15 July, 2024


Yukuthiya & The Perils Of Overkill

By Upatissa Pethiyagoda

Dr. Upatissa Pethiyagoda

The term overkill means “excessive, or more than necessary.” The current “Yukthiya” is an excellent example, but not the only one of several such, relating to recent happenings. A justifiable query is why such actions, so obviously necessary, possible and long overdue, have not already been executed. Is the inaction deliberate? Has it awaited this chance, to create an image of heroic efficiency? It could also suggest an awakening from a long slumber, now mixed with an element of theatre.

There are several instances of the use of overkill to guarantee failure. There have also been examples where this “all or nothing” approach has created drastic ill-effects.

We all should remember the “Sinhala only” adventure, that has cruelly debilitated more than one generation, needlessly killed more than a hundred thousand of our citizens, rebelling against a seriously iniquitous consequence. Unfortunately, this hasty change has widened the divide between races, whose possible results will be unimaginably horrific. This is an overkill where the absurd boast was of a “24-hour switch to a Sinhala Only” revolution! If only parents were offered a choice at that time, we could have avoided the current  fruitless  clamour for English – for obvious reasons. A drastic and dishonestly motivated move, imposed with unholy haste, has become a predictable peril.

A demonic scheme to induce default, is to set unrealistic goals. To suddenly awaken to a need to apply some unique “TIN number”, and to increase women’s and youth representation in elected bodies, in one fell stroke overnight, to some impossible 50%, is guaranteed to fail. The imposition of unrealistic judicial fines like the 100 million rupee one against ex-president Sirisena, is obviously unreal, as is also the penalty of imprisonment for failure. This will never happen, and will only perilously compromise public faith in judicial process.

The spectacular hauls of narcotics valued at millions, gold, currency, liquor, fancy vehicles, firearms and capture of fugitives from justice, are mind boggling and suspiciously fake. Too much of a good thing?

The nation’s financial distress has impacted on all of society. Thus there has been an alarming increase of protest marches, processions, strikes, silent sit-ins and other manifestations of widespread disquiet.

The protests, by and large have been admirably orderly. The Police still have the unenviable task of preventing disorder. Regrettably, an overextended force have too often reacted provocatively. Actions that should be resorted to in extreme situations, are too readily applied as those of first resort. The readiness to call upon the Armed Forces, excessive use of teargas, water cannons, and warning shots are often instances of injudicious overkill.  While one has to allow for panic reactions by an overstrained Police service, needless violence is extremely unwise. Respect for the uniform has to be paramount. This is conspicuously absent. Consequently, the scenes witnessed of resistance to arrest, are reminiscent of street brawls. Such open fighting is disastrous. The concept of “least force” in control of crowds, is seemingly ignored. There has been concern that the liberal use of possibly outdated or low quality teargas, can be a serious health hazard. Possible retaliation by some hot-head remains a distinct possibility.

The threat of unreasonable legislation to prevent pubic protest, is not a wise way to quell public discontent. Sticking plaster is no way to cure or restrain a festering boil.

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Latest comments

  • 2

    We all should remember the “Sinhala only” adventure, – Upatissa Pethiyagoda.
    Upatissa Pethiyagoda, You are speaking to the Sinhalese, I guess. For us Tamils, we cannot forget; We haven’t forgotten; There is no thing to remember.
    And, if you are a patriotic Sinhalese, you wouldn’t have forgotten it either!

  • 0

    The FP was willing to negotiate Tamil language rights without touching the Sinhala Only Act.
    They got somewhere to get to the B-C Pact. That was screwed up.
    Does not the claimed Tamil emotion about Sinhala therefore smack of a little humbug?
    Now Tamil is an official language.
    Nevertheless, what is the real ruling language of this country?
    Sinhala? One cannot to be serious to say so..

  • 4

    Is Ranil-Rajapaksa-Lansa-Deshabandu group trying to get rid of the competition they and their golays face in drug deal?

    • 1

      Yukthiya mehayuma Ayukthi menihekgen!

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