inquiry is internationally under suspicion for alleged war crimes.
Under these circumstances, those who are concerned about the civil liberties of the citizens and the future of the law in the country should seriously study this twisted meaning of ‘law and order’. Some serious studies are available on this issue. For example, one of the countries that used the phrase ‘law and order’ for the militarization of the country was Myanmar (Burma) under the military dictatorship of General Ne Win. During his rule, from 1962 to 1988, the words ‘law and order’ became the slogan for the undoing of the basic legal structure that was established by the British during the colonial occupation of Myanmar, and put in place military institutions that were, naturally, also headed by senior military officers. It went on to the extent of even selecting judges for the so-called courts from the military, and even the present Chief Justice in Myanmar is a former military officer.
A study on this was done by Dr. Nick Cheesman at the Australian National University (ANU), entitled “The politics of law and order in Myanmar”. In this study, he has pointed out the use of the phrase “law and order” to divorce whatever that was called “order” from law. By this process, the commands of the government acquired the status of “law”. Under a rule of law system, law is made through a parliamentary process and requires the legitimacy gained through following the required criteria for the making of law. Furthermore, in a rule of law situation, law is finally subjected to the interpretation of the judiciary. However, under a law and order situation in a military context, the commands from the government have to be obeyed by everyone, including the judiciary. Dr. Cheesman demonstrates the manner through which the courts became mere instruments in the hands of the military to carry out military orders.
Now, under the pretext of implementing LLRC orders, a further stage of militarization is being pursued. Perhaps, the phrase “law and order” is being used to impress Dr. Navi Pillay (UN High Commissioner for Human Rights) during her visit, hoping that she may report that a recommendation of the LLRC has been complied with. That the important occasion of the visit of the High Commissioner is also used to create legitimacy for the militarization is an indication of the direction in which the country has embarked.
*A Statement of Asian Human Rights Commission
Ben Hurling / August 23, 2013
Welcome to Gota’s SL. Defacto President of Republic of Sri Lanka.
A die hard fascist, who was never elected by anyone.
Wielding so much power. Now ruling over life and death of any citizen of Sri Lanka.
After 65 years of so called democracy in SL, we end up with this tragic status quo.
Sri Lanka is truly the Island of misfortune.
Don Stanley / August 23, 2013
Yet another ministry to be paid for!
The DEEP STATE has arrived and has a face! Gota’s ‘State within a state’ – the military dictatorship with a facade of democracy. –
Law an order is no longer a matter of observance for the citizens and numerous police and judicial institutions including the Ministry of Justice – but the domain Goon Gota and his Generals with gross human Rights track records..
Colombo Telegraph has been blocked in Colombo on the same day! Welcome Commonwealth of Clowns in September – the Lanka spring will greet you!
Hichchimalli / August 23, 2013
My question :
Dont they need to get that passed in the parliament according to lanken constitution ?
Ben Hurling / August 24, 2013
Constitution is suspended, but in name.
Constitutional legal luminary G L Pieries is suffering from Alzheimer light.
SL run according what Gota thinks is good for all 20 million people.
Official opposition is a backboneless gang of self serving clowns, totally incapable of facing down the blooming Junta regime of Sri Lanka.
Future looks indeed rather horrific.
Lanka Liar / August 27, 2013
What constitution Just follow Mahinda Chindanaya
punchinilame / August 23, 2013
These and more developments must be expected under the Regimes hidden
agenda. The Police were to be taken off Defence Ministry – also a
LLRC recommendation, but Gota initiated an opposing Report via his
Army, which too must be considered by the Public of the direction that
is being taken by MR.
There appears to be some evil and ant-democratic Presidential Adviser
hiding behind these changes. No Watchdog in the Parliament will be
able to lay hands on this individual?
mike / August 23, 2013
It would be appropriate to have the new ministry styled “Ministry of NO Law and NO Order. Malaka would be an ideal candidate for the job of Deputy Minister!!
Peter / August 23, 2013
Mike – you said it! Welcome to the Theatre of the Abstruse…
essie / August 23, 2013
Like ‘Alice’, the laws of the land get ‘curiouser and curiouser’!
Yehiya / August 23, 2013
Now too late for everything. Mr. Lalith weerathunge is the best administration officer, if all ministry secretaries follow the advise of Mr. Weerathunga lot of things are achieved,told he also under cell & releasing the political statement.CBK failure part is his secretory & former minister Ratwatte, mahid,s part is Gotabaya Rajapakse & his family appointment to the administrative field.His brother in law made bankrupt of national carrier.Mahinds weakness is never had relation with professional’s. War victory made him mad.
Namal Perera / August 23, 2013
This is the result of turning democratic Sri Lanka to a corrupt lawless Banana Republic with jungle law. Only way out is to chase away the crazy lunatics and rediscover our lost Sri Lanka.
Udari / August 23, 2013
Again when there is a election dumb idiots sri lankan will vote for these dumb power money everything hungry rajavassas to rob more and destroy democracy. Thisis the time all peopl eshould get to gether and vote this despoctic regime out. At least Ranil will protect democracyt and get rid of the JR JAYAWRADANA Dumb Presidential Contitution. Also Ranil please bring back two term limits for the president or prime minster.
justice / August 23, 2013
There is no ‘ministry of law & order’ in any other democracy – except burma as mentioned,where it has now been abolished.
If judiciary & police are fully independent,law & order will prevail.
But,this is not the case in sri lanka.
Military has no place in a law & order situation – but this is now being encouraged by the government.
The miitary dictatership is being slowly entrenched.
boring / August 26, 2013
Actually Justice Dept was separated from Law and Order in the UK recently
Thiru / August 23, 2013
Now that they are setting up a ‘Law And Order Ministry’,
it’s time to set up a “Implimentation of Law Ministry”.
Does Gota realize that this is urgently needed?
Lanka Liar / August 27, 2013
This is temporary will drop the law soon and will become “order ministry”.
akram / August 23, 2013
This is what happens when there are self serving fools in Parliament who have made all this possible by giving absolute power.Even they will face the same music which they rightly deserve.Now we could only watch what is taking place right in front of us unable to do anything. Also thanks to the opposition for not doing their job.Dread to think of the final Act.
mahasohon / August 23, 2013
Is this Major General going to put some discipline and law & order into the unruly Def Secy, supervisor of the MinDef and the unruly criminal UPFA politicans? If not, is this another piece of prop and window dressing for the forhcoming CHOGM? That is the 64000 dollar question.
KR / August 24, 2013
A ministry of Law and Order!! Certainly we need to ensure the men and women who run the country as though they owned it, and their cronies are kept in order. Law and order in Sri Lanka is necessary only to reign in the Rajapaksa regime!
The continued militarization of the country is also a good lesson for all the Sinhalese and others who have and continue to support this regime. They refused to accept that civilians in the North and the East as well as Tamils living in the South were being ill-treated. They stayed silent when bombs rained on unarmed civilians. Now the Gods they have been worshipping are turning the guns on them.
mike / August 24, 2013
Very soon we may find a “POO” (Point of Order) Ministry with ASSwar as Minister holding the portfolio. We always see him interrupting Hon.Sumanthiran and other members of the opposition by raising a “POO” without any rightful cause!
Park / August 24, 2013
This is a carbon copy of what has happened in China. Chinese advisers are working hard in Sri Lanka and Gotha is following their lead. Military personnel are the stupidest people to hold such a position. We have the police to maintain law and order. What we do not have is the Law and Order among politicians. So the name of the ministry should have been Politicians law and order ministry, civilians do not need this. This is another violation of Human Rights. This could be another example how the regime is taking away freedom from the masses. This also should be added on to the next UNHRC session as a violation of UN principles by the regime.
Radha / August 24, 2013
This ministry is supposed to be an outcome of a recommendation of LLRC. The LLRC recommendation is that the Police should come under a separate body and not under defense. If that is so, this is another violation of the LLRC recommendation due to the following reasons. 1) The spirit of the LLRC recommendation was that the police should come under a civilian oversight body and not a military oversight body, which is not the case here. 2) Even if the body to oversee police is not a civilian body, as in most developed countries, at least the senior officials should have been those who are not linked to the armed forces, which is not the case here. 3)Even at the eve of the establishment of this ministry, Chief of Defense staff Jagath Jayasooriya declares that more police will be used to control protests, which in turn shows that Ministry of Defense is still in charge of this ministry as well, although in name sake another ministry has been created to cheat the world. 4)This new ministry coming under the President is also another weakness as he is the minister of defense as well; a separate person should have been appointed as Minister in-charge, this shows this is an eye wash. 5)I have no doubt that there will be clauses or rules laid down by this ministry which will circumvent the 13th amendment powers given to the Provincial Councils. All in all this as usual is a “Boru Sobana” to fool the international pressure on Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is a military state run according to Chinese advice.
lankaputhra / August 24, 2013
Is it not an admission by the Government that there is NO law and order in this country if not why a separate ministry for the subject matter which is an inherent and utmost duty entrusted by the constitution upon the the rulers. although all are equal before the law practically Mervin Ayya rules the folk with the blessing of the Loku Ayya. no worry you can withdraw a complain made to police with subsequent affidavit. Maru Ne!!!
bewildered / August 24, 2013
We have a ministry of justice and now a ministry of law and odour
Will the minister of former be the minister of latter too?
We can also have permanent representatives of Ministry of Law& Odour at all Ministries and govt Institutions – that way Gota can keep tab on everything happenning in the govt and call for military action when its warranted. ( BTW haven’t they already appointed so many of the army cadres to positions on govt institutions )
Wickramasiri / August 24, 2013
As said by the AHRC, all that is needed is for the institutions responsible for law and order to function efficiently and be fair by all. The Rajapaksa penchant for control is bad. With excessive control from above, independent decisions become scarce and those in charge seek and await advice from the political masters above. Lack of initiative is rampant in the public service and is bad for the country. When Mahinda Rajapaksa exclaimed some time ago that “there is no point in my being President if I cannot appoint the OIC of Tangalle”, he was laying the ground for appointment of political loyalists to the Police. He was wrong. It is not political loyalty that is important, but loyalty to ensure law and order, fairness to the citizen. The ordinary citizen is more important than the politician.
The creation of a new Ministry, by itself will not improve the law and order situation in the country unless it’s actions are impartial. The test will come sooner than later. Will it arrest and detain BBS monks if they resort to violence against the citizens of this country? Will it be restrained in dealing with public protests and demonstrations? Gen.Mallawaarachchi is a very senior officer, and senior to the CDS and the Army Commander. Let us hope that he will have the maturity to handle the task before him well, and will have the confidence of his superiors to allow him the latitude to do his duty and win the respect of the citizen. If not it will be apt to rename this Ministry ‘Low and Odour’.
D.M.Thushara Jayarathna / August 24, 2013
Yesterday we saw another drama from MARA. One is he brought Police department under him. Appoint Ammy henchmen to administer it. How to make it any different. Still police department under Rajapasa custody. .
Yesterday he gave compensation to three victim family .Is he giving compensation from his own money. No he gives compensation using our tax money.. It means we pay compensation to victim families.. Then what happened culprits.. Their criminal and civil responsibilities. Is this the Asian miracle….. Is this happening according Mahinda Chinthanaya…………
Dr.Rajasingham Narendran / August 24, 2013
Extirpation of the Police establishment from the Defence Ministry is welcome, though much delayed. However, appointing a retired senior officer of the army as the Secretary of the new Ministry of Law and Order seems to negate, the former decision and render it cosmetic. The Police and Army are trained differently . The former has to work with the people and use minimal force, only when necessary, to carry out its functions. The latter are not expected to work with the people ( in fact, are isolated from them) and are trained to use violence as a first resort. How can a retired army officer, help guide back the Police into being what they are intended o be?
Why should the police come under a newly created and sinister sounding Law and Order Ministry? Why should it not have been placed under a Home Ministry as before? Whose law and whose orders are they expected to keep under the current circumstances where the rule of law has been the principal casualty of extremely bad governance?
The President has once again engaged in his now familiar and expected practice of enacting grand charades! The habit has become patholical and beyond any treatment.
Weeramaatha / August 24, 2013
Before i post my comments, let me clarify the point that the new secretary to the Ministry of Law & Order, Major Gen Mallawarachchi was the former SL Ambassador to Indonesia and not the SL High Commissioner to Malaysia as was stated in the AHRC statement.
The Government, has once again made a mockery of itself by creating a separate ministry ” ministry of law & order” ( in the guise of relieving police department from the MOD vis a vis military high command under S/Defence ) for which Major Gen Nanda Mallawarachchi, a retired military officer cum former SL Ambassador to Indonesia has been appointed as its Secretary. So it is obvious that new ministry will still be run by the MOD and S/Defence with the full backing of the President himself. So don’t be fooled by the latest eye wash and that nothing will change in the law and order situation in the country unless a civilian is tasked with the top job. Furthermore, what could you possibly expect from a person in the calibre of a Rtd Major General who had been out of Sri Lanka for over 6 years and somebody who is completely out of touch with the happenings in the country and lack of insight, experience and wisdom to grasp the contemporary issues realities facing the common people and the country. I have no doubt he could be deal and would do well, if given to run a farm or garden. Surely, not a civilian authority and for that the ministry of law & order.
APITABUDUSARNAI / August 27, 2013
Right thinking people of this country will have the same view about the newly introduced law and order and the man hand picked by them to oversee it. Anyway, I have the question, do not they have any provisions in our constitution the need of getting whatever the suggestions passed in the parliament before them being unanimously introduced ?
APITABUDUSARNAI / August 27, 2013
People would not surprise, if they the rascals would bring – mini ministry to kill anyone who would go against RAJAPAKSHEs soon.
Clouds ahead of us will be darker than has been sofar.
API THE FOLKS OF SRILANKA asarawela apita hithata dananawa ape buduhamuduruwane…..
API THE FOLKS OF SRILANKA asarawela apita hithata dananawa ape buduhamuduruwane….. API THE FOLKS OF SRILANKA asarawela apita hithata dananawa ape buduhamuduruwane….. API THE FOLKS OF SRILANKA asarawela apita hithata dananawa ape buduhamuduruwane….. API THE FOLKS OF SRILANKA asarawela apita hithata dananawa ape buduhamuduruwane….. API THE FOLKS OF SRILANKA asarawela apita hithata dananawa ape buduhamuduruwane….. API THE FOLKS OF SRILANKA asarawela apita hithata dananawa ape buduhamuduruwane….. API THE FOLKS OF SRILANKA asarawela apita hithata dananawa ape buduhamuduruwane…..
hannah.rajaratnam / August 29, 2013
Great – Law & Order Ministry for ?
The Dogs to be kept in order and encouraged to marry
and ofcourse taken for a honeymoon in the salubrious
climate of Nuwera Eliya.
Haniff Mohamed / August 29, 2013
There is no law and order in our country. Law )Judges)take bribes, Order(Police) killed people. we wait and see what the new ministry will do to bring the law and order in our country.or MR going to control defense boss GR?