Hirunika’s Anti-heroism
Posted on December 24th, 2015

Ceylon Today Editorial Courtesy Ceylon Today

The ghost of Christmas past and present crossed paths this week as a 26-year-old youth was kidnapped by the security guards of an MP, while the case of the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda resurfaced in the news – the former reminiscent of the one of the scare tactics of the previous regime.
Former President and Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday (22) visited the Army personnel arrested for the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda as intelligence services continue to be grilled over the journalist’s disappearance. At the same time, as a prominent politico from the Yahapalanaya regime, Hirunika Premachandra, was accused of kidnapping a 26-year-old youth over a personal matter. In a media briefing called by Premachandra, she justified her motives for the kidnapping as bona fide action to ‘avoid a family from breaking up’. She said that her staff member’s wife was having an affair with the young man and thus they had kidnapped him and asked him to discontinue the affair.
A rather skewed rationale for a kidnapping but nevertheless it shows that while the government preaches of law and order to the general public, especially when it comes to protests from university students, it has trouble getting its own MPs to follow the rule of law. Premachandra’s story is no different from that of any Indian film or even that of the film The Godfather where the overarching leader of the gang or Mafia of the local area seeks to show his or her benevolence amongst the local populace by taking the law into their own hands. The ruthless but just hero/heroine would release the man caught of a crime soon after he is taught a lesson and his or her followers would be eternally grateful and loyal to the services rendered. In reality however, no politician or local leader should be above the law. He or she cannot step in to ‘balance the scales’ whatever the perceived injustice. Whilst the previous regime overlooked law and order in order to achieve its own ends, it seems that those in the Yahapalanaya regime are acting no differently.
As protests mount in Colombo over the 2016 Budget and general lack of action by the government, the one thing that the government has emphasized is that ‘the white van’ days were long gone and that the people now can live without fear of the ‘white van’. Premachandra’s action this week however clearly shows that while the colour of the van might have changed, the motives clearly have not.
Given such instances, one wonders whether a year of the Yahapalanaya government has truly been successful in instilling change amongst the people; especially when it cannot even change the mindsets of its own proponents. Do we still risk being kidnapped or beaten up if we ever happen to get on the wrong side of a politico?
These incidents however reflect on the wider issue of freedom in our society. The freedom to express one’s opinion in the Ekneligoda case or even the freedoms to have a consensual romantic affair without having a politician kidnap you for it. Freedom is not simply guaranteed to the people because it happens to be enshrined in the Constitution; rather the minds of the people themselves need to be free to accommodate more than one diverse view point. It is only then that we can guarantee the freedom of expression. If not history is bound to repeat itself every time someone acts in a manner, a person does not agree with.
The President on Tuesday (22) announced that by January next year he would call for Parliament to be turned into a Constitutional Council in order to embark on a process of designing a new Constitution. The Resolution presented in Parliament with regard to it stated:
“It has become necessary to enact a new Constitution that, inter alia, abolishes the Executive Presidency, ensures a fair and representative Electoral System which eliminates preferential voting, strengthens the democratic rights of all citizens, provides a Constitutional Resolution of the national issue, promotes national reconciliation, establishes a political culture that respects the rule of law, guarantees to the People’s fundamental rights and freedom that assure human dignity and promotes responsible and accountable government”.
Given the recent behaviour of the politicians even within the government however, it seems that the lofty ideals above would simply be limited to paper.
It is however commendable on the part of the Police for having arrested the six men in the Defender who work for MP Premachandra this time around. In the meantime, we would like to ask MP Premachandra to leave let old habits die and leave conflict resolution to those most suited to deal with it.

2 Responses to “Hirunika’s Anti-heroism”

  1. Christie Says:

    What else would you expect from the household of a thug. RIP.

  2. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    WHITE VAN CULTURE IS OVER, IS OVER, IS OVER. PEOPLE ARE NOT THAT HAPPY EH ??

    NOW **THE DEFENDER CULTURE** JUST SET IN. HAVE YOU SEEN, IT JUST SET IN. NOW, MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT ARE OPENLY, USING THEIR GOVERNMENT OWNED VEHICLES,** THE GREAT DEFENDER** USING THEIR BUNCH OF CRIMINALLY INCLINED BODY GUARDS, TO ABDUCT ANYBODY WHOM THEY WISH TO, PUNISH THEM, COUNSEL THEM, AND SEND THEM BACK IN A ***THREE WHEELER***.

    SINCE THIS PARLIAMENTARIAN, “”SPECIFICALLY”” SAID THAT GOING TO THE POLICE TAKES TIME, AND ALSO THE LAW TO BE IMPLEMENTED TAKES TIME, SHE TOOK UNTO HERSELF, TO BE, —*JUDGE, JURY, AND EXECUTIONER*—

    TO HER, THE WHOLE EPISODE IS A JOKE. DIS-RESPECTS MEDIA, DISMISSES THEM WITH A —-**RIGHT, GOOD NIGHT** AND GETS UP FROM THE SEAT. THAT IS HOW CRIMINALITY IS DISMISSED. THIS IS YAMA PAALANA GOVERNMENT. THIS MP HAS FORMED HER OWN ***KANGAROO COURTS***

    IF THIS IS NOT THE START OF THE DECLINE OF LAW AND ORDER IN THE COUNTRY, THEN, SOMEONE PLEASE ENLIGHTEN US, WHAT IS IT ?

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