Killing the Goose that Lays the Golden Egg – The Tangalle Incident of Continued Violence by UPFA Politicians
Posted on January 3rd, 2012

Dilrook Kannangara

When it happened in Angoda, the main culprit (a ruling UPFA MP who is a close associate of the Rajapaksha family) got away despite the fact that the victim was a presidential advisor. UPFA is not alone in the steady decent to criminalisation. The UNP leader is accused of torture, murder and war crimes in his direct involvement in the Batalanda Torture Chamber Incident of 1989. In addition a recent charge sheet by a section of UNP MPs including Rosy Senananayaka, Buddhika Pathirana, Dunesh Gankanda, Imtiyaz Markar, Chandra Gankanda, Shiral Lakthilaka, Bandulal Bandarigoda, Lakshman Lanarolle cited that the UNP leader used sexual abuse against party members including Buddika Pathirana (UNP MP). The character certificate of other parties in parliament is not better. The JVP is headed by a mass murderer who escaped to UK to escape arrest while the TNA is headed by a proxy of the terrorist LTTE organisation who was an accomplice of LTTE war crimes. The leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress is accused of playing a part in the death of Kumari Cooray and was an accused. EPDP leader Douglas Devananda is accused of multiple murders and violence. The UPF leader Periyasamy Chandrasekaran was also accused of murder and terrorism and was arrested in 1994. Other parties represented in parliament contested in coalition with major parties. Apart from the above mentioned political parties, there are no other elected political parties in Sri Lanka!

 This overall criminalisation of the entire political spectrum of the country has set a very bad example. The conduct of the Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman should be understood in this context. Following the murder of a British tourist and his girlfriend, all tourist activity in Tangalle has come to a standstill. Needless to say this is the peak tourist season and this senseless loss is felt by the entire tourism sector in the southern province. Further, indirectly it affects thousands of people. British tourists generate most income in the sector. This debacle will have huge economic and political ramifications. To make matters worse, this came in the wake of Britain’s Cond Nast Traveler nominating Sri Lanka as one of the top five destinations to watch in year 2012. Cost of lost opportunities is immense. Conduct of the culprit raises questions as to his true intentions. Was he deliberately trying to undermine the economy?

 Saving political thugs gives no long term benefit to the government. All previous governments saved their thugs only to find them jumping ship when political fortunes change. Thugs protected by the government today will be frontline enemies of the very same government when things change. One example is the conduct of two very senior UNP ministers in the Jaffna Library incident. They were given impunity by the then government only to find that they plotted the downfall of the UNP government in 1991-94. During 1994-2001 the government protected a number of ministers who engaged in violence including Wijepala Mendis, SB Dissanayake, Mahinda Wijesekera, Arumugam Thondaman and Rauf Hakeem. They were responsible for bringing down that very same government in 2001! Saving political thugs backfires one way or the other.

 The Tangalle incident was a tragedy waiting to happen. Rampant lawlessness is once again gripping the nation as it was during JR Jayawardena’s administration. Too much power corrupted the 1977 elected government as well as the 2010 elected government. As the 1977 elected government ruined its future, the present government is also in the process of ruining its future. At the other end, there hasn’t been any good use of the two thirds majority. 

 A recent report revealed violence related injuries over the festive season has increased by a staggering 28% year on year! Definitely the society is fast descending into chaos and anarchy. There is no denying that.  

 In this context, external observers may well justify their suspicions of war crimes. These are the matters that reach them and they are sufficient for outsiders to form a bad opinion of the country, its law enforcement agencies and the government. Young Sri Lankan expatriates are now questioning the authenticity of denying war crimes allegations! Callous lawlessness has reached such proportions.

 Contrary to wide expectations, the end of the war didn’t bring in any peace dividend to the majority apart from the boom in tourism. The majority didn’t get any land (37% of the island’s land is in the north and the east) or coastline (65% of coastline in north and east) related benefits. Tamil-only Apartheid is still enforced through the Thesawalamai Law, by TNA and their supporters. This leaves only the booming tourism industry the only real economic benefit to the nation. Now that too is under threat. If tourism dollars are not forthcoming, there is absolutely no peace dividend for the majority.

 Tourism industry has multiple problems. Tourism operators should be trained on matters of hospitality, conflict resolution and seeking police assistance. Tourist Police should be allowed to function without fear or favour. Blindly concentrating on tourist numbers is not going to bring any real value. Comparatively cheap Indian tourists are not big spenders. Efforts should be made to attract and retain high valued tourists from Europe, other developed countries despite the financial crisis and China. Events like the Christmas day tragedy in Tangalle should be avoided at all cost. 

Over the last two decades Russian and Moldavian sex workers have flooded the island. After the end of the war, their numbers have increased. Due to the sheer number of them and their conduct, locals have formed a very bad reputation of them. Although they play a vital part in the tourism industry, granting them the right to work in the island must be controlled.

On the other hand, political bankrupts are trying to portray the Tangalle incident as a unique event that happened only in Sri Lanka. The truth is although it was a horrific incident it is just another incident of violence involving a tourist. Every year a large number of tourists get killed, raped or attacked around the world, including British tourists. This year alone dozens of British tourists were murdered and/or raped around the world in places including USA, Kenya, India, South Africa, Thailand, Greece, Serbia, etc. The murder and rape of British tourists Peter Falconio and Joanne Lees in Australia a decade ago captured international headlines.

 Culprits of the Tangalle incident must be punished as per the law and mechanisms should be in place to stop similar things recurring. Moral and spiritual upliftment of the entire society must be undertaken without delay. In the same token, political bankrupts making use of this incident to turn their eternal misfortune around should also be defeated. The nation is facing a criminality crisis. It is the responsibility of all to save the nation from this menace without whitewashing it or fishing in troubled waters.

9 Responses to “Killing the Goose that Lays the Golden Egg – The Tangalle Incident of Continued Violence by UPFA Politicians”

  1. Raj Says:

    Absolutely right. There are hawkes waiting to ride on the aftermath.

  2. geoff Says:

    A Sri Lankan who had misappropriated Rs.17.8 million from Sri Lankan properties belonging to popular Hollywood actress of X-Files fame Gillian Anderson, was remanded till January18, by Colombo Fort Magistrate Kanishka Wijeratne after taking into consideration the seriousness of the offence.

    Shame shame shame Sri Lanka.

  3. mario_perera Says:

    A very courageous article by Mr.Kannangara.

    Mario Perera, Kadawata

  4. Hiranthe Says:

    I can only trust Gota to get rid of this type of things from the Sri Lankan system including the underworld…. But he can not do everything as he wished since the President will look from a politician’s angle on these issues. Most of his political friends are connected with these criminals…. But with no elections are due for a long time MR should not worry about hurting these bloody politicians… they have to think about the country like they did when getting rid of LTTE menace. This is the only time Mother Lanka can get rid of all errors of its politicians including preferential voting system.

  5. sena Says:

    Until people demand a system where credible and able people are selected as party candidates this will not end as the saying goes “people deserve the leaders they get”. One can get a page from Tamil parties. Most of the time candidates they choose are educated and capable people.

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    GoSL should meet ultra violence by giving prison terms with hard labor to the miscreants. Our roads need repair and so does other state held items such as irrigation tanks. Hard labor by prisoners can be supervised by prison officials and Army. Prison terms with hard labor should act as a deterrent to the current spate of crime.

  7. Geeth Says:

    Yes, this is very courageous!
    We all have our fair share of responsibility of things that are happening today in SL politics. People have forgotten that they are a part of the political game and politicians also want them to believe so. People need to raise their voice when it is needed. That is the only way that politics can work in this era of corrupt politics. Thanks Dilrook.

  8. Christie Says:

    “One example is the conduct of two very senior UNP ministers in the Jaffna Library incident.”

    Is the wirter referring to the burning down of the Jaffan Library and Mr Gamini Dissanayake and Mr Mallimarachcii.

    Jaffana Library was burnt by Indian puppets, the Tamil terrorists. This was another act to portray the Sinhalese as bad people to the Western world and was a part of the foundation of Tamil terrorism.. Jaffan library was the home to large number of documents of the US Baptists. Now they are Uniting Church then the world Council of Churches or some of the Born Again Christians. That wa a main incident used by the Indians and its Tamil terrorists to gain US support. Tamils definitely burnt down the Library to coincide with visits of two govenment ministers. It is important to note one of them got in to Parliament from Tamil votes and was almost a puppet of Tamils until he killed by Tamils.

    The “Sansoni Commission” that enquired in to the burning of the Library completely exonerated any involment of the government, its personal or the instruments like the police and the defence forces. Mr Sansonin was not a Sinhalese.

    What happened in Tangalle is a sad incident and we all should try to stop that kind of thing happening again and see whether there are any direct connection to Tamil terrorists and Indian interests.

    Tamil terrorists always made sure that no foreigner got hurt by their terrorists activities.

    We should look at the cause for our and our representatives behaviour. Our behaviour is always similar to the behaviour of oppressed people in the world eventhough we are the majority or we are the original people before the arrival of Indians since 1792 on the back of the British.

    For example Native Fijians are portrayed as bad people.

    The only solution is for us to reclaim our basic freedoms we lost to these colonial parasites.

    We can do this by uniting and by not patronising the colonial parasites.

  9. A. Sooriarachi Says:

    We applauded the President and the Govt for its courageous stand against powerful Western Leaders who tried to stop the liberation of the country from brutal tamil terrorists. Three years have passed since then, but the President does not seem to have similar courage to stand against local thugs and criminals, connected to his political party. The President need to also have the courage to ensure equal rights to all SriLankans by getting rid of the Thesawalam law created by the dutch to establish a colony for Tamil migrant labourers of the 18th century. The President need to also ban the TNA for following a separatist agenda for these Tamil migrants.

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