Rajitha’s magic
Posted on December 26th, 2019

Editorial Courtesy Island

Friday 27th December, 2019

UNF MP Dr. Rajitha Senaratne played a vanishing trick the other day. He had given the CID spooks the slip, our lead news item said yesterday. We thought the CID, which specialises in arresting suspects and interrogating them for hours on end, would be able to take Senaratne into custody in next to no time, after it had obtained a court order, but it was groping in the dark. Rajitha outfoxed it in style and had himself admitted to hospital, yesterday evening.

The CID was much more efficient under the previous dispensation, we reckon; it made a series of lightning arrests a few years ago. By the time the suspects who were mostly Opposition MPs realised what had happened they were inside what US President Donald Trump has called ‘paddy wagons’ on the way to courts, some of which were kept open till midnight. (Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has recently told the party leaders that MPs should not be arrested after nightfall!)

Curiously, Senaratne, who recently said he should not be arrested on account of his health condition, chose to disappear, instead of having himself admitted to hospital immediately.

The CID has sought to arrest Senaratne on the basis of statements by two suspects who made some serious confessions at a media briefing, which the then Minister Senaratne presided at, in the run-up to the 16 Nov. presidential election. They have been remanded. One of them claimed to have driven a White Van which transported abductees, who were fed to crocodiles in a tank, in Moneragala, after being tortured. The other one said he had transported a stock of gold seized from the LTTE to Colombo illegally.

The allegation that crocodiles had been fed with some victims of the White Van abductions reminds us of Jean Bedel Bokassa, who once proclaimed himself the Emperor of Central Africa and was accused of having schoolchildren and his political rivals killed and fed to his pet crocodiles. When such serious allegations are made in public, especially in the presence of a government minister, the image of the country suffers irreparably; they should have been investigated immediately after they were made. Why the UNF government did not do so is the question. It should, at least, have initiated a probe.

All those responsible for the White Van abductions must be brought to justice. Better late than never! Dr. Senaratne should have handed over the aforesaid suspects to the police when they were introduced to him instead of organising a media briefing for them to go public with their claims. The police personnel, who were present at that press conference, must be asked to explain why they did not arrest the suspects who admitted to having committed serious crimes. The police arrest suspects for far less serious offences, don’t they? Won’t they arrest a person if he happens to say, in their presence, that he has snatched a gold chain? They even arrest litterbugs and jaywalkers.

One may not care whether Senaratne is arrested or not, but one is concerned about the failure on the part of the police to trace him.

The present government came to power, promising to safeguard national security and ensure public safety by neutralising terrorist threats. This is an uphill task it cannot accomplish unless it has an efficient police force capable of tracking down evil elements hell bent on destroying innocent lives. During the war, the police gathered intelligence and prevented bomb attacks in the city by arresting terrorists together with bombs. What has become of the efficiency of the long arm of the law?

How can the police, who cannot at least trace an Opposition MP in hiding, in spite of an arrest warrant on him, be expected to track down elusive terrorists?

One Response to “Rajitha’s magic”

  1. Sarath W Says:

    The police you are talking about are the same once that were used to arrest Rajapaksas and then the opposition supporters. How can you expect them to arrest Rajitha who was one of the main culprits who set the police against the Rajapaksas. The defence secretary must take some responsibility for letting Nalaka Silva’s escape and now Rajitha fooling the police.

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