Politicization of Law Enforcement Bodies
Mar 12, 2010
A country which has an independent military and a police service with country’s interest as their sole goal is indeed truly blessed.

Unfortunately not every country is fortunate to have governments which allow the forces and the police to carry out duties independently. Undue meddling always ends up killing the professionalism and discipline among the members of the forces and police and many insecure politicians and officials who do not realize the perils of promoting party politics in the services appear to penalize ones who perform duties independently. The message sent to the others is that servicemen and policemen are expected to toe the line of the ruling party and hold the party’s interests above the law of the land. As to where that would take the country as far as maintenance of the law and order situation is concerned, one never knows.

While action is taken against independent members of the services, promotions and incentives are being given for those who have become the stooges, in a bid to encourage others to take note of it. Those who gain state patronage invariably end up being the ones most despised by the law abiding citizens since they do not hesitate to flout laws to help politicians. Often it is these individuals who collaborate with various undesirable elements and create problems for honest and forthright officers.

Globally the police service has come a long way since the days when Greece and Rome used slaves for policing. However one may wonder whether Sri Lanka is going back to the Athenian or Roman days by expecting only the loyalists of the ruling party to form the police or at least hold the top ranks. The recent moves to penalize independent officers indicate nothing but that.

Also one wonders what benefits any criticism of the military’s role at polls would bring to one’s country. It may be true that certain members of the forces opted to support General Sarath Fonseka at the polls. By criticizing them openly one is only inviting trouble since that is likely to create disillusionment among the rest of the members in the forces as the team spirit would make them intolerant towards such sweeping statements. This will not at all augur well for country’s security especially if the statements emanate from the quarters which are in fact expected to oversee the institutions.

Elections held one after the other continue to polarize post war Sri Lanka which is trying to bring the fragmented pieces together and go for a true integration. Politicians have already done the damage. One expects at least the officials to act prudently.

Courtesy: Daily Mirror