19 September, 2020

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The ‘Theatre’ Of Law-Enforcement

By Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

In a society where there is justice and it is reflected in the entire gamut of activities and processes that come under ‘law and order’ two things can be expected. First, the crime rate will be low. Secondly, those guilty of wrongdoing will be brought to book. We don’t live in such a society. While it is fashionable to blast the Government or, if it’s a new Government, the previous one, for crimes of omission and commission, we’ve certainly come a long way from the days of proxy arrests, illegal detention, routine and policy-directed torture and summary execution.

‘Better,’ however is not coterminous with ‘okay’ and that’s a point I’ve made often enough. Foot dragging, we have pointed out editorially, naturally prompts suspicion of concealment and implies sanction from ‘the top’. I have also treated with suspicion the numbers trotted out by dubious NGO racketeers regarding journalists and others supposedly ‘disappeared’ by state agencies. For two reasons. First ‘journalist’ is not license to do wrong and get away with it. Secondly, such inflation only detracts from the investigation into authentic cases, for example that of Lasantha Wickrematunge. Put simply, when the accusers and the accusations are corrupt and fairytale-like respectively it allows those in authority to play with these factors and not the fact of murder. Even in Lasantha’s case, whether or not his ‘journalism’ figured in the plot that led to his murder is unclear. Colombo Telegraph has covered that aspect of the issuePrageeth Ekneligoda was no journalist. He did come up with interesting illustrations, but to call him a ‘journalist’ is an insult to the tribe. His involvement with the LTTE is coming out only now. All that is irrelevant to the matter of investigating his disappearance. If, as alleged, he was killed, the truth must be sought relentlessly because he is a citizen. If he was murdered, the murderers should be brought to book. If, in the process, it turns out (as some have alleged) that he was not the journalistic or rights advocacy guru he’s been made out to be, it can’t be helped. His so-called friends may get egg on their faces. Can’t be helped.

The important thing is to investigate to conclusion. And that’s not just about Prageeth Ekneligoda but every citizen of this country who, if the law is inefficient, inadequate or prone to interference ‘from above’, is another Prageeth waiting to be disappeared.

Prageeth’s case has from Day One been politicized. The silence and inaction on the part of the state only helped the usual suspects from the whining brigade of the NGO community that unabashedly acts in cahoots with the LTTE rump overseas. Now that there’s ‘regime change’ (of sorts) such impediments as may have existed are gone. Today it’s a different political game and one that has nothing to do with machinations against the Sri Lankan state (and consequently the people of Sri Lanka).

If Prageeth’s dubious past helped discolor investigations the current exercise is being blurred by what has to be identified as professional jealousies. The war is between military intelligence units and the Police. Since the entire case is framed by security issues this is unfortunate and even repulsive.

Wrongdoers must be brought to book. In the proper manner. Just as the vilification of Ekneligoda does not serve the cause of seeing justice done, oneupmanship when it comes to the pursuit and arrest of suspects does not help either.

Every suspect has to be considered innocent unless and until proven guilty. Making a song and dance about operations where the military intelligence units are concerned can only be detrimental to national security. We cannot overemphasize the terrible lessons learnt from the equally despicable Millennium City operations during the short-lived UNP Government of 2001-2004.

If any intelligence operative is found guilty the law should be applied. But neither ‘intelligence’ nor ‘national security’ are subjects that deserve to be treated as items in a circus. The nation is bigger than gung-ho police officers and revenge-seeking politicians.

It’s a simple enough brief: you are paid to do a job, so do it, self-aggrandizement is neither rewarded nor applauded. Investigate, find the truth and if there’s wrongdoing punish the culprits. Keep it clean. Keep theatrics out of it.

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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    The Security forces involved “incase” because the Security establishment does not trust effective legal system. The shooters are trained to kill, the officers scope of work could be the policy makers operational plan. This May also lead to top of the leadership and external advising countries.

    I have seen western TV series showing the same way of operation, hunt and kill. Use informants and give them Rewards to do illegal activities.

    These cases often bring only the high light of low ranking personel. The main planers and approve these methods slip away.

    In case we are to follow the rule of law, we need to change dramaticaly. Question is how much are we able to change the countries political culture and the policy makers?

  • 3
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    Lasantha was killed for exposing helping Hambantota scam?

    • 1
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      Janaka,

      Lasantha exposed the Hambanthota scam in 2005. He was not killed for that but for the fear that he would have exposed the Hoax of a LTTE war just before it ended. Had Lasantha exposed the LTTE war, how the LTTE buried their entire stock of the Armoury and abandoned their stronghold Kilinochchi there would not have been a War Victory. MR was a wheeler dealer and he sold a fake War Victory to the Moda gullible Sinhalese masses.

  • 6
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    Malinda Seneviratne Shill and white-washer for Mahinda Rajapaksa,

    RE: The ‘Theatre’ Of Law-Enforcement

    “In a society where there is justice and it is reflected in the entire gamut of activities and processes that come under ‘law and order’ two things can be expected. First, the crime rate will be low. Secondly, those guilty of wrongdoing will be brought to book. We don’t live in such a society. While it is fashionable to blast the Government or, if it’s a new Government, the previous one, for crimes of omission and commission, we’ve certainly come a long way from the days of proxy arrests, illegal detention, routine and policy-directed torture and summary execution.”

    Yes, we have come a long way because MaRa is not in power.

    You never wrote about Law and order when MaRa was in power.

    Where is Gota and his White Vans/ Resting from all those crimes?

    Sing:

    MaRa MaRa Chatu MaRa
    MaRa MaRa anana MaRa
    MaRa MaRa Dhushana MaRa
    MaRa MaRa MiNi MaRu MaRa

    Then you can sing Jaya Magala Gatha on the defeat of MaRa, the re-incarnation of Mara, who was defeated by Buddha.

  • 6
    2

    Malinda types:

    “The nation is bigger than gung-ho police officers and revenge-seeking politicians.”

    But for Wimal another smart ass patriot “Mahinda is not a name, Mahinda is a country!” .Dayan the war monger also agreed with him.

    What does this laptop journalist has to say about Wimal and Dayan, two characters of the Punch and Judi show?

  • 5
    1

    Malinda, the problem in Sri Lanka is that the Religion that the Majority practises, has been so corrupted, that it is no longer a set of Guidelines for Living a Good and Honest Life.

    Buddhism has become a Religion that allows the Follower to Commit any Crime or Dishonesty, and the Priests will absolve you from any blame by chanting a Gatha:-

    “Kayena Vacha Cittena…..etc, etc”

    Or Chant a Gatha, and tie a ‘Pirith Nool’ to protect you from any Misfortune that befalls you, including the Results of your Own Kamma.

    Is this what the Buddha Taught?

  • 0
    1

    To do any thing right knowledge, experience, skill all those not enough there should be a genuine concern to grt it right. What is lacking in our country from recent times is that. They could never finalize a case against a powerful person effectively. If you want to prove any thing you could do it when you have power and resources with you. You could do many injustice easily when you are not senstive towards the pain of the common man.

  • 1
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    ‘Every suspect has to be considered innocent unless and until proven guilty. Making a song and dance about’ Ekneligoda does not make him an LTTE sympathizer. Fact is that he was abducted and killed without due process of law.

    If the present situation of law and order is a theater then the previous situation must have been hell on earth.

  • 0
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    “‘journalist’ is not license to do wrong and get away with it.” well said and also there is no license given to them to manipulate and produce what they want

  • 6
    1

    Malinda,

    You were linked with the previous government at the height of their nefarious rule of Sri Lanka.

    Now whatever you say has no credibility.

    Sorry.

    • 0
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      Sirisena is dumb. A month ago he should have bought Malinda a new lap top. Malinda would have given him a top lapping every evening until bed time. Wouldn’t that be fun Sirisena?

  • 2
    1

    Malinda Seneviratne has the gall to accuse other respected journalists of writing wrong and getting away with it. Malinda is the greatest proponent of that crime. If he could be bought over this easily with a laptop imagine what he could be cajoled to write with a gift of a tablet. He gives the impression it is an insult to call honest writers like Lasantha Wickrematunge and Prageeth Ekneligoda as journalists, when he himself self-promoting as such was the greater insult.

  • 1
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    Malinda – one wonders where your new-found ‘morality’ was when the Rajapakses and their hoodlums were up to their eyeballs in corruption, impunity, nepotism and the rest of their brand of ‘administration’.

    Give us a break from your malleable ‘values’, as you have proved your ‘mettle’ and your credibility is shot.

  • 0
    0

    What is taking place in Geneva and here is indeed a circus.
    The present government has taken upon it a part to play by going along with it.
    All these laws are meant for legal forces engaged in war who abide by the rules of engagement and not for terrorists.
    If that were the case how come there is no case against the killing of unarmed Bin Larden and many others who are killed by western forces?

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