Police Powers and Criminal Politicians
Posted on April 19th, 2012

By Jay Deshabandu

We hear or read  on many daily newspapers, time to time, that how police officers accept bribes while they get caught in the act.  Based on the frequency of bribe taking  and other related criminal activities by the police, some times, one could wonder,  if there are mor criminals in the police than any other places of work in the country. When a police officer chooses to break the law rather than to uphold it, it would be a more than criminal activity because it negatively affects the society at large. When a person is recurited to an important service such as police, the most important qualification should be the good moral and family background and hence his or her background in the society should be throughly checked along with his or her criminal record.

The recent story regarding an eyewitness to a HR case, who died or got killed while detained at the Wadduwa police station is worth highlighting here. Whether the murderers are the police officers or not, this case should be thoroughly investigated for the crime against humanity, in a country that is supposed to be full of Buddhists! We in fact had many cases where indeed police officers killed their detainees who were under their custody.  In this case the person is a key witness to HR violation law suit and should have therefore been protected.  But our country is yet to realize how important it is to have a witness protection program. This is clearly a human right!

In another story on the same newspaper, there was an incident in which a politician hit a women as he was riding a motor bike causing injuries to the women.  The news story further indicated that somehow police failed to make proper investigations into the incident and that the three officers involved in mishandling the investigation fortunately got fired(sacked).

I also admit that there are good officers in addition to bad cops, but their jobs are hampered by the influence of the corrupted politicians. In fact police is under the purview of the politicians and not the laws of the country.

Further, some laws in Sri Lanka are ridiculous. In a recent news item, it was said that a Chinese women was produced before the court as she was loitering in the streets of Colombo at night. The court fined her ten rupees!  Our law makers should wake up and save our country from becoming a joke in the eyes of foreigners. What is wrong with loitering on the street?  Does this mean that if we cannot sleep for some reason at night, we must be confined to our room for the whole night?  Are all those loitering on streets possible criminals? Do we have Islamic laws in Colombo? In many muslim countries women are not allowed to walk on streets at night without an accomadating male. Further, in some muslim countries,  the women loitering on the street alone may be found guilty of walking alone even if she gets raped. The rapists can be free if they rape a lotering women on the street in a muslim country!  Sri Lanka is not primarily a muslime country and therefoe women should have freedom and protection to move any where at any time in the country!

Until recently, we had the funniest seat belt law in the country. One may simply forget to wear a seat belt and could end up in the court as if judges have nothing else to do with real criminals. It should be considered as a simple offense and should be dealt with accordingly. Besides the same law is not applicable to other vehicles as if their lives are next to nothing Our law makers should concentrate on the balance of crime and punishment!

We cannot expect any positive social development in the country until we know that our leaders respect laws in the land, consider the law as superior to them, and make the police function without the influence of the politicians. Unfortunately, for example, our laws are in fact inferior to the powers of the president vested in him.

No one would deny that we have many criminals entered into the main stream politics in the country. And these criminal politicians influence the police. No wonder we then have a police that has many criminals! Shouldn’t we insist on a clean criminal record from a person who wishes to be a politician in the country? Can we  at least ask that qualification from a politician?

For a democracy to work, the people of the country should be intelligent enough to choose the right person for the right job. The final blame should fall onto the people who voted for criminals and these people are as at much fault as the criminal or corrupted politician.

The country needs a few good politicians who are genuinely interested in making the country a better place to live. Unfortunately we have many corrupted politicians who only think of their stomach before anything else. We have a tinted glass law as some criminals use tinted glass vehicles to do the crimes. Why don’t we have a white van law as so called abductions occur in white vans? Sri Lanka is a hot country, and travelling on cars with tinted glass is a necessary rather than a luxury which is allowed to enjoy only for the politicians. 

6 Responses to “Police Powers and Criminal Politicians”

  1. Dham Says:

    Under the system developed by the white man there will be “politician power” overiding all powers.
    I agree that the worst corrupt institution is the Sri lanka Police. Very easy to stop this but “political power” need some arm to to illegal things , so they keep police for this purpose.

  2. AnuD Says:

    Police is corrupt every where and use the legal system as want.

    In developing countries, there may be more as developing countries cannot pay high salaries. Otherwise corruption and power abuse is every where.

    Think about her economic problems in order to a chinese woman goes that far start loitering on the streets for business. That should be considered with compassion. I have read a book in which a thief is prosecuted for stealing a loaf of bread ? Here is one such problem very law fines and jail terms for drug offences. But, there is another side to the story too.

  3. Sirih Says:

    Criticising police would not help since fundamental problem is how politicos interfere with due process and getting away with murder (literally).

    Majority of our police are honest and also poor so why take a swing at police when we all know why we have such a issue with law and order.

    SL must get police ops completely away from politico control and should be independent together with courts.

    Since independence both parties use police as goon squad and this need to stop.

  4. Dham Says:

    AnuD,
    Agree with you. But without laws nothing can be done. Judges should be trained to give necessary punishment considering all the facts once convicted.

    Sirh,
    Cannot agree with you. even without politikkos individuals in police are extremely corrupt due to years of political neglect.
    It is so easy to catch a police fellow accepting birbes. 90% traffic police are corrupt.
    Havisng said that, engineers, doctors are also corrupt. Cannot blame politikkos only.

  5. AnuD Says:

    Dham:

    I Think, Sri Lanka has laws. Only problem is Law enforcement.

    It is highly influenced by politicians. We cannot expect them to work just for the job satisfaction and for patriotism when politicians use the system and influence the system.

    See soldiers and sailors died not because of high pay. they believed in their leaders (military and not political) and they felt about the country.

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    In a Democracy (which system we seem to be still getting used to), it is important that we clean up all our important institutions from within. Or else Lanka will be accused of this and that by outside forces, and left wide open to divisions and ‘take overs’.
    In the cleaning up process, the ordinary citizens, the Attorney General’s office, senior Police cadre, relevant Ministeries, honest reporting by Media, and others will have to participate. Democracy is a living, growing institution. It is up to the ordinary people to think up ways to make this country a safe and happy place, and make our Lawmakers implement our ideas.

    In the past some 30 yrs of war with the ltte, thuggery, intimidation and bribery had a hold on sections of society. It is Clean Up Time now. As they say, if there is a will, there is a way.

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