Posted on February 12, 2010 by srilankalawlessness
“These women are crying for justice in a background in which the incumbent president, Mahinda Rajapakse, has begun his second term. In the government camp there are celebrations and boundless boasts about their great victories. There is triumphalism exhibited in every possible way, and of course, the photographs appear of boundless joy in the families close to the president’s side.”
During the last week, three women have tried to speak to their nation about the tragedy each of them faced. One is Sandya Eknaliyagoda, the wife of Prageeth Ekanaliyagoda, the disappeared journalist; another is Hemali Abeyratne , the wife of Chandana Sirimalwattha, the detained editor of Lanka E-News and the other is Anoma Fonseka, the wife of the popular politician, former military commander and the common candidate for the opposition in the last presidential election, Sarath Fonseka. They all call for respect for the basic rights of their husbands and ask the nation to assist them in finding justice. (more…)
Filed under: abductions, civil service, crime, Defence Ministry, Depatment of Election, disappearances, fundermental rights, human rights, illegal arrest, illegal detention, Judiciary, justice, media, politics, rule of law, Sri Lanka | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 1, 2009 by srilankalawlessness
The spread of the security apparatus helps to maintain a conflict time mentality, even in peace time. Why should such a tense mentality be maintained any longer?
Nearly five months have passed since the government claimed complete victory over terrorism by the defeat of the LTTE. And at the same time, it was claimed that peace had arrived. However, throughout the country the presence of the security forces and the operation of the security system go on in the same manner as before. This week the opposition demanded that the government security is brought to the level of peace time security and an end to the ‘war time’ measures.
The opposition complained that the road blocks in Colombo itself continue to be maintained in the same manner as before the victory. In fact, one of the opposition leaders claimed that things have even become worse. (more…)
Filed under: civil society, civil war, Defence Ministry, human rights, IDPs, justice, police, politics, rule of law, Sri Lanka, violations | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 28, 2009 by srilankalawlessness
“The issue that concerns me is something a little different. Why is it that many people still do not grasp that the system in this country has gotten so warped that it is not capable of what is normally known as rational behavior?”
There are several video clips of Dayan Jayatilaka, a former ambassador to Geneva, talking about his removal from his post. He talks about the removal as a virtual dismissal. Further, he points out that the manner in which it was done was irrational.
Why should he find an act of irrationality in the treatment of people in Sri Lanka a matter of surprise? In fact, everyone is treated irrationally all the time. The very concept of merit in the making of decisions about people is alien. This was what the whole debate about the implementation of the 17th Amendment was all about. The parliament made an attempt to introduce some form of recognition of merit in appointments, dismissals, transfers and disciplinary process of all civil servants. The implementation of this amendment was abandoned. The principle now is that irrationality in appointments, dismissals and all such matters is the normal course of treatment for anybody. (more…)
Filed under: civil society, Defence Ministry, extrajudicial killings, human rights, IDPs, justice, media, politics, rule of law, Sri Lanka | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 26, 2009 by srilankalawlessness
“CID officers are law enforcement officers and their activities must be defined within the framework of the law.”
Aleksandr Solzhenisyn added the word ‘gulag’ to the human rights vocabulary to describe a type of experience that is being repeated in many parts of the world. His own three volume study was the experience of Russia from 1918 to 1956. Today, in Sri Lanka this same horror is being experienced by the entire population. The dreaded Cheka, the security organisation created in Russia exercised the function of being the informer, the arresting authority, the interrogator, the authority that decided on guilt or innocence and the authority that carried out the death sentences and disposed of bodies or decided terms of imprisonment or any other punishment. And all these functions were exercised in complete secrecy with whatever procedures it chose to adopt. What the law in the country was and how it was implemented was almost completely left to the Cheka, perhaps only with the possibility of a few interventions by the highest authority, the general secretary of the Communist Party who, for the most part, was Joseph Stalin. Within this system the decisions on life and liberty were casual decisions of individuals who answered to no one. There was no transparency or accountability.
The insurgencies which took place in Sri Lanka from 1971 allowed the emergence of such an authority within the country. (more…)
Filed under: abductions, civil society, Defence Ministry, disappearances, extrajudicial killings, human rights, justice, media, rule of law, Sri Lanka, violations | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 10, 2009 by srilankalawlessness
“The malady of the system is that it has completely lost its organizational coherence. A policing system is a public service which is devoted to law enforcement. The policing system therefore, where it properly functions, engages in activities which facilitate the proper enforcement of the law.”
Will the fall of Sri Lanka’s premier law enforcement system, the police service, into the abyss be resolved by appointment of an IGP from military ranks? Reading all the analysis into the police problem, beginning with the Soertsz Commission report in 1946, followed by the Basnayake Commission of 1970 and the police service report of 1995, demonstrate that the central problem of the policing system in Sri Lanka from its very inception has been that it is very much a militarized system rather than a civilian policing system. Insurgencies since 1971 have further militarized this system. The appointment of an IGP from military ranks will only add to the present collapse of the system, rather than solving it.
In an excellent article written by Snr. DIG (Rtd) Gamini Gunawardene on what happened to the policing system, he makes the following observation: (more…)
Filed under: corruption, Defence Ministry, human rights, IGP, justice, police, politics, rule of law, Sri Lanka | Leave a Comment »
Posted on August 9, 2009 by srilankalawlessness
FAILURS OF THE IGP AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL REGARDIG EXECUTIONS WITHOUT TRIAL
‘What is happening today is that both the police department and the Attorney General’s department are subordinating their authority to the Ministry of Defense. The Ministry of Defense is acting as the agency that creates the attitudes relating to which crimes should be investigated and prosecuted and which crimes should not be investigated and prosecuted.’
The kidnapping and assault of Nipuna Ramanayake, allegedly by several police officers and the family members of CCD director Vaas Gunawardene, took a new turn when about fifty persons brought from outside the area demonstrated with slogans that the young student Ramanayake was in fact a leader of a criminal gang. Obviously the demonstration was orchestrated to diffuse the public support for investigations into the kidnapping and torture charges. The demonstrators also are reported to have destroyed the posters put up by fellow students in support of Nipuna.
That incident itself is a demonstration of the manner in which demands for investigation by victims of crime are trivialized in Sri Lanka. The attempt now is to let people forget the incident of the kidnapping and assault and that therefore any public pressure on the authorities to conduct the inquiries will be poo-poo’d. Then business will return to normal.
There is a severe contradiction between trying to eliminate criminals, as claimed to be the goal of the government, and trivialization of crime that has taken place in Sri Lanka over a long period of time. (more…)
Filed under: abductions, Attorney General Depatment, corruption, crime, Defence Ministry, human rights, IGP, illegal arrest, justice, police, rule of law, Sri Lanka, torture, violations | Leave a Comment »