The Safety and Security of Minorities are not Protected by the State
The country is riddled with corruption from head to foot. The Police are the worst offenders. Those who commit crime bribe the Police beforehand. In a disputed between Sinhalese/Tamil fishermen, the Police take the side of the Sinhalese. This is also true with the armed forces. Both the Police and the armed forces are corrupt. They act in collusion with criminal gangs like the Ava Group in Jaffna. There are thousands and thousands of soldiers, sailors etc. but they do nothing to apprehend/intercept smugglers of heroin, opium etc. No politician, including the President/Prime Minister/Minister, should control/interfere investigations by the Police. In Western countries, the Police will arrest even a Minister for drunk driving without any interference from any quarter. Interference with the legitimate duties of the Police by politicians should be made an offence.
In Parliament speaking in Tamil Richard Badiutheen dwelt on the concept of rule of law. He asked why those Sinhala – Buddhist mobs led by monks who destroyed scores of shops/hotels/vehicles worth hundreds of millions of rupees were released after arrest. One of the business establishment destroyed was a factory producing pasta. The loss was around Rs.700 million.
Earlier the Sinhala – Buddhist mobs led by yellow-robed monks attacked and destroyed Tamil homes in 1956, 1958, 1977, 1979, 1981 and 1983. The armed forces and Police simply look the other way when the mobs torched buildings and killed Tamils in their hundreds. The irony is even today, the armed forces consisting of majority Sinhala – Buddhists were looking the other way at Mawenella, Kurunegala and other places. Since the majority of members in the armed forces (95%) are Sinhala – Buddhists the safety and security of the minorities are not protected by the state. Now a single monk goes on fast demanding the expulsion of Minister Richard Badiutheen and that monk is hailed as a hero, not a law-breaker.
If a single yellow-robed monk can wield such power, why not appoint the Chief Monk of Malwatte Chapter as the President, Chief monk of Asgiriya Chapter as the Prime Minister, Ramanna Nikaya as Speaker. Of course, you appoint Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara Thera as the Leader of the Opposition. Since these monks are learned, pious and virtuous their rule will result in honey and milk flowing from all corners of the Island!
Rishard Bathuideen who is now waxing eloquence about upholding the principle of rule of law and the arbitrary arrests and detention of hundreds of Muslims was himself guilty of trampling the very same rule of law.
The government’s strongman in Mannar, Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen was overly following a policy that overtly favoured his supporters while discriminating against local Tamils in respect of allocation of lands and doling out resettlement assistance.
In his time in 2012 as a Hon. Minister in Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government, he threatened Mannar Magistrate D.J. Judson Anthonippillai on the phone. That was the time under the rule of Mahinda Rajapaksa Ministers took the law into their own hands with impunity.
On July 16, Minister Rishard Bathiudeen has sent his stooges and hooligans and attacked the fisher folks at a location in Mannar. The police performing its duty duly had reported the incident and file a B report before Magistrate Anthony Pillai Judeson, stating that the arson attack had caused Rs.1.4 million damage.
The judge ordered the arrest of the suspects. In the same hearing, the judge was told that the Tamil fishermen, whose houses were burnt in the arson attack had also been prevented from going to sea since late June by the thugs who enjoyed the patronage of a local Muslim politician.
The judge ordered the Superintendent of Police to provide security for the aggrieved fishermen to go to sea.
On the morning of July 17, about 100 people gathered around the Court, holding protest placards against the judge. As the judge passed through the posse of protesters in his vehicle, he received a phone call from Minister Bathiudeen, who allegedly told the judge to revoke his order for arresting the arsonists in the July 13 attack.
The judge responded, that the request amounted to Contempt of Court on the part of the minister and that the minister should go to the Judicial Services Commission, should he be unhappy with the Court order.