8 December, 2019

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Police Shooting Of Two Jaffna Students Should Be Condemned Strongly

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

The police shooting and the killing of two Jaffna University students on the 21st should be condemned strongly, and the blatant killers should be brought to justice without delay. By shooting to the head of the motorcycle riders, it is very clear that it was done not to stop the vehicle, but to kill. If it were to stop the vehicle, then the shooting could have been done to the vehicle or the tires.

Anyway, there is no apparent reason for the police to stop and search vehicles in such a manner in Jaffna today and these incidents would remind the circumstances under which many militant organizations emerged in the Peninsula in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The history should not be allowed to repeat by the actions of the unmindful, callous or possibly chauvinist police or army officers. The police or the army should not act or allowed to act on the impression that they monitor and control a subjugated people.

This incident among others highlights the urgency of screening very carefully the police officers and the army stationed in Jaffna and the North and the need to recruit more and more Tamil officers to take over the security of those areas among other reforms within the police and the armed forces. Within a constitutional overhauling (i.e. a new constitution), handing over the ‘community policing,’ including traffic checks, to the provincial councils could be considered, if the handing over of complete subject of ‘law and order’ is premature at the moment given national security considerations.

killing-of-two-jaffna-university-undergraduates-in-jaffna-kokuvilFrom all the news reports available at the moment, it appears that Sundiraja Sulakshan and Nadaraja Gajan were completely innocent students who were travelling that night after attending a private party at Chunnakam. They were travelling home. Are they prohibited of attending parties at night? Are they prohibited of riding motor cycles without interference at night? These are the questions one should ask to unravel the reasons behind.

Sundiraja and Nadaraja seem to be good friends, studying their degrees in Arts in the third year. This is about two important lives lost for themselves, their families, dear ones and friends. These are two important lives lost for the country and to their community due to the police brutality. On the other hand, according to the available reports, after the incident, the police officers have handed over the wounded to the hospital as if they had met with an accident! It is the medical officers who have detected the gun shots on the head. Thanks are due to the two reporters of the Divaina (22 October) this time giving a true picture of the incident to the Sinhala readers.

Those among the Sinhalese who believe or advocate that Jaffna and the North should be kept under the yoke of the Sinhalese, through the army and the police should be ashamed of the incident. It is true that unlike in the past or under the previous regime, swift action has been taken to immediately interdict and arrest all those who were involved in the shooting and the attempted cover up. Similarly, the judicial and disciplinary enquiries should be performed to deliver justice without delay. Those who involved are five in number. This is a matter that Jaffna should strongly protest. This is a matter that not only the Jaffna University but also other universities should protest in solidarity.

Most important might be for the Police Commission, the Office for Reconciliation (ONUR) and also the relevant Ministers and Ministries to carefully look at the police placements in Jaffna and the North/East and recommend necessary measures to avoid such incidents and to alleviate any further fears that the people may have in respect of the police handling of the civilians.

Education of police officers, weeding out of undesirable (chauvinist) elements, and the use of technology (e.g. CCTV) to monitor situations could be adopted among others. These may be necessary in the short run until more permanent arrangements are made under devolution or even after. What is increasingly clear is that more ‘shared responsibility’ should be placed on the provincial councils particularly in the North and the East in managing ‘law and order’ with the central government. The trust that the Tamil people placed on the President and the government should be fulfilled. The situation in Jaffna and in the North should not be oppressive.

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Latest comments

  • 2
    5

    The majority people in this discussion are the representative sample of the
    Country’s people [95% stupid or crooks ,4% reasonably intelligent
    And 1% intelligent]-They don’t talk]
    Just shut up and wait for the judicial process
    It is going to be in Jaffna , before Jaffna judge by Jaffna lawyers .

    When LTTE killed university students and teachers you didn’t do anything
    Like this !

    Sella idaththu sinam theethu , Sellidathu theethu athanil pira
    Thiru Valluvar

    • 3
      0

      Every word in the article by Laksiri Fernando is relevant and appropriate in this instance. The students were not drunk as confirmed by the JMO report.

      Everyone must read this article as many times as it is necessary to understand what the message the writer sends to the readers.

      Under the former regime Tamil police and indeed other vacancies in transport, hospitals and government institutions were recruited by paramilitaries that supported the government. In many respects the so called Tamils recruited that was are worse than those from the south.

      The police in the north and east are more interested in getting bribes from vulnerable youths and civilians. There is no vehicle including land masters and tractors is left unregistered and the police see it it that they are all registered. But in the south vehicles used in cultivation and transport are generally not registered. They are comparatively cheaper in the south because some vehicles were not registered for 20 years. Those vehicles were bought in the south by middlemen and sold in the north for profit. Those who buy them in the north are checked by police and either get bribes or book them to be prosecuted.

  • 2
    1

    thirishu;
    “Do you know exactly what transpired between the 2 parties Veerakanapathy? “ neither me nor you know what transpired between the 2 parties!, so don’t come to the conclusion, until the inquiry is over. students may have been drunken as well policemen would have been drunken, we never know. I myself came across drunken policemen demanding money!
    You say “Manned barriers are there for a purpose.” Of course the purpose for the barrier is to implement the law and order . Not to kill the people! but to protect the people. We all know what have our policemen done at Ratnapura, Kalutura beach, etc.We all know where is our Colombo North DIG (Sajith Vass Gunawardene) has ended up!

  • 0
    0

    I did a quick search and this is what i found (only in USA):

    THE BIG PICTURE: HOW OFTEN DO FATAL SHOOTINGS HAPPEN?

    Meaningful statistics on U.S. police shootings are hard to come by because the American government doesn’t keep comprehensive records on them. The Guardian newspaper started a database, The Counted, based on crowdsourced information and news reporting, and found black Americans are far more likely to be the victims of police shootings. Here are some of the numbers they’ve reported:

    1146

    People killed in 2015

  • 3
    0

    A very sensible article by Dr Laksiri Fernando which should be lauded by people from all communities.Srilanka has come a long way towards reconciliation and it is the duty of all lovers of A peaceful Srilanka to act responsibly and sensitively to arrest anyone who tries to sabotage efforts towards reconciliation. POLICE PERSONNEL WHO ARE SENT TO Jaffna should be selected and screened properly.Peace in Jaffna will bring peace in the whole of Srilanka.We need more Dr Fernando’s to make the beautiful Srilanka to be a country which all communities can proudly call their home.

  • 0
    0

    These students must have a drink unfortunately. Do you know who has the sole right to manufacture liquor in the country? Sole right is with the State and State give this right to various parties by way of licenses at a colossal price. Nearly 70% of the price of a bottle of arrack goes to State as Excise Duty and there are other levies too. Annual licence fees for manufacture, retail and distribution licenses are more than Rs 100,000/-. Si when one consume liquor Govt collect sizeble amount to Govt coffers. I do not say drinking liquor is a good habit and I do not consume liquor but it is a necessary evil in the society. Lord Buddha asked to refrain from liquor more than 2600 years ago and Islam prohibit consumption of liquor. I also agree that people should not drive under the influence of liquor.The shooting of speeding drivers are with intention to kill. Why cant they shoot at the tyres. Is the shooting necessary to catch a speeding drivers. Why cant they chase them with their high powered motor cycles. This is intentional killing. Police should be disarmed while in civil duties like checking vehicles on the road.

  • 2
    5

    I can’t remember Laksiri jumping like this when Jaffna student’s heads were smashed recently. It is better to let the judicial process to run it’s course.

  • 1
    0

    nondisciplinary police and country always make this incident,nothing will happen even u guys write para in this page.this will be the fate of Sri Lanka,do not waste your time to argue here, concentrate your own business.

  • 1
    1

    Hela you are wrong.

    ” can’t remember Laksiri jumping like this when Jaffna student’s heads were smashed recently. It is better to let the judicial process to run it’s course.”

    When LTTE killed Tamil youth with impunity nobody talked -why?

    • 3
      0

      Liverpool Suddha

      “When LTTE killed Tamil youth with impunity nobody talked -why? “

      Because you were sucking your thumb in a push chair/cot/craddle/………..

      Because there was no Colombo Telegraph

      Because you missed D B S Jeyaraj.com and transcurrent.

      Because before 1997 there weren’t many web media.

  • 0
    0

    Dr Laksiri

    We have to ask a question from our police.Why dont we have COMMUNITY POLICING without arms?? In London Metropolitan area only 10% of the Cops have guns and a good many of them are women.
    If our cops need training the Metropolitan police in London are willing to do so.Why should the cops carry guns because the STF carry guns on behalf of the Cops.
    The solution lies in having more cops who speak the local lingo.

    • 0
      0

      Liverpool Suddha,

      “Why dont we have COMMUNITY POLICING without arms??”

      It exists and some have been trained in Scotland.

      Check http://www.police.lk

  • 0
    1

    [Edited out] Laksiri. how dare your writing. there many incident in this country.police will inquire this incident. do not jump the gun.

  • 1
    0

    Police demand family of slain Tamil undergraduates not to seek justice – From Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS)

    “A group of police officers visiting Sulakshan’s father Sinnathurai Wijayakumar in Jaffna and Gajan’s mother Nadarasa Sarojini in Kilinochchi on Sunday (23) have offered money and jobs for any unemployed in the family in exchange for dropping the case. LNo one will benefit from dragging the case further,” the police officers have told the grieving parents.
    Sinnathurai Wijayakumar is in deep shock as he lost his second while still searching for his elder son who has disappeared. The father told JDS that he informed the police officers what he only needs is justice for his sons who are no more with him. “What can I do with money when the police shot my son to death like an animal?” he questioned.
    Gajan’s mother also told JDS that she is seeking justice for her slain son, instead of cash or other benefit. “My son raised funds for his university education by doing manual labour. When such a child is killed I don’t want any other return except justice,” she said.

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