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Friday, June 14, 2024

LLRC Recommendations should be implemented to establish Law and Order in this chaotic society – “Citizens’ Rights”

The Resolution that is proposed to be taken up at the 19 Session of the UNHRC in Geneva on war crimes allegations and accountability issues since the war concluded in May 2009, wants the Sri Lankan government to provide an assurance it would implement all recommendations made by the LLRC appointed by the President as per his powers vested in the Constitution.

Meanwhile, all reports and information on the deterioration of the law and order situation in the country now makes the recommendations of the LLRC valid, not only for the North and East, but for the whole country. It is therefore our unshakeable responsibility to work towards establishing law and order and re democratising of the whole country.

The Final Report of the LLRC very clearly establishes the fact that North and East is heavily militarised, that armed groups are an illegal presence, the civil administration is not independent in its functions and the police department is not an independent civil body and thus have adverse impact on society.

All of them are now more than relevant to the rest of the country, as well. The activities of underworld thugs and armed groups working at will with political patronage, is now a common occurrence. Media, though with restraint, has reported enough about ruling party politicians including from ministers to local government members, openly violating law at least since the murder of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra in Kolonnawa on the last day of LG elections held last year.

Most recently, a high level police officer was apprehended, whilst taking a bribe of 01 million rupees. Yet it was for the first time that we read recently about an Army officer and then some police personnel killing on contract and that, after this government came to power. With people having lost all hope on justice, on enforcement of law and order, not once but twice stormed police stations and assaulted the police, in the recent past.

Most prominent of all criminalities under this government are allegations made by the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) members about Minister Mervyn Silva extorting large sums of money, the shooting by Chairman of the Tangalle PS, in the company of a drunken group in a Tangalle tourist hotel, killing a tourist and grievously hurting his lady partner and then Minister John Seneviratne’s Co-ordinating Secretary getting implicated in a double murder of women in Kahawatte that is now linked to drug peddling. There is also a murder where a Weligepola PS Member in the Godakawela area is alleged to have assaulted a youth to death. All of them belong to the ruling political party. They take the law into their hands with political power. Therefore the society knows too well, that the law will not be enforced free and fair, against them.

IF the most recent incident is taken as a clear case on abduction, the Chairman of the Kolonnawa Urban Council, Ravindra Udayashantha went public saying, a “white van group” tried to abduct him on Sunday 11 March and the people in the area foiled that attempt. It was reported the people over powered the group and 04 men who were handed over to the Kolonnawa police were all army personnel. There is no investigation into this incident to date and worst, they have all been freed in a very dubious manner, with the Station OIC transferred out of Kolonnawa immediately. All explanations officially made on this attempted and foiled abduction are too illogical and empty for any one to accept. But, before the heat died down over this incident, another was abducted the next day, from Borella.

This country can not go on, this way. It is stupid to let the underworld, political thugs and an inefficient, corrupt police control this country, this way.We therefore stress the  important need to have those recommendations made by the LLRC appointed by the President himself, recommendations that could once again provide democratic space in the daily life of the people, be implemented immediately and without further delay.

Accordingly, we request the government to,
rapidly remove the military from all civil engagements [nos. 5.104(2.4) and 8.211]
disarm and disband all illegal armed groups immediately [no. 5.66]
establish independent Commissions for public administration and the police [nos. 8.209]
devolve power in meeting with the needs and aspirations of the people [pages 275 – 277 and 307-308]
establish the people’s Right to Information immediately [page 353]
along with all recommendations that would allow the people living in Northern and Eastern provinces to live a decent, peaceful life as well.

Kusal Perera,
Sudharshana Gunawardne


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