Another half hearted law
Posted on February 8th, 2013

Dr. Mrs. Mareena Thaha Reffai, 

Srilanka is famous for making half hearted laws, implementing them for a week or two and then dumping them.

A law is said to be in effect about the helmets but we still see many  on bikes without helmets, sometimes the little children without helmets as pillion riders or sandwiched between the parents who are with helmets; A law was passed about the seat belts but  many drive without seat belts  and the traffic cops have no alternative but  to  let them pass since booking them  will often  cause more traffic jam specially during the heavy traffic times. Another law was passed about jay walkers but we see many  jay walking “”…”even police officers do this- and no action taken.

Now the latest is banning beggars and today(8.2.2013)’s papers carry  news about someone being nabbed in the bus for begging;  but beggars are regular feature at any  traffic light junctions in Colombo. While many  are  freely begging for all and sundry to see, it is unfair to imprison only one fellow. If at all the law should apply to everyone.

It is a really good thing to stop people  from begging, since most of them are able bodied and can earn an honest living by working,  but we also have to  think   if the beggars are stopped from begging how are they going to survive?  Either  they must be  provided with an alternative mode of earning or must be housed  together in a place and looked after. Just taking them into prison is only going to increase the over crowding already existing in the prisons. What if all the prisoners decide to be taken in? The government  will have quite a heavy burden on it’s hand.

Before passing a law one must think how it is going to be implemented, what effect will it have on the society and what alternative is provided for the affected people. Otherwise by and by the laws will become “”…”a s it has, already, partially- laughing stocks  and it would have been better no to have laws at all  than the  people breaking the laws openly.


3 Responses to “Another half hearted law”

  1. rohanana Says:

    You are absolutely correct Mareena. Police are helpless most of the times mainly due as you said Heavy Traffic. But Sri Lankan should understand why these laws are there for and do the right thing. All the research around the world has shown that seat belts have saved hundreds of thousands lives every year and also saved many injuries to the driver and passengers. These laws are there for the commuters, and especially in a country like Sri Lanka where there are more vehicle accidents per capita than many countries in the world and deaths, people should understand this aspect of the law. What the government and the Road Traffic Authorities in Sri Lanka should do is educate the people of Sri Lanka about the importance of Seat Belts and how it can save innocent lives and major life threatning injuries. As a Doctor I believe you may have witnessed these horrific injuries. But Mareena there are idiots, even in countries like UK, USA, Canada, and Australia. One just have to look at the statistics in those countries and it is not only the accidents but how many poeple have been caught driving without seat belts. There is nothing anyone can do about those idiots. What concerns me more is these idiots put Innocent children at risk mainly by taking kids in the front seat even without a seat belt. Thanks for highlighting these facts and hope people will learn something from your article.

  2. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    ( )riya law may be? Maybe we should have laws in countries like Pakisthan, Afganisthan, Syria, Egypt etc. Plenty of freedom. Heavens on earth. By the way it is Sri Lanka, not Srilanka.

  3. Nimal Says:

    Governments in power should set an example by not begging other countries for aid and loan setting a precedence to citizens.My relatives find it easy to beg from us that doing a job for me in SL.So the whole country is infected and beggars in the street is just a tip of the iceberg.These guys now appear in large numbers in Southern Europe as well.This due to the social benefits being cut.They were used to live on without working and begging is an option.

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