( Editorial, Ceylon Daily News)
A UPFA Minister of the Southern Provincial Council has threatened to stone police FCID officers to death according to a news item we carried in our front page yesterday. This worthy who hails from the Rajapaksa fiefdom in the Deep South had apparently taken umbrage at the temerity of the FCID to question former first lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa over an alleged corruption in connection with a bank account operated by a Foundation of which she is the patron. Our report also states that MP Namal Rajapaksa who only the other day rose to the defence of his mother on the grounds that she was not involved in politics and hence “hands off” her, too had been present at the meeting at which the local politician made the remark.
Old habits die hard. It appears that the impunity with which the Rajapaksa acolytes conducted themselves when their patron was at the helm is still very much in evidence. They also think that they still enjoy immunity from the law as before. Stoning apparently comes easy to the Rajapaksa brigade if one recalls the stoning of the political stage of the Common Candidate in Pelmadulla .There was also the stoning of a group of UNP MPs when on an inspection tour of the Hambantota port and also a Port Authority premises in Slave Island which was functioning as an election office of Rajapaksa.
The public no doubt are eager to know what response will be forthcoming to this exhortation from the former President uttered by this Provincial Minister who obviously is a staunch Rajapaksa loyalist. Those among the public who are aware of the vehemence with which Mahinda Rajapaksa excoriated the action of a former UNP Government to allow goons to throw stones at the homes of Supreme Court judges no doubt will be expecting a strong response. Or will he continue to indulge his kind like he did the toy pistol brandishing Hambantota MC Chairman who led a mob that stoned and damaged the bus carrying a group of UNP MPs who were on a fact finding mission at the Hambantota port.
Rajapaksa is today doing the temple circuit addressing crowds strategically placed in their premises, about the parlous state of the country and the “witch hunt” carried out against his family members. The public also will be eager to hear from him what he thinks of this remark made by one of his stooges not only to take the law into his own hands but also to challenge the country’s law enforcement authority. Or did this remark have the blessings of the former incumbent what with the long arm of the law now closing in closer home? Was this a craftily planned strategy by the Rajapaksa clan who had already described the FCID an illegitimate arm of the police, to single out the latter for attack? Our report says the Southern Provincial Minister had enjoined the gathering to collect the name list of those staffing the FCID, from the Constable to the DIG.
“They should be stoned to death when Mahinda Rajapaksa becomes the Prime Minister of this country. We are waiting till that day arrives,” he had thundered. What action is the law enforcement contemplating, since this cannot be considered ordinary platform oratory by some run of the mill politician where one of the offspring of the former President too had been present, but an open challenge to the law enforcement authority of this country, nay an incitement of the rabble to attack the police no less.
The politician concerned should be questioned as to his true motive for this exhortation in order to find out if there is a pattern emerging for creating anarchy in the country to set the stage for the return of a deposed head of state. Provincial Councilors are the second tier Parliamentarians. Is the new Parliament too going to include individuals of the calibre of the Provincial Councillor in question who threatens to stone police officers from the Constable to the DIG.? We are not aware to what political formation if ever this Provincial Councilor is going get nominations from, but the Sri Lanka Freedom Party can well do without such characters and should take utmost care to ensure at least this time around the thugs, rapists, swindlers, ethanol racketeers, bootleggers, cattle thieves and the like are shown the door .
The party had already earned a great degree of public criticism for the choice of MPs in its fold. No doubt the conduct of these undesirables, their notoriety contributed in no small measures towards the defeat of the former incumbent. But for now the IGP should get moving and quiz the local politician concerned since it is his men who has been directly threatened with bodily harm.