Tuesday, June 19, 2012

We who fight ‘INJUSTICE’ face a tough battle – ‘One Day’ we will win against all odds – that is what keeps us on course.

You face incredible hardships and obstacles, when you devote your life to fighting for justice. It is heartening to see some who finally make it after years of suffering and to see the positive effects of their sacrifice. The name that springs to mind today as she received her Nobel Peace Prize was Burma’s Ang San Su Kyi. He acceptance speech in Oslo reinforced the strength the prize gave her that she was somehow not forgotten. It is our duty sometimes, when we cannot directly help people, that we do not forget them, and let them know that they are not forgotten.

Let us move along into the Sri Lankan context, as that is what this blog is all about. There are many who toil tirelessly on behalf of others, and many who put their lives on the line daily for the cause they personally are affected by and fight for themselves and those in a similar predicament. In the Sri Lankan context under the present administration, it is all the more difficult to fight these battles, as the power wielded is so immense that intimidation alone is sufficient to suppress dissent.

I notice people in Sri Lanka are selfish when it comes to ‘rights’. I mean that if it does not affect them personally they do not bother. If it the land rights of some other person or persons, if it is fundamental rights, if it is basic civilized behavior, as long as it does not threaten me I don’t care. Little do they realize they could be next!

Collectively it is our duty to fight for the rule of law. There are statutes in place and there is a Law Enforcement in the form of the Police Force, and there is a Judiciary tasked with interpreting and passing judgment. It is sad therefore that the General Public have no faith in either to solve their personal or collective issues.

Further when people are threatened those around that person have to fight for justice from another collective which protects the perpetrator. An example that illustrates the point came out today, where a 13yr boy of Mahanama College in Kandy, was beaten until he bled from his ear by a Buddhist Priest, at Buddhism class, because he did not know who Buddha’s parents were. By the way the boy was Catholic, and the Priest knew that too. His religion is irrelevant but makes the attack even more unconscionable. He was threatened not to tell anyone of the incident!
Whilst this incident is purely a case of illegal beating, which calls for a police entry, the arrest of the Priest and him being enlarged on bail, once he is able to obtain proper legal defense; it did not occur in that manner. The investigation has not gone to the lengths it should in law. I just hope the boy or his parents who made the complaint at their local police station do not end up as victims, further compounding the crime.

Society is led by example from the Leaders. If they do not care for the law, obey the law and abide by the law, it is difficult for the Public at large to do the same. When the law is broken there is usually someone who is a victim, and someone who is a perpetrator. When the perpetrator is not identified, dealt with according to the law and punished, the victim is punished a second time for the injustice done to him. Further the example further reinforces the perpetrator to continue with his crime and many more victims are at the receiving end of his or her actions.

It is important therefore that law enforcement is fully aware of their complicity in NOT solving crimes as a grave injustice, and a failure on their part to perform! That latter fact is not generally understood by our Police. In short they are blissfully unaware that they are constantly in breach of their duty to prosecute. In a Sri Lankan context, they are only told to go through the motions, so the book is kept up to date.

It is laughable, how when one makes a police report, in a rural police station, a police officer is assigned to make an investigation into the matter and report back. The investigation is not proportional to the crime. If the report is of the theft of a bullock and next one is of a murder, the theft of the bullock comes first and then the murder investigation. That is what I mean by the book. The order is not prioritized. If the order comes from above, a grievous crime is not investigated and the book fudged.

Take extra judicial killings, and white van abductions that go on almost on a weekly basis. There has been NO attempt at solving these crimes. The government shows NO intention of so doing either. That is an attempt to subvert the course and cause of Justice pure and simple, and the leaders of this Country are culpable for this crime.

Let us fervently hope there is change of direction in thinking and we can seek justice once again, as otherwise it is the leadership that faces the wrath of the law next and they have been warned on what to expect.

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