15 November, 2018

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No Wonder Sri Lanka’s Rich And Powerful Need CCTV Protection!

By Kshama  Ranawana

Kshama  Ranawana

Kshama Ranawana

February began with news of the senseless killing of Mel Gunasekera, a well known financial analyst and journalist.

She had been stabbed to death allegedly by a would be burglar, who was caught within hours of the heinous crime, by police who identified him through the images caught on a Closed Circuit Television camera installed in a neighbouring home.

Hurrah then for the availability of CCTV camera’s in Sri Lanka. If only they are used to apprehend the villains of many other crimes committed in that country!

Reading the report of the murder and the agility with which the murderer was apprehended, got me thinking. If Mel had been killed or kidnapped because of her profession would the suspects have been so easily and speedily captured?

Apart from the abductions and killings of well-known journalists there are many others who have gone missing or have been killed. The culprits however, still roam free.  As well, we’ve lost count of the number of presidential commissions appointed to look into such crimes and grown weary of waiting to hear the findings.

According to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development website, a hundred and five CCTV camera’s have been installed at main intersections in Colombo city. The camera’s have been very useful in identifying traffic gridlocks and accidents, ensuring safety of VIP movements and monitoring events within the city.

The CCTV camera which helped identify Mel Gunasekera’s assailant is reported to be installed in the home of the Chairman of the Ports Authority. On recent visits to Sri Lanka, I’d noticed similar camera’s installed in the homes of private citizens and wealthy business people.

What necessitates CCTV’s surveillance in the homes of civilians?  After all, the Sri Lankan government is proud to announce to the world that, having rid the country of the LTTE, the island nation is now a paradise. A CCTV camera installed at the home of the Chairman of the Ports Authority, could have been justified during the era when the country was fighting the JVP and the LTTE. Why is it necessary for private citizens and public servants to have their homes under surveillance today?

Those who saw the attack on the Fashion Bug outlet at Pepiliyana, close to Nugegoda, would have seen a Buddhist monk throwing a stone at the factory’s CCTV to disable it. Several policemen looked on, while he repeatedly threw a stone like object at it. The outlet was attacked in the anti-Muslim hysteria which has taken hold of the country.

There have been many other instances where religious minorities have come under attack and the authorities have been slow to take action.

Earlier this month, Sunil Samaradheera, a resident of  Wanathamulla, which is the latest Colombo inner-city area slated for evictions by the Urban Development Authority, was abducted. His crime? Daring to challenge the eviction orders. The residents, who have lived there for many years, have been asked to leave to make way for the grand plans of the government to transform Colombo and its environs into the playing field for the rich, famous and powerful.

Mr. Samaradheera was released hours later, unscathed, when fellow residents came out in protest. Perhaps those instructing the abductors would have realized that if Mr. Samaradheera was killed or ended as another missing person, it will not bode well for Sri Lanka at next months UN meeting in Geneva. There is also a provincial election to be considered.

The people of Rathupaswela, were not so lucky. Last year, three young men died when residents protesting that the water in the areas was contaminated came under attack by members of the armed forces. In 2011, a young man was among protestors who was shot dead by police, for agitating against the governments plans to introduce a pension scheme that was not acceptable to the people.  And in 2013, a fisherman in the Chilaw area was killed when he and scores of other fisher folk protested the increase in fuel prices which made their livelihood less viable.

UNP parliamentarian Harin Fernando said it very eloquently in parliament recently, when he spoke on the proposed Land Act and Colombo Port City plan. He pointed out that the government is busy trying to build golf courses and race tracks, and legalizing gambling while the larger population of the country could hardly afford to purchase milk powder.  He faulted government ministers for meekly going along instead of questioning and preventing such moves which would only benefit a privileged few.

Government ministers are not the only ones to blame. A larger sector of the prosperous population, who are enjoying the spoils of the casino’s and night racing are equally to blame. They seem to care little that a larger number of their countrymen live in near poverty.  Cost of living has reached such high levels, that even middle income families are struggling to make ends meet.

A miniscule of Sri Lanka’s people will enjoy the race tracks and casinos and the high lifestyles. The majority will spend their days trying to eke out a living. Crime will increase, and so will the brutality as the income gap widens and injustices continue.

No wonder the rich and powerful need to live within the protection of CCTV cameras!

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Latest comments

  • 5
    8

    Is this a plug for the bankrupt UNP?.

    UNP will never get in by an Election. Only hope for them is a Ukraine or a Venezuela.

    That is if the poor inhabitants can be stirred up by devious means , with the help of Cameron , Harper and the Lady Ambassador in Colombo.

    Otherwise who is going to pour on to the streets and set fire to public properties and attack private premises?.

    Intelligentsia and the Vellalas want regime change and love to see Ranil and his Christian faction in power.

    But would they send their loved ones to do the dirty work?.

    CCTV cameras in Colombo is a timely measure to ensure the safety of the inhabitants who want to live in peace.

    Hopefully a few are directed at the Western Embassies too to check on our patriots who patronize them to help our great majority of the poor Sinhala Buddhist inhabitant population. ,

    • 2
      2

      K.A Sumanasekera is like the Grade 3 kid who only knows how to write one good essay about “The Coconut Tree”. No matter what the topic is, he writes the same crap, over and over…

      Thank goodness only the pathetic morons are still left to support the regime. I imagine guys like this will be reduced to bragging about how he “dara diya adda” to the SLFP, to a bunch of stray dogs in some town corner somewhere.

      • 8
        1

        Katmai

        No matter what the topic is, you guys always invoke the coconut tree – that is, the Rajapakse bogey. Learn to be more original and creative in your attacks on the government if you want college level essays.

      • 0
        1

        nice one mate… Scientists found Neutrons, Protons and Electrons..sadly they didnt find Morons of the like of Sumane…

    • 1
      1

      UNP can simply win in an Election if they assure Buddhist Sinhalese that they will kill more Tamils than the Mahinda Regime did and publicly denounce that they will get rid of Provincial councils from North East.

    • 1
      1

      I m lazy to comment on articles like this. She don’t know what she is talking about.

    • 1
      4

      KASANA-Sekara;

      What is happning to your Plug.
      Is it still there??.

      You are Doing A fairly good service to Your Pay masters The Shit Eating Pigs Clan.
      This is like you do “Gini Pimbapiya, Hori Kasapiya”.

      So better keep up your effort of “Gini Pimbapiya, Puka Simbapiya”.of Shit eating Pigs.
      I see there are many like your type in these blogs, employed by the Shameless Shit eating Pigs, Jarapassa Clan to wash their, where you know?.

      • 2
        1

        The language you use is a clear indication of the state of your mind and even clearer indication of how you would behave in the event changes you promote ever come to fruition.

      • 2
        0

        Language you use is a clear indication of the state of your mind and even clearer indication of how you would behave in the event the chaos you promote ever come to fruition…

  • 5
    6

    I agree some parts of this article . Defiantly the author is anti government and probably [Edited out]

    • 5
      3

      Sunil

      “Defiantly the author is anti government”

      Maybe; But can you EVER say that she has not reported actual facts? Maybe the vision of that saffron robed thug casting a stone has hurt your oh, so communal sensitivities.

  • 4
    5

    Only thing I see in this article is that Kshama [Edited out]

    • 2
      2

      Jim Nutty – the only thing I see is that you have been released from being
      “under observation”!

  • 6
    3

    All these Saffron robed moron should be sent to Geneva to get Sri Lanka of its disaster and there is no point blaming opposition parties, TNA, or other minorities, when state turn a blind eye to all high handed acts Morons. In fact siblings are involved in the behind the scene or rather openly encouraging these racists, when they should be hung. So what happened and happening in NP can easily be speculated by any person with a very average IQ.

  • 4
    3

    Balanced writing……good job maam.

  • 6
    3

    This country is for regime and their cronies. It has been robbed from ordinary citizens who have to struggle day in and day out. Just take for example the killing of Mel Gunasekara, killer apprehended case closed. There is nothing else to be done this is the mentality of government. The Lives of ordinary citizens has no value also no body cares about difficulties and hardships people have to go through.

    Whether this is what really happened ? has any 3rd party lawyers or representatives of Mel G. Family members were able to talk to the supposed killer ? what is the truth ?
    We are just fed with doctored data to digest, in few months all will be forgotten until something like this happen again.
    Murder, rape, robbery, intimidation are rampant, recently a ministers son knocked down a youth who died due to injuries he was driving without license. Who will provide justice to the victims family ?

    The ordinary citizens life has no value. As long as any one is outside the circle IT DOES NOT MATTER.

    I believe This is because as citizens when our youth be it in the south or any where else in the country were killed in scores by successive governments we have kept silent and quite. We never asked the questions ! As general public we never supported our fellow citizens who are suffering or under oppression.

    The Tamils are mobilizing all their resources to ask the questions and bring resolutions against the deaths. While we in the rest of the country have accepted it was necessary evil though equal number or more as in terrorism were killed.

    This in turn has given the government a free hand they know their will be some noise initially and then they will just go about their lives.

    • 4
      2

      Lasantha’s killer/s NOT apprehended, CASE CLOSED. Hail Hitlerpassa!

  • 1
    1

    This woman has the right to say what she feels right. She even publish her photograph. I admire her. Now, who is this ’tissaranee gunasekara’? Why is ‘she’ different? ‘She’ an Avatar?

  • 1
    3

    Kshama Ranawana writes about “”crimes committed in that country!”” ‘that country’? What country? Don’t be ashamed; spell it out. Sri Lanka. Then the smiling one cheers the availability of CCTV. Whoa! Leaving these and other irritations aside, Ranaweera writes plaintively well about what really constitutes everyday life for us in Sri Lanka – the fresh miracle of Asia. True, all the CCTV cameras will not count unless you have the blessing of the ruling regime, and all who act on their behalf. Impunity will rule when those we elect to govern turn their faces away from the proper business of running our country. Given the parlous state of our body politic, don’t expect anything much better from any elected party. The fact is that our Sri Lankan politics is infested with far too many self serving people supported by factions of thugs, sycophants and hangers-on; and those elected are bound to repay this support even facilitating whatever sharp practices or criminality are carried out – land grabbing, drug dealing, thuggery against innocent citizens who oppose those connected with the regime, etc. etc. etc. Decent politicians stick out like sore thumbs and are helpless in the face of this abominable majority. The lady is right when she points to the acquiescence of a large section of the prosperous in our midst – alas, the lady is a babe in the wood. You simply cannot make the poor rich by making the rich poor. Let me tell you how it can be done (the formula has been tested, and some side effects excepted, works.) Elect politicians who will genuinely put country before self, re-establish the rule of law, ensure a swift and sure justice system, a fair system of taxation, an education system fit for purpose, a health service that delivers and doesn’t play second fiddle to those who can pay. But here are the biggest hurdles of all for the people of Sri Lanka – try seeing past religion, race, cast, colour and gender. How quaint that we can still discount 50% of our population (and bollocks to the old chestnut about being the first to elect a woman prime minister), and another 25% of our minorities. Just as bad is the sine qua non that you need to belong to a particular caste and or religion to reach the highest office in the land. But you know what? For the time being, the ‘rich and powerful’ of this country will set up their CCTV’s, delight in walking freely on our peaceful golden beaches, enjoy the fresh breezes all around this blessed island AND doing what we can to alleviate the suffering of our fellow citizens. As I fly around I see many unsung heroes doing their bit for the cause. Things can only get better for us all over here.

  • 1
    0

    Sunil Samaradheera’s account of his abduction and release in the video,is disturbing.
    The abductors not yet being identified/apprehended in a sign of the times now prevalent in sri lanka.
    Is this not a happening in a police/cum/military state.
    In any democracy,this would be headline stuff,and the police chief would have been forced to resign.

    • 1
      0

      Justice: this is indeed very disturbing. But wait until the art of white-vanning’, kidnapping, call it what you will, get really professionalised. The opportunities and rewards for earning ransoms from kidnapping selected returning expatriates and tourists must be so very tempting.

  • 8
    0

    Kshama Ranawana

    You are living in the west where surveillance has completely taken over: CCTV cameras are everywhere – even in private spaces; phone calls are eavesdropped; emails intercepted; internet use monitored; credit card transactions tracked; travel scrutinized. Peoples’ privacy has been totally eroded.

    Also in the west the crime rate is climbing like elsewhere, and the gap between the rich and the poor keeps getting bigger. As a result the rich are increasing their security and gated communities are on the rise.

    So what are you trying to say? Is this your two cents’ worth for the Geneva session?

  • 8
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    [Edited out]

    • 7
      0

      thana kolla, enjoy your meal!!

  • 8
    0

    ela kolla

    Thanks for making your presence known. Keep up the good work.

    Kutti

    • 7
      0

      [Edited out]

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