• Lawlessness Victimizing the Public

    There is little doubt that criminal activity in this country has drastically increased in recent months. The underworld has risen once again. And just this year, we have seen an unusual number of rapes, murders and shooting incidents.

    While all societies have to deal with some criminal activity, the incidents of recent months have gone to show that our law enforcement does not appear to be as vigilant or properly equipped as it used to be. Two incidents that took place in September alone are cases in point.

    The Police have clearly mishandled the recent case of the gruesome rape and murder of the five-year-old child. The initial haphazard arrests that were made appear to have been made without adequate investigation. On the one hand, the teenager who was initially arrested has been further remanded. Meanwhile, another suspect has allegedly confessed to the crime. If the latter is proven to be true, then the life and future of a second innocent child has been completely destroyed.

    Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa, has stated that what happened to this teenager was a grave injustice.

    “The rights of the 17-year-old boy have been violated by his unjustifiable arrest,” Dr. Mahanamahewa said, speaking to the Daily Mirror. “Police may arrest people as long as there is sufficient evidence against them. The arrest of the student raises the doubts as to whether he was arrested after due investigation.”

    Lanka Teachers’ Union Secretary Joseph Stalin had also condemned the police treatment of the suspects in custody as being unacceptable.

    “As soon as the suspects were arrested, the Police acted as if the suspects had already been convicted,” Mr. Stalin said. “One precious life has already (been) lost, and another life is being subjected to Police injustice.” [http://goo.gl/rJ4NWE]

    Then there is the shooting incident that occurred inside the premises of the Kaduwela Magistrate Court, which is equally troubling. It goes to show that the Police are unable to maintain law and order even in places where criminals are brought – places that are supposed to be the most secure.

    With heinous crimes on the increase, the Government is still preoccupied with investigating my family. What this clearly shows is that the Government is desperately trying to shift the public’s attention away from the serious challenges this country is now facing.

    The question now is why enough resources are not being invested to upgrade our Police service to adequately equip them in handling the serious crimes that are taking place in this country. Is spending public funds to seek personal revenge more important and more justifiable than upholding the safety and justice of Sri Lanka’s public? Sadly, that seems to be the case.