Thursday, May 22, 2014

The death in Police custody of 17yr young Sandun Mallinga on May 9 2014

I have alluded at length in my blog to how common Police brutality has become in Sri Lanka, and how it has not lessened during this regime despite the better Police Education on the responsibility of Policeman and their likelihood of prosecution and severe punishment if found guilty of brutality.

What is surprising is that along with killings of persons accused of crime, whilst in police custody, with the standard and always used phrase, “killed by the police while attempting to return fire or throwing a bomb, whilst the suspect was taken to show the police, where the weapons were hidden.”

All this amounts to extra-judicial killings, and in the end there is very little accountability. The police arrested after the Angulana Police station killings have also been arrested and tried, and found guilty, but this does not seem to have reduced the extent of this mal practice and gross violation of human rights.

I deduce from this that, the Police believe and have been reinforced by the Force and superiors that they will be cleared if arrested, so they continue their previous practice.

I cannot understand why in this particular case even the Magistrate in light of evidence and pleas from parents did not release this young man (technically not an adult) In that sense this lady magistrate is equally complicit in the death, but has NOT been arrested for the dereliction of her duty, as that is probably not a punishable offence! Presumably because it would cause a furor amongst magistrates who will refuse to hear cases!

All this amounts to a very sorry series of actions on the part of the police who are supposed to protect the citizens from crime and instead become the perpetrators of the most heinous of crimes, using their powers to inflict mortal wounds on innocents, as bad a crime as LTTE ones.

Is there a sense of pride in the police department or a sick sense of masochism? I think the latter is more likely and must be stopped if we are to make any more progress from actions that have been roundly proscribed by international treaties.

This kind of behavior leads us to question the statements made by the Govt. as it concerns Human Rights, as we just do not have any faith in what is said. We must therefore question the right of the present regime’s legitimacy to Govern.       
For links from web sites relating to this particular event are shown below:

Some of the comments in the Colombo Telegraph (blocked by the GOSL) so one has to access through proxy servers, are interesting.

Let us all work on really stopping this practice, and NOT place lip service and assurances from the GOSL that these are merely isolated incidents that get punished with the full force of the law.

There is nothing that can come close to a satisfactory resolution for the parents of the child, but I hope that justice will prevail and an example made so that these incident DO NOT occur in the future. At least then we can say we made an attempt at positive change for the better in Sri Lanka.  


Anonymous said...

It is the people of the Country who by their apathy who permit the Police to act this way.

It is called selfish. When this happens to you no one will be available to help you, and then it will be too late.

Anonymous said...

it is the golden rule: he who has the gold (or the guns in this case) makes the rules

it is a sad state of affairs, not unique to sri lanka, but equally tragic. when the state has so much power over the lives of people, it must be exercised responsibly, as it is so easy to fall into the trap of abusing that power to the detriment of the people. a system of checks and balances upon this power is essential to try and slow the abuse.

Anonymous said...

This is a very important issue. We the people should show our anger at such incidents, instead of ignoring them, or even voting in favour of thugs who promote this sort of behaviour. But we also need a suitable forum (e.g., the internet? Twitter? protests?) and organization (e.g., a strong opposition, a strong UNP) to exhibit our displeasure. This is missing.