Saturday, August 13, 2011

Grease Devils!!! the latest Avatar of "GUESS WHO?"

I just had a text from Ada Derana asking people not to take the law into their own hands and hand over the Grease Devils to the Police and not take the law into their own hands.

What on earth is going on? Who are these Grease Devils? All I noticed was that in Pottuvil today a SLMC candidate had been killed, by whom was not all that clear and Govt. ministers had been sent to quell a possible riot.

It also seems to me that the Police are in the thick of it. So is anyone fair game? Innocent or guilty. We have been fed by a mob mentality, and rumor mongering. I have traced a number of incidents over the past three weeks all over the country and all this seems to be wrapped up in one word "Grease Devils"

The mob mentality is in full force now in SL far worse than the UK situation which is now under control. If anyone has a grudge against a person he is accused by his enemy of being a "Grease Devil" and the whole village then gets into the mob instinct of uncontrollable anger, without checking through the credibility of the accusation. They then effectively lynch the person to death, and as it is a collective action of the village the Police dare not take all into remand as it would start a riot. This seems to be the latest way to get rid of one's enemy by making a false accusation.

Now why is this happening? It is because people have decided that there is no point in making a police entry or complaint as the OIC who has jurisdiction over the area, will not take any action, especially if the accused is a politically connected person or a member of the underworld with police protection. I do not know the answer, though I know for a fact that the fewer entries made in a police station looks good on the OIC as it shows there is little crime in his area of responsibility.

Then in other cases the Police have been handed suspects, who the police seem to have released due to interference from a local politician, as the OIC is beholden to his patron the main governing politician in the area. The villagers then agitate, and go to the Police station to ask them to show the suspect they brought in the previous day, and when the police are not able to give a satisfactory answer begin to agitate, causing a tense situation.

With this latest request to hand over the suspects to the Police it is apparent that the Govt. is worried that the people will take the law into their own hands, and will do one of two things, namely, lynch govt. or underworld characters receiving state patronage, who need to be protected, lynch innocent individuals that someone does not like, and is accused by a person as having committed a crime, and roused the people to take the law into their own hands as the Police will rightly do nothing about the innocent being falsely accused.

What happens here to the Police? They are seen by the public as being the ones who release ALL be they be innocent or guilty as shown above, and hence their credibility has sunk to a new low.

The only solution to this is to ensure equal justice for all. Every accusation should be investigated thoroughly, as now people have got used to making false accusations and false reports, and only action taken thereafter. The problem for the police is that they have got so used to beating up people under their custody, that only the ones with connections get off, and then only the innocent get beaten.

The problem of the mythical GREASE DEVIL can only be solved if people are confident that the police will continue to administer justice fairly, and that no political patronage will be used to release the guilty. This is a very serious problem in Sri Lanka that is under reported for obvious reasons, and so the rampant crime wave in Sri Lanka rarely gets a mention, due to the involvement of the state, indirectly by its henchmen, in much of this.

It is regretful, that in a so called time of peace, people live in fear of their lives from the local criminals who hold sway, unpunished and unafraid. These are the real GREASE DEVILS who slime out of every criminal activity!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The effort just to get an application form to sit for a Korean Language Exam

Whilst the scramble yesterday at Police Park, to get some application forms were in a media report, an in depth study of the problem has yet to appear. It is a multifaceted one and I will try to give the reader a view of what I see as the issues involved and which some of the young in their desperation for riches don't fully comprehend.

Here are some of the facts as I seem to understand and any corrections and further details from commentators will be appreciated along with experiences of some who have actually gone to Korea and benefited or disadvantaged by the this scheme.

The Govt. of Sri Lanka along with the Korean Govt. have for a number of years, come to some kind of inter govt. agreement on sending young people (men 18 to 39) to Korea on a work visa, as Sri Lankans have been by experience considered to be reliable hard workers, contributing to the industrial growth of Korea, as a result of a labor shortage of Koreans willing to engage in the same types of employment.

The actual number of those who leave every year vary depending on certain needs, however we understand that for next year 10,000 is the number that Korea has agreed to recruit from mainly A level qualified people. We do not know how many in fact will go next year and it could be as low as 5,000. Only time will tell. In order to qualify to go, they have to pass a Korean language test, which about 10% of the applicants manage to pass. Having passed the test is no guarantee of going, as over 2,000 of those who passed the test last year have not yet gone this year, and hope to be part of the 10,000 to go in 2012.

This program has been a boon to the UPFA government to dole out to their local representatives, who then sell their allocation for hundreds of thousands of rupees to supplement their incomes. (A Pradeshiya Sabha member gets a monthly allowance of Rs5,000)This further exemplifies why there is a rush to get elected even at local level, not for the sake of the country but for the sake of the person. In fact a few years ago, one of the men in the village of Ratmale where I have a home, wanted to go to Korea. He was told he had to pay his local Pradeshiya Sabha contact an amount of Rs100,000 to get the application form, and if he passed the test he could go. In fact I was asked to lend some money to him so he could pay this, and I would be repaid with high interest once he got to Korea! I am glad I did not get tempted as I was skeptical, thinking he was being taken for a ride, as he was promised the answers to the test he was to take, which he did not get and he therefore did not pass the exam and did not go and had to sell everything he had to pay this local politician, and in fact 4 years later he has not recovered from that mistake.

This real life example goes to show the desperation of the people for the money that is being dangled. I was told it is a salary of between Rs100K and Rs150K per month, for the contract period of 3 years. I don't know how the board and lodging is covered by this, as living in the West I know that if I were to have to find all this on my own and was to live a half way comfortable life I would spend all this on living and not be able to save any money. I would like someone who has gone to Korea to give me his own account of this aspect.

I understand that the Govt. has decided to give everyone who asks for an application, one in 29 centers around the country. Assume that 40,000 get the forms, then they have to pay a fortune to learn Korean going to classes. I don't know how much that costs. So if 90% fail that investment is gone! If the applications are now not distributed by the politicos, then the jobs are. So of those who pass, they will have to pay the politico who has the allocation, a fee, at least Rs100K to get in under his allocation, once he has passed the exam.

How much do you think the failures spend? How much to do you think those who eventually go have to fork out before leaving? How many do you think get jobs and conditions remotely acceptable to what they were led to believe? All these are answers that I would like to know, so that those who embark on this venture take this risk with their eyes open and not shut!

The tragedy of Sri Lanka is that we do not empower our youth to understand the opportunities available to them in Sri Lanka as it is not mapped out as easily as the carrot and misinformation of the jobs in Korea. There are jobs in Sri Lanka that are more suitable to these people but they have to suffer the indignity of enslavement in a strange country, in order to even hope of saving enough money for their future.

Get a panel of people who have been there done that to meet with the prospective applicants, so the information is disseminated to as wide an audience as possible, warts and all in order to make an objective assessment of the prospects of riches.