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Sunday, June 16, 2024

New form of terrorism threatens Lanka .- Editorial, DM

The shocking disclosure by Tangalle High Court Judge Chandrasena Rajapaksa that the underworld gangster in the most wanted list had visited an inmate at the Tangalle Prison last week is an indictment, which reflects terribly on the entire law enforcement machinery of this country.

He said it was a prison officer who had opened the prison gate for ‘Julampitiye Amare’.
 The High Court Judge said some 100 warrants had been issued for this man’s arrest but for some reason the police had failed to do so. After remanding the main suspect in the Katuwana attack where two JVP activists were shot dead, the Judge said there were four court cases against him in the High Court and several in other courts.

The July 15 attack on a JVP meeting at Katuwana where gunmen armed with automatic weapons killed two party activists and injured many others goes to show the insecure environment we are living in because of the breakdown in the rule of law some three years after the end of the war.

The Rajapaksa regime gave commendable leadership to the armed forces to fight the LTTE described as one of the most ruthless terrorist groups in the world. But the attacks we see today like what happened at Katuwana in Hambantota are despicable acts of terrorism unleashed on a group holding a peaceful political meeting. The JVP blamed the attack on a government-sponsored armed group led by a man notorious for unleashing violence against political opponents. 

Democracy thrives in an environment where dissenting views exist and are accommodated. If dissenting views are stifled then democracy too will die and in its place will be born the dreaded totalitarian form of government.

JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva told a news conference that the complainants in their statements had given the names of some of those who did the dastardly deed. He said the government of course was hell-bent on pinning the blame on factionalism within the JVP even before the investigations had begun.

The string of recent robberies beginning with the loss of valuable artefacts from the Museum under mysterious circumstances, the attempted bank robbery at Battaramulla, the Rs.8.5 million robbery at the residence of SriLankan Airlines Chief and the Rs.21.8 million robbery from the residence of a Britisher working for a NGO in Trincomalee are frightening instances of insecurity in Sri Lanka. In all these instances we read that several special police teams are investigating but it gives little or no comfort to know that no one has been arrested, prosecuted or punished.

The question which keeps popping up is whether the security forces which eradicated the dreaded menace of terrorism are unable to eradicate the equally dreaded underworld which operates with impunity in a post conflict Sri Lanka where peace is a much bandied word


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