From Kilinochchi to Galle
Posted on April 27th, 2016

Editorial Courtesy The Island


Pivithuru Hela Urumaya leader and Joint Opposition firebrand Udaya Gammanpila has challenged newly appointed IGP Pujith Jayasundara to arrest Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan for ‘forcibly entering’ an army camp in Kilinochchi on April 16. Gammanpila is being very naïve. The IGP cannot do so for obvious reasons.

Sampanthan is a member of the Constitutional Council (CC) which selected Jayasundara as the IGP without following any procedure or rules, which, to begin with, are conspicuous by their absence. How can the new IGP act against any of the CC members who voted for him? Second, arresting the Opposition Leader is a tall order for an IGP who has even failed to nab those who recently demolished a multi-million-rupee walking track near the Wattala police station.

The Opposition Leader and other TNA politicians have denied that they forced themselves into the army camp concerned. They insist that the barrier at the entrance to the military facility was raised for them to enter. This has not been denied by the army. However, the fact remains that nobody must enter a military camp without obtaining permission for two reasons. First, they must abide by the law. Second, they must not run the risk of being shot dead.

There are times when the TNA’s reaction to certain issues assumes a theatrical hue. It behoves Tamil politicians representing democratic parties to act responsibly without resorting to anything that might serve the purpose of sinister elements now in suspended animation.

TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran has told this newspaper that he, Sampanthan and others entered the camp premises because some houses therein had not been returned to their owners. Why the army continues to occupy houses belonging to civilians some of whom are said to be languishing in temporary shelters defies comprehension. It is nearly seven years since the war ended and those houses must be returned to their original owners without further delay.

There is a positive side to the Kilinochchi incident. TNA politicians did not dare go anywhere near LTTE camps without obtaining permission and undergoing security checks though they had good relations with the Tigers. But, they have driven into an army camp without fear of being shot while demonising the military!

One may not try to question Gammanpila’s right to demand police action against those involved in the Kilinochchi incident. But, the question is why there were no such strident calls for arrests when a bunch of savage fanatics unleashed violence against the Muslims in Aluthgama in 2014. If Gammanpila and others of his ilk had campaigned for arresting the perpetrators of Aluthgama violence, perhaps they would not have had to run around like headless chickens today in a bid to re-enthrone Mahinda Rajapaksa, who lost the last presidential election mainly because he had alienated the Muslim voters.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam has rhetorically asked the media whether arrests help solve problems. Paradoxical as it may sound the answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Arrests may not help solve the problems people are faced with, but they do certainly enable politicians to tackle issues that trouble them.

Those who are ensconced in power today told us before the last presidential election that the leaders of the previous government had helped themselves to public funds to the tune of USD 18 bn. If this staggering amount of forex said to be stashed away overseas could be brought back the country’s economic woes would disappear in no time. Several politicians and their bureaucratic lackeys were arrested and detained, but not a single stolen dollar has so far been recovered. Instead, the government is squeezing the public dry to raise funds to tide it over.

However, arrests have helped the government neutralise some of its political enemies. After being detained for many moons, an ex-MP described by the champions of good governance as the former ruling clan’s collector has switched his allegiance to the government; he is said to be singing like a canary now. Moreover, he has been appointed one of the organisers of the SLFP’s May Day rally in Galle. One problem less for the government!

 

One Response to “From Kilinochchi to Galle”

  1. ranjit Says:

    This is the most crooked govt we had in our history.They came to power with tons of lies and tons of bogus promises.They will never survive long. Already God is punishing our country. Nature punish this evil Govt with storms, hurricanes, deaths and destruction of humans and properties. We have a President who behaves like a cardboard Sando.His heart filled with hate and revenge.Disgusting speeches by this shameless leader.Because of his actions my beloved homeland has become a very weak country among the nations. Millions are jobless and suffering due to their bad Governance. Show your opposition to their actions by attending kirillopane May day rally on May 1st.

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