It is not the fate of the controversial political figures involved in the Kolonnawa clash that concerns us but a brazen effort by the police to strangulate the blindfolded Lady Justice struggling to hold the scales evenly. Premachandra's daughter has lashed out at the CID for the deplorable manner in which it is handling the case.
Would the police have dared defy a ministerial potentate's order? A few years ago Minister Mervyn Silva in the middle of a public function issued, over the telephone, a dire warning to a senior police officer who was not present there to dance attendance on him. He, true to form, yelled melodramatically demanding that the OIC of the police station in his area accompany him whenever he met the public. The police fell in line and today wherever he goes he is surrounded by a posse of police personnel including senior officers. A public official was, it may be recalled, tied to a tree in Kelaniya as he had not shown up at a meeting summoned by Minister Silva. One may wonder whether the ruling party politicians have emerged more powerful than judicial officers as the police promptly carry out their orders with no questions asked while taking court orders for granted.
How would the CID have acted if a case against an Opposition politician had been taken up on Wednesday? The court house would have been chock-a-block with uniformed sleuths falling over themselves to give evidence against him!
Anyone who defies court orders must be dealt with severely. For, noncompliance is tantamount to a challenge to judicial authority. The police must not be allowed to act as if they were 'more equal' than others before the law!
One may not care a damn about the ruling party Al Capones killing one another so long as innocent civilians do not get harmed in their gun battles, but they and their khaki-clad lackeys must be given a choice between carrying out court orders and facing the consequences.
Seat belts and fines
The government has decided to impose a spot fine of Rs. 1,000 for violating the seat belt law, we are told. Those devices have been designed to be worn and they greatly reduce the risk of injury in case of accidents. So, instead of grumbling, people must belt up before driving off and deny the government the pleasure of exacting fines.
However, this safety measure will benefit only those who move about in relatively new cars, vans, SUVs etc. What about the safety of the vast majority of people who travel in overcrowded buses and trains clinging to them precariously? It was only recently that a youth had a fatal fall from a train when a footboard collapsed.
There are many unroadworthy buses carrying more than twice their capacity. Who will care for the safety of the people who travel in them? The same goes for the contraptions that pass for school vans and taxies. Is it that the United PEOPLE'S Freedom Alliance government is concerned about the safety of only those who travel in SUVs, cars and vans?
Let the government also fine those who expose hapless men, women and children to danger in buses, trains, school vans etc. Everyone's life is precious!