Lanka’s day of shame
Posted on November 8th, 2016

Editorial Courtesy The Island

Perhaps, no other country in the world has ill-treated its disabled service and police personnel in a more shameful and despicable manner than Sri Lanka. It was with shock and dismay that we watched the police using water cannon and tear gas to disperse a protest march conducted by a group of disabled soldiers and policemen who were denied pensions because they had retired due to permanent injuries before completing the stipulated periods in service. A hunger strike had preceded their march.

What those in power have apparently forgotten is that the country is free from terrorism today because the military, police and the Civil Defence Force personnel fought the LTTE risking their life and limb and many of them lost their arms, legs and eyes in the line of duty. The government must do whatever it takes to grant the justifiable demands of those who suffered disabilities at the hands of terrorists without provoking them into staging street protests.

It is being claimed in some quarters that on Monday police targeted the politically-motivated, able-bodied troublemakers and unfortunately the disabled protesters were also affected in the process. Water cannon have no crosshairs as is common knowledge. There is no way the riot police can target political elements mingling with disabled protesters. They also used water cannon and tear gas indiscriminately, knowing well that disabled persons including retired policemen would be the worst affected. Anyone who claims that the police targeted political activists has taken the public for suckers.

Some defence bigwigs are among those who claim that there was a political hand behind Monday’s protest. The manner in which the issue was handled smacks of a sinister political move; the circumstances that led to the protest march make one wonder whether someone deliberately allowed the situation to get out of hand, while President Maithripala Sirisena was out of the country. The march could have been nipped in the bud if a high ranking defence official had cared to meet the protesters while they were engaged in a fast and given them a written assurance that they would be given pensions. After all, that was what the President had ordered and the Defence Ministry did in the end.

No protest is devoid of politics in this country. There have been instances where protesters got killed due to the involvement of political parties in workers’ agitations. The death of a free trade zone employee due to police shooting during a protest against the Rajapaksa government’s efforts to introduce a private sector pension scheme is a case in point. The then rulers blamed the JVP for instigating the workers. Politics and protests are inseparable. There is reason to believe that necessary conditions were created for the pension issue to evolve into a march and for tear gas and water cannon to be used on disabled soldiers and policemen who tried to enter the Presidential Secretariat. The end result was that President Sirisena incurred public opprobrium.

President Sirisena has publicly complained of being kept in the dark anent certain actions of vital state institutions including the police. His consternation is understandable. The public holds him responsible for everything bad the government does because he was instrumental in last year’s regime change and paving the way for the formation of the present administration.

President Chandrika Kumaratunga found herself in a similar predicament from 2001 to 2004. She was not informed of even the ceasefire agreement between the UNF government and the LTTE before it was inked.

It will be a mistake for President Sirisena to join others in flaying the Opposition activists for Monday’s incident without ascertaining how the unfortunate incident came about even after he had taken action to solve the issue and finding out who was responsible for that.

10 Responses to “Lanka’s day of shame”

  1. Christie Says:

    Indian Empire will not let anyone who stands up to it will be spared.

  2. Dilrook Says:

    However, the bigger issue is disabled soldiers finally winning their rights thanks to Sirisena. This issue was not addressed by the former regime. If Sirisena has won the hearts and minds of disabled soldiers by fixing their long running grievances, he has won more than lost. It is strange how the JO is capitalising on the attack without regard to the victory of disabled soldiers.

  3. Christie Says:

    The stupid Island. Upali was blown off by Indian colonial parasites from Malaysia. Indian Empire and India colonial parasites in action.

  4. Christie Says:

    Dilrook everything is done at the direction of the Indian Empire. I am sure the Indian vermin Atul Keshap at the US Embassy must have told Karunasena Hettiaarachchi to tell Maithrpaala Sirisena what to do.

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    Kithsiri, what is happening? Democ-rats are leading in TX and FL. I don’t believe it. Are there too many “Endian colonial parasites” in those places? I don’t think so.

    The ONLY good thing of HILARIOUS winning is she will tell ENDIA to either pick USA or Russia. Endia cannot play the parasite game of buying weapons from Russia cheaply and supporting USA.

  6. S.Gonsal Says:

    Thnak you Dilrook for telling the truth.
    Actulaly all the grivences of ex-soldiers and current soldiers are due to pthetic negligence of MR after wining the war. He simply USED them and DISCARDED them.

  7. Lorenzo Says:

    OK. TX has been saved. FL is still in the balance. Looks like democ-rats will win FL. The lead is NOT sufficient. When 56 seats from CA comes it is game over.

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    TRUMP wins 301 to 237!!

    Well done TRUMP.


    So what happened to TAMILS FOR CLINTON?
    What happened to Tamils cracking coco-nuts?


  9. plumblossom Says:

    it is a great pity that those who sacrificed their limbs, even eyes and ears to safeguard the country and its people are being treated in this ungrateful manner by the treacherous Ranil, CBK, Sirisena and Mangala.

  10. NAK Says:

    As usual Sirisena lies. He tries to save his skin by saying he was away but he was in the country when these disabled soldiers came on the streets three days ago. If he cared as he claims he should have resolved this on day one itself.
    These soldier were promised by none other than Duminda Dissanayake three months ago that this issue will be resolved.

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