23 September, 2019

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Sri Lanka’s Extra Judicial Killings Is An Indicator Of A Collapse Of Ethical And Moral Order – AHRC

Yesterday, in our statement titled murders and extra judicial killings we commented on the killing of a police constable and his wife followed by what clearly appeared to be extra judicial killings of three persons who were alleged suspects of the said crime. The inquiries into the murder of the police constable and his wife, according to reports, was being carried out  under the supervision of two Deputy Inspector Generals of the Sri Lanka Police.

MahindawithHakeemIn the present day,reports on incidents of the practice of extra judicial killings of alleged suspects of serious and heinous crimes often goes unnoticed, without as much as a comment.

Over the years, an understanding or an ‘acceptance of sorts’ seems to have developed within the  general public – of extra judicial killings by the law enforcement officers. Some of the reasons for such an understanding to take root in the society can be explained as follows;

  1. The acts of such crimes have gradually become more brutal in nature and are often carried out with the use of sophisticated weapons and in many instances by trained gunmen i.e. ex-armed forces members. In this particular instance, one of the three persons killed is reported to have been a trainer in the Sri Lanka army’s commando regiment. The terror caused by such killings seems to have led to the public response that the disposal of such persons by extra judicial killings may be justified or at least that it is a ‘necessary evil’.
  2. Due to the extremely chaotic situation of the judicial process  in Sri Lanka – which has miserably  failed  to convince the general public, of Sri lanka’s capacity to deal with crimes, through a due judicial process –  the public seems to have accepted as fact, that in the  absence of any alternatives in being protected from serious crimes through a legitimate process –  killing of these persons may be the only alternative left. That the judicial process is extremely defective is beyond controversy. Besides the usual  long delays stretching for years,  in dealing with litigation in Sri Lanka,  there are also other problems; there is hardly any protection for the victims and witnesses of crime, and therefore, many of them may think it  unsafe to come before courts and give evidence;  absence of evidence implies acquittals  for the alleged criminals; further, retaining of lawyers through such a protracted periods of time,  is a luxury that many people cannot afford; many Sri Lankan lawyers too,  have unfortunately acquired the reputation of exploiting these delays for their own benefit; and in recent times, there is a widespread public perception that criminals can get away by of payment of Bribes, usually to Police officers ,which has – since of late –  spread even to the  judges themselves ; above all, there is a possibility of political interference and criminals often have political links which can see them safely and unscathed , through the ordeals of trials and other judicial procedures .
  3. Killing of unacceptable persons has acquired some sort of legitimacy, due to the frequent resort to such killings during the long period of insurgencies in during Sri Lanka’s recent history. It is quite well established public knowledge that such killings have been resorted to, as a ‘necessary strategy’ for dealing with those who are branded as terrorists. The official sanction for this policy was expressed by a former Deputy Defense Minister who proclaimed in Parliament  that “ “such things” cannot be done according to the law”

All these factors have created a mindset which almost expects the police and other law enforcement agencies to ensure security by resorting to extra judicial killings.

What this factual situation presents is a society that has dissented to the lowest depths of lawlessness and immorality. If murder of criminals is the only resort,  that law enforcement officers have at their disposal, that itself is an open admission that even the most basic tenants of morality cannot any longer be protected nor respected any longer  within the Sri Lankan social milieu.

Now, we have drifted from the war against terrorists to the war against criminals. War, in this instance means war in a literal sense and implies the direct use of the bullet in dealing with crimes.

The task of reinforcing the confidence in law and in the judicial process in any society is vests primarily, in the Government.

Whether crimes are dealt with – by means of law enforcement officers being allowed also to commit crime –  is a matter entirely determined by the Government. If resort to such killings is done with the approval of the Government itself, then there is no-way-out, of the situation. That the present Government of Sri Lanka overtly or covertly encourages and condones the resort to that type of violence is quiet obvious. The President as the Head of the Government has not made a single statement condemning such killings nor set out the State Policy for the prevention of such killings which set out the manner in which  to deal with crime in general  through the ordinary legal process following the law of the land.  Since the Government of Sri Lanka, is the Executive President,  there is no one else who could give the re-assurance to the society with a better way of dealing with such crime, other  than by resorting to cold blooded killings.  It is from within the very nature of the Sri Lankan Constitutional system itself that the responsibility for the State Policy for permitting such killings could be placed on the President himself.

Under such circumstances, announcements of inquiries into such extra judicial killings or bringing the perpetrators of such crimes to justice makes no sense. Such inquiries and prosecutions are possible only when the Government does all that it can, to create respect for law and the judicial process. The Rajapaksa Government has quite clearly entered into a different path than that of one creating respect for the rule of law and judicial process.

The government policy of undermining the judicial process has quite a long history, and the most recent overt demonstration of that policy was the illegal sacking of the Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake. When the very appointments to positions such as that of the Chief Justice, is not based on implacable legal principles, there is hardly anything further to be said about the respect for law and legality.

When the nation so blatantly rejects the fundamentals of moral and ethical order by creating permissiveness towards, extra judicial killings by law enforcement officers we must all ask ourselves; What kind of respect for morality or ethics could be sustained in Sri Lanka?  A cynic may respond to that question, by saying; Who owns morality and ethics? Unfortunately, such a response form a cynic, coincides quite clearly with the approach that the Government itself takes, on the issue of ethics and morality in Sri Lanka.

If the Government itself quiet openly pursues a path of disregard for ethical and moral order what hope remain for Sri lanka to be a civilized country? To be civilized means the respect for the moral and the ethical principles on the basis of which the members of that society could maintain relationships wich are ethical and morally sound.

Those who are talking about the civil society should seriously ponder about this level of collapse of the moral and the ethical order in Sri Lanka. Something called a civil society can exist only within a context of recognition of ethics and morality as the foundation.  If the civil society itself condones extra judicial killings by law enforcement agencies, that is a frightening indication of a crisis and a confusion within the civil society itself.

These are the problem that are posed by the extra judicial killings that are permitted to happen unabated in Sri Lanka.

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Latest comments

  • 7
    0

    Raja-pissa must be given a fitting punishment for all the crimes in various forms he let loose on humanity in Sri Lanka. ——- What is a befitting punishment? —– Any suggestions?

    • 4
      1

      Agree. Those who break the law must be punished. A beggar or President it does not matter.

      But, your enthusiasm for punitive action against the President would be more credible, if you could suggest how survivng LTTE top brass abroad could be dealt with.

      Any suggestions?

      • 1
        0

        [Edited out]

      • 0
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        @Ben Hurling

        You cannot run with the hare and hunt with the hounds like you seem to be doing on man threads on CT. Your slip is showing. :D

        • 0
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          Percy Jilmart,

          “My Slip Showing”

          So what? That is the whole point.

          Cheers!

      • 1
        0

        Why only abroad, why not the LTTE who are now supporting the regime.
        Since the LTTE has been effectively destroyed , then one should focus on the regime as they are the ones in power now. So it is deflection to keep bringing up the LTTE, an organization that no longer exists.

      • 0
        0

        Ben – I have to agree with Percy J. Why would Thiru need to suggest anything more than he/she has already done? What happens to the LTTERs abroad could hardly be dealt with the ‘justice’ system here. However, it would be interesting to know what you feel about former important LTTERs like Karuna, KP, etc, and their crimes against humanity.

        Any “credible” suggestions?

      • 0
        0

        We first look after the criminal and brother at home.

      • 0
        0

        what have you done to the surviving LTTE top brass living in SL. SL is giving them ministerial post and VIP treatment

      • 0
        0

        Your argument itself is stupid when no one has established that there are any LTTE top brass abroad. If there was they could be charged according to the local laws of those countries as many of those countries have banned LTTE as a terrorist entity.

        So before advertising your stupidity you should prove that they belong to LTTE and that there is an entity called LTTE. On the other hand “Raja-pissa” was the President and defense minister when crimes accused of happened and all the others accused too were holding key positions of command and control which could be established.

  • 2
    1

    Judges Lawyers Magistrates should be ashamed for laws delays, sometimes innocents too get victimised by Police brutality.

  • 1
    0

    Morally and ethically decadent Sri Lanka nation must be dismantled if it is to function as a civilized society. ————— ———————————The international community is duty bound to step in set a new course for the peoples of the island.

    • 1
      2

      In other words all your fake whining about human rights are all about knocking Sri Lanka down. HR is a just a tool for you.

      Using which you could build an ethnically cleansed, Tamil only, Ealamist Utopia, in multi-ethnic Sri Lanka.

      Very good luck & keep wasting your time!

      • 0
        0

        GOSL and Sinhala Nationalists for decades whined about LTTE atrocities, now they and their supporters like you don’t want to talk about human rights . A united SL with no autonomy for the North and East is nothing but a fascist Sinhala state because all power rests with the Sinhala Nationalists.

      • 0
        0

        Ben – remember when Mahinda R was championing Human Rights here and in Geneva? Was he also
        “..fake whining about human rights..” and was it “…all about knocking Sri Lanka down”?

        I think you are being paranoid when you fantasize about Tamils building “..an ethnically cleansed, Tamil only, Ealamist Utopia, in multi-ethnic Sri Lanka”. Don’t fret, that will never happen, so stop the assumptions and stick to the facts.

  • 1
    2

    “Sri Lanka’s Extra Judicial Killings Is An Indicator Of A Collapse Of Ethical And Moral Order – AHRC”

    What a wrong statement from AHRC. They should not comment on something which they do not know for sure. We are a Ethical nation with high moral with more than 2600 Years of civilized history to our credit. Our Nation has already selected and given a mandate to a “Barakaraya” to protect Pure Sinhala Buddhism, ethics, culture, moral values and everything we had in the country.

    So, don’t worry AHRC those are in safe hands now.

    • 1
      1

      You are right and in Sri Lankan history even kings offer their head to prevent innocent being murdered. So this may be case of three who are convinced that they should finish themselves without any further problem to Police or Judiciary in Sri Lanka have taken their life.

  • 0
    0

    when man sees a man?

  • 3
    0

    Killing of the suspects of the murder of the constable and his wife is a well planed act by the police in connivance with the politicians who are involved in drugs dealings. This is in order to suppress information of the top level politician who had given the contract. The police who took the contract to kill the suspects also will face the death threat if they try to leak the truth. Some times this killing chain may become longer.Regarding the Army deserted persons who take contracts to kill people now practicing their learning from north where they killed thousands of innocent people mercilessly and received rewards and the recognition of Sinhala people as War hero’s.These “minimaruwos” are called “Ranaviruvos”

  • 1
    2

    It is Thiru’s brains that need to be dismantled and disected.

    This Aimless Human Rights Commission need to hang onto something of Sri Lanka for their daily bread from DIGNITY.

    HR is all fake & are there to white wash or sweep under the carpet Western atrocities.
    Aimless Human Rights Commission is a cooley of the West.

  • 0
    0

    People! extrajudicial killing shows that the State has failed

    It Shows that there is no proper governance

    No confidence in the judicial system

    This shows that the citizens of this country has no rights, yet we are told and are made to believe that we are apart of 2600year old Buddhist culture… IS this what Buddhism is all about?

  • 0
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    Fully agree with Lapatiya. The main suspect Katayam Chinthaka could be a supporter of the regime.

  • 0
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    The opposite.

    Without killing Tamils, others are not safe.

    Look at SL now. NO bomb blasts. No assassinations of national leaders. No child soldiers.

    Why?

    Because all the dirty Tamils doing these crimes were KILLED.

    If the same problem comes up again, give the same solution.

    40,000!

    • 0
      0

      Fat-‘SHIT’-ma, you are a low life [Edited out].

  • 0
    0

    same in england too no?

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