We need law and order, not law “made to order”!
Posted on March 19th, 2018

There was much talk, announcements, speculation and predictions on the Ministry of Law & Order, and now we have a Madduma Bandara. Reminds me of an old Sinhala Baila, “Sinhala Ithihasa Pothe Ran Akuren Liyawuna. . .” – written in letters of gold in the annals of Sinhala history. That is the story of Madduma Bandara Ellapola. I am an eternal optimist, but to expect a rebirth of this legendary child hero, or even imagine a semblance of a repeat of an event historical in nature would, even for me, be the epitome of idealistic romanticism. A friend of mine tells me that the Ranjith part would be more prevalent – as in Ranjeet and his “thousand apologies” in the perennial comedy “Mind Your Language”.

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The System – Judiciary

Jurisprudence – derived from the Latin Juris prudentia, which means “the study, knowledge or science of law” is abundant in our legal community. Interpretation is unquestionable and evidencing produces verdicts. Take Rathupaswela for instance. Drinking water was contaminated and people protested. Some protesters die and those who fired the bullets are produced before courts. Nobody apparently deemed it fit to look into the cause of the contamination – it was not a natural phenomenon but an environmentally destructive business practice. The root is relocated with the possibility of hell breaking loose again. How effective can jurisprudence be in such situations? The ‘Malwana Mansion’ reportedly reached a dead end due to ‘evidence’ non-existence of ownership. Nobody puts up even a parapet wall without a ‘Baas Unnehe’ or a contractor. Questioning the contractor on who paid him could ‘evidence’ at least a minimal claim to ownership. A Pickpocket is convicted and sentenced to a term in jail that is rigorous. A (former) high official is sentenced to jail and the terminology becomes ambiguous – he is granted bail and allowed to travel overseas. A person suddenly becomes inexplicably wealthy and is produced in Courts for non-declaration of his assets, reportedly running into tens or hundreds of millions. He pleads guilty and is fined Rs2, 000.00, while the State incurs a lot more in the procedural formalities. At the time of his arrest and extradition from Malaysia, KP was reported to be the CFO of the LTTE, and was the main contact in their procurement of arms. He even announced that he was taking over the leadership of the LTTE after Prabakaran’s death. There’s nothing the Courts can do since he has not been charged with even a petty offence. If someone is caught dealing in illicit liquor, who should prosecute him – the Police or the Excise Department? ‘Court’ing the law is detrimental to justice.

The System – Law Enforcement

Similarly, we have an efficient, well-trained and capable Police Force. Together with the Tri-Forces, they annihilated about the only terrorist group in the world that had an effective army, navy and air force in operation. Intelligence played a pivotal role and strategy was based on intelligent use of information gathered. After the war ended, the LLRC did recommend the branching out of law enforcement from the overall security apparatus. The lessons since learnt, however, are aptly demonstrated in a televised portrayal of the IGP receiving a telephone call regarding the arrest of a ‘Nilame’.

Lasantha Wickrematunge and Wasim Thajudeen – divergent personalities and their brutal murders were made to appear differently. In Lasantha’s case, the ‘shooting’ eventually turned out to be not a bullet but a pointed weapon; and for Wasim, his ‘accident’ turned out to be a brutal murder. Reports on investigations reveal that the most prominent of those being questioned and remanded are ostensibly being investigated for destroying, altering or manipulating of evidence. Significantly, AFTER the event. What happened before; the planning, plotting and executing is not beyond the intelligent reach of the Long Arm of the Law. The tragedy is that this ‘Long Arm’ is twisted by the long reach of the legislature. A new twist for the legislature could come from the recently promulgated Bill for Protection against Enforced Disappearances. Eknaligoda is a name that could and should figure in this respect, with or without connotations of ‘Geneva’. Law enforcement works within lines of reason. When the lines are re-drawn and the reasons are manipulated, subservience becomes the art of survival.

The System – Legislation

The “Uththareethara Sabhawa” or the “Supreme” Parliament of today consists of some 94 members (over 40%) who do not have even GCE (O/L) qualifications – the basic requirement required to apply for even the post of Peon in the other two arms of the “System”. The irony is that they make the rules that the other two arms operate on. When Principle is what governing should be about, Principal (the noun as in leader and the adjective for target) takes precedence. Policy is like the fine print on an Insurance Policy that includes the Clause, “Subject to change without notice” – nobody knows where we are, let alone where we are heading. Brilliant White, Cascading Blue, Reverberating Pink and its innovations are what painters talk about when you want to paint your home. Pro-Western, Quasi-Liberal, Neo-Anything or Anti-Everything – the political colour card is more chameleon-istic.

Reactionary in the grammatical sense, not political, is how the political leadership of today could be described. The law enforcement authorities would not, could not, or did not act to prevent the recent mayhem in Kandy because they were ‘dependent’ on instructions from above. Every piece of law promulgated somehow places a politician as the ultimate authority. A cricket team can be recalled from the airport simply because the minister has not granted his approval; and even with the proposed ‘fast-track’ appointment of High Courts, The Minister becomes the ultimate decision maker on who should be summoned.

We sell off “National Assets” like Mattala, Hambantota, Port City and it would not be surprising if Temple Trees finds a lucrative offer. “Political Assets” like Lake House, Rupavahini, and ITN never come up for consideration, even in the liberal heyday of JR. In net worth and advertising revenue, they stand out. In the right hands and in collaboration with SLT, they have the resources to re-model or middle the mud of hate speech on social media. The problem is that “the right hands” is legislated to mean “Right Hand Man”. What is left is not something the right hand would know. Hence the resource to the ban on websites.

“Please let me introduce the summit of my digits into that odoriferous concavity and extract from it some pulverized atoms which, when smeared into my nasal promontory causes titillation.” That’s the Malapropism for asking to borrow some snuff (Dung Kudu). Easier to understand than where our politics (and the country with it) are heading.

REGGIE PONNAMPALAM

5 Responses to “We need law and order, not law “made to order”!”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    With a messed up legislature and law enforcement, how can this coutnry move forward? I pin the blame to the 1972 mistake of becoming a republic. Symbolically it was great but in reality it destroyed our world class judicial system (the police force was on the rapid decline by then). Until then courts had to uphold the law or face revision by the British Privy Council. This check and balance is no more.

    Penalties are far outdated. These must be brought to modern day value of money and inflated annually based on inflation. Evidence Ordinance which is over 100 years old must be revised.

    These take time and needs initiation. Most MPs haven’t a clue about them.

  2. Nanda Says:

    Malaysian police rescue two Sri Lankan engineers duped into forced labor
    Mon, Mar 19, 2018, 06:57 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Mar 19, Colombo: Malaysian police in Sibu have rescued two Sri Lankan engineers last Saturday after they were allegedly tricked into forced labor by an employment agency.

    Madusanka Perera Edirisinghe and Dushan Kavinda De Silva, both 21, were promised jobs as ship engineers in Malaysia by an agent in Sri Lanka, official Bernama news agency reported.

    They had signed an agreement with the agent, paying Rs. 325,000 each to get the jobs.

    According to the report, the two Sri Lankans have arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on March 8, at 11pm and left for Kuching, Sarawak, at 5.10 am the next day.

    There, they were greeted by two Indian nationals who had been sent by an agent and forced to surrender their passports before they were taken to Sibu on an express boat at 8.30 am on March 10.

    Upon arrival in Sibu at 2.30 pm, they were greeted by an Indian national agent, aged 25, and taken in a car to a ship, which was docked in Sungai Rajang near Stabau.

    They were then forced to work as laborers and not allowed to leave the workplace.

    On March 17, the two managed to escape their captors and took a taxi to the Sentral police station at 4.40 pm.

    Sibu district police chief ACP Stanley Jonathan Ringgit, confirming the case said that their investigations found that the two victims had lodged a complaint on the matter with the Sri Lankan consulate on March 14.

    He said the two victims were now undergoing medical tests at a hospital and making preparations to be sent to a shelter home in Melaka on March 23 under an interim protection order (IPO).

    The 25-year-old Indian agent was detained at 5.30 pm yesterday to help in the investigations under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Atipsom) Act 2007.

  3. Leela Says:

    Not just our legislature and law enforcement is messed up, right now many other things are mishandled or misused as well. But I doubt hanging on to folk tong British hypocrites or British privy council would have taken us to a utopia.
    According to a Guardian report on 2nd Dec 2015, only a quarter of the population believe that the UK’s legal system is “fair and transparent” and “two-thirds of those questioned feel that wealth is now a more important factor in gaining access to justice than it used to be.” So, natural justice may be free from internal politics but is it free from Judeo Christian hegemony.
    Western Jurisprudence may be excellent but their dishing out of justice? No. Take so called ‘good old days’ of the British Raj. Now leave out the Wellassa mass murder victims of the early19 th century, does justice prevailed for victims of Mao-Mao rebellion in the 1850s for over 50 years? No.
    As for me, even today, I shall raise my both hands for Sri Lanka becoming a republic. Nevertheless, I am in agreement with Dilrook that our politicians should have adopted new laws and/or modified the old British laws to fit our culture and tradition in as Mahathir and Lee Kwan did for their countries.

  4. Nanda Says:

    Looks like Allah allows intoxication as long as violence followed is against non-beleivers. Every time a Muslim bugger attacks a Sinhala man it is due to liquor consumption. Every time Sinhala bugger attacks Muslim man it is due to instigation of racial riots by Buddhist extremists.

    No unrest, but security beefed up in Madampe after incident
    March 19, 2018, 11:21 pm

    By Rathindra Kuruwita

    Police yesterday denied media reports that there had been unrest in Madampe on Sunday following an incident where a 77-year-old person suffered injury after being pushed by 28-year-old man, who was under the influence of liquor.

    Police have beefed up security in Madampe as a precautionary measure because the victim and the assailant belong to different ethnic communities.

    The Police have arrested the assailant, a resident of Thaniyawallaba, Madampe. The victim was first admitted first to Madampe hospital and later transferred to Chilaw hospital.

    Police spokesperson SP Ruwan Gunasekera said that additional police teams deployed in the Madampe Old town as a precautionary measure. “There has been no unrest in the area. We want to ensure that there is adequate security and prevent any fringe groups with ulterior motives from creating an issue,”he said.

  5. Christie Says:

    In a colony law is made to keep order.

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