According to reports we have received a group of criminals sponsored allegedly by a minister has stone and attack the High Court and the Magistrate Court of Mannar yesterday 18 July.
According to the report a Fishing Vadiya has been attacked by a group and on the basis of reports received by the Magistrate he has directed the police to apprehend the culprits. Thereafter a minister is reported to have contacted the Magistrate with the view to influence the Magistrate to decisive from taking any action about the incident of attack on the Fishing Vadiya. The Magistrate has declined to listen to the Minister and has insisted that the court order to be carried out. It is thereafter that a group of criminals have attacked both the Magistrate Court as well as the High Court. The judges of the lower courts are expected to meet to discuss this issue.
The incident comes as no surprise. Political attacks on the courts, direct and indirect have been continuing for long time now. The politicians in the ruling parties are resisting the attempts by courts to maintain the rule of law when their supporters are the allege culprits of crimes. In the overall political stream of the country subordination of the courts to the politicians has become a rule. This subordinations is popularly known in the country as politicization. Limited attempts to counteract such politicization taken by the parliament by way of the 17th amendment to the constitution were resisted by the government by passing the 18th amendment to the constitution.
The recent incidents relating to Julampitiye Amare glaringly exposed the depth to which political interferences have sunk in the country. A man allegedly accused of 24 murders and fifteen arson attacks and other serious crimes was able to move freely while the courts were issuing warrant after warrants for his arrest. This instant mealy one among tens of thousands of cases where legal process have been touted due to political influence.
It is time for the judges and for lawyers to fight back to protect the law, judicial process and also the judges themselves. The cost of failure to fight back would be to let the easy completion of the down slit of the law and the legal system of Sri Lanka. If lawyers and the judges will not fight back there is no one else to take their place.
The warning that comes from the incidents in Mannar need to be taken seriously, if the law and legal process are not to perish altogether.
The allege rape of a girl by about 17-20 individuals
The new about a rape of 13 year old girl by about 17-20 men in Tangalle have been reported in several news channels and incident have sent shock waves in the whole area. Several of the suspects have been arrested and the investigations into the case continue. Meanwhile the victim’s mother has made a complaint to the police that the family has been receiving death threats from the culprits in this case. The main suspect is and Alliance member of the Tangalle Municipal Council. According to the complaint the family has been threaten to the effect that after the prime suspect get release he along with his family and neighbours will come to the complainants house and will murder the entire family of the victim. The family now lives in fear.
While complaints about widespread rape and other crimes spread the government reaction is to deny that there is increase of crimes. One of the ministers went on records saying that crimes have not increase by it is the reporting that has been increased. The government response by way of denial is one of the major factors for lawlessness spread throughout the country.
The government’s inaction is not a surprise as the government can react only through the Ministry of Defence which is militaristic in its approach. The civilians policing system has been ignored and it has lost credibility about its capacity to investigate into crime.
When government’s politician are implicated into crimes the ministry of defence which itself is a highly politicized agency cannot be expected to play an effective role in control of crimes. When investigative function into crimes is crippling there is nothing else that can replace it.
Again real threat is to the very existence of law and the legal process in the country. Only agencies that could lead a fight against this situation are the lawyers and the judges themselves. If there is no fight arising from the Bar Association of Sri Lanka and the Judges Association of Sri Lanka there is nothing to stop the catastrophic down sliding of law and legal institution in Sri Lanka.