Letting thugs have the upper hand
Daily Mirror Editorial
Mar 12, 2011

In any society, the rule of law is the ultimate guardian of people, in which they place their absolute faith in meting out justice. However, in a governance such as ours where the executive enjoys a supreme power over the other two institutions, it seems rather difficult for the judiciary to exercise its full authority granted by the Constitution. The repercussions of such interferences range from blatant breakdown of law and order to the public losing faith in judiciary. The pandemonium that broke loose in Kahawatte after the arrest of the suspects in the tragic double murder, go to show the magnitude of public dislike towards thuggery and violence exercised against two innocent people who had to pay with their lives for standing up for justice. At a time when the judiciary and the law enforcement authorities are under immense pressure, one cannot really blame the public for seeking justice their own way, even though it is quite contrary to what the laws dictate.

The fact that politicians resorting to nurture private underworlds for cheap political gains is nothing new to people who have tasted the height of lawlessness in some way or the other. However, the truth media is compelled to play down, if not drop altogether is that the socalled people’s representatives who support such criminals behind the curtains are the very individuals who were appointed to the highest echelons with record mandates. This leaves the question as to whether the people were deaf, blind and mute when they placed the cross mark against their numbers, or they were threatened at gunpoint to vote for them. In either case, sending them back is a law the Constitution does not dictate.

Undeniably, with the escalating crime rate, heavily contributed by the impunities of the politically sponsored thuggery, the distinction between the politician and an underworld criminal is fast disappearing. Already, people are at a loss to understand as to whose hands are less dirty.

The undue power that gives them the ability to order around law enforcement authorities is quite sickening. It is no secret that, the police are reluctant to exercise law against politicians and their henchmen while at the same time, they exceed their limits as soon as an ordinary man violates a law. The existing supremacy compels them to turn a blind eye towards all the impunities committed by such individuals while they continue to oppress the public. Their cowardice if not lethargy has proved false the constitutional provision that says, “everyone is equal before the law;” for the ordinary man without political backing does not stand equal with those who manage to go scot free with the support of politicians.

As people’s representatives, the politicians simply cannot shake their heads at the questions directed at them on the rackets operated by their pet-thugs nor can they shoot those who question them. For people, it is no rocket-science that, without strong political ‘patronage’ such business cannot survive for long; and the period, they let the politicians and their thugs taking advantage of their silence has come to an end. Those who belittle the power of people should be reminded that the country’s sovereignty lies in the hands of them. Hence, re-electing or sending them is entirely the people’s choice that cannot be changed or silenced by all the private underworlds put together. Theirs is a hunger and thirst for justice. The Judiciary is honour-bound to grant it. After all, justice delayed is justice denied.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka