Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Hora-Police Investigations -- The Lifeblood of Sri Lankan Justice

Scotland Yard is apparently descend once again to Sri Lanka, for the umpteenth time, to investigate yet another murder. This time, the two workers of who worked for the Red Cross.

Percy Mahinda has given the Police seven days to come up with "vital clues." However, considering all the murders, abductions, violations of human rights, arrests, and unlawful detentions that have come to define Sri Lankan life over the last two decades, I think there would be some questions we should do well to ponder. When I say "we" I mean anyone who fancies a conclusive investigation in to all this, including the ICRC & UN.

  1. How many murders have occurred in Sri Lanka over the past 20 years outside the "operational areas"?
  2. How many Presidential, Ministerial and Judicial instructions have been issued in those instances to conduct "independent, impartial investigations notwithstanding the status, reputation or influence of the suspects concerned" ?
  3. How many of those investigations have been concluded?
  4. How many convictions has there been?
  5. How many convicts have gone to jail?
  6. How many times has the Sri Lankan government invited "foreign experts" to help investigations? Were these invitations extended officially, and were they allowed to come and do their work?

It would be good to remind ourselves that the brutal murders of President Premadasa, and people like Gamini Dissanayake, Lalith Athulathmudali, Lakshman Kadirgamar to name a few high-profile cases are still not concluded. While the LTTE is suspected, they have never been brought to court. However, the LTTE leaders have been convicted in India for the murder of Rajiv Gandhi.

Some other cases off the top of my mind include the assault / shooting at Lasantha Wickramatunge, Sirasa TV, Rookantha, and the recent murder of Ven. Handungamuwe Nandarathana Thero.

So, Percy Mahinda and Victor "All-Fart-No-Shit" Perera can do all the posturing they want, but I certainly wouldn't, and would recommend others too, to not hold their breath in anticipation.

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