Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Kelaniya Killing – Law of the Jungle – How much more of this can we bear?

The killing of a Pradeshiya Sabha Member for Kelaniya very close to the Capital HAS NOT sent shock waves in this Country, now confronted by almost daily litany of gruesome murders. Have we become immune?

When the Chief accused who was caught attempting to leave the country from Bandaranayake International Airport, yesterday and his being a close relative of the parliamentary affairs secretary to a prominent Government Minister, is in itself a huge cause for concern. After all when the President went to the home of the deceased to pay his respects, he was confronted by the local people naming this Minister as the Chief suspect behind the scenes, and a major threat to other elected members who have fallen out with this Minister.

This whole tragedy will be out of the front pages in a few days, the family of the deceased will get no justice, and charges against the accused will be quietly dropped for lack of evidence and the whole matter swept under the carpet. All this due to the indelible mark of association with the said Minister!

Now is that the Justice we are confronted with today? I ask the reader, especially those who defend the current regime. What if you were a brother of the deceased? How would you feel? What recourse do you think you will have under the circumstances, of January 2013, Kelaniya politics Sri Lanka style?

Would you ever wish to seek election to this Pradeshiya Sabha unless you were a close associate of the said Minister? The answers to this question will go a long way in determining the comfort level you will feel on whether Justice will be done in this instance.

It is a mockery of publicity for the President of this country to pay his respects to the family of the deceased at the home of the deceased and view his dead body, when it is a close associate, acolyte of the President who is the most implicated in this murder, and also known to have disagreements with the faction of local politicians of whom the deceased was one.

I cannot for the life of me understand why we take this whole thing calmly, as it is an attitude of not in my back yard, syndrome. When it comes to your back yard, there will be NOONE to help you find Justice. Is that what you want by just ignoring this event? How many more events like this and we certainly have seen a few like this lately, before we actually take to the streets, demonstrate and then fight for the rights of the victims? I appeal to the good sense of people to fight for rights of victims, before you become one.


Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that for those that have lived in the country for the past 30 years, killings -- and particularly politically motivated killings -- have been a part of the basic fabric of life, fodder for the gossiping classes and real life soap opera drama for the denizens of the country. So how can we be surprised that this killing of a local government member -- not even a parliamentarian let alone an influential minister mind you -- will get hardly the attention of a Kumar Sangakara 100.

Let's see what the fallout is, as you are presuming guilt rather than innocence which is a very non-Western way of approaching things. I suspect Mervyn, if someone testifies against him or if there is strong evidence against him, should also try to flee the country as his mini-empire is about to crumble around him.

Anonymous said...

There is no hope for Sri Lanka in the near future.

The revolution will only make things uglier in the short to medium term.

The only hope seems to be divine intervention. The President is just a human being.

A higher power can help, but I am afraid he/she will not as the people of Sri Lanka deserve damnation for voting overwhelmingly for this style of governance.

Anonymous said...

to understand that this has been a source of public drama for so many decades is not to condone it, only to comprehend why things are the way they are in terms of the lack of shock and consternation at this local government political assassination. Many Sri Lankans also believe in karma and quietly revel in these events, but I do not mean to diminish this one. Human life, and human values, have lost a great deal of value amongst the public because of the years of war and it will take a concerted effort to revive these values, not only from the top down but also from the bottom up. Everyone must be involved from the village schools to the Parliament and President himself. This takes time, but I think history will show that as a society, Sri Lanka is at a bottom and will gradually rise as the post-war reality sets in. After all, when human life is so fragile as in the time of war, how seriously can someone ponder international conventions and norms rather than just living for the day?

Anonymous said...

from a political perspective, you are better off heralding the cause of the executed housemaid in Saudi Arabia that the government allowed to migrate as a minor under fraudulent means and failed to protect from execution on flimsy charges, as there is a great deal of sympathy there.

That case highlights many weaknesses of the government:

1. unethical and illegal practices which put minors at grave risk in foreign countries;

2. inadequate economic policies which allow our workers to work in Sri Lanka;

3. inadequate international relationships to release this woman who was executed on flimsy charges in contravention of international law;

4. inadequate bilateral relationships with those countries to which we are sending foreign workers to protect them from harm; and

5. inadequate standing in the Muslim world, which the coalition partners and the President are supposed to have some standing in, that our efforts to uphold international law and simple tenants of compassion were completely ignored and disregarded.

People have much more sympathy for young ordinary folk killed at the hands of foreigners than for politicians killed in internecine warfare.