Saturday, October 11, 2008

Major General Janaka Perera - mysteries

It was an incredibly tragic moment in Sri Lankan history when 27 families were left torn when the bomber last Monday hit his target. Janaka Perera and his wife, Dr. John Pulle and his wife were both taken away from their families. Plenty of comments have been made on blogs, news items, and lunch rooms about these murders.

We live in a time where the public is incredibly inconveienced for the greater good of VIPs. Case in point: the arrival of President Mahmous Abbas this week where people were made to walk from fort to various points to locate their transport. The Hilton stretch was completely cordoned off, when President Abbas decided he wanted to pray on Friday lunch time at the Fort mosque: no stone was left unturned to ensure his safety. We wait in traffic jams each day so that the VIPs can race by us and reach their destination safely. I dont think a single person can attend a function which will be attended by any of the current administration (especially the high up commanders -military and otherwise) without getting stripsearched. People get shot when they fail to stop at check points on a weekly basis.

So, can we accept Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara's comment 'the suicide bomber just walked straight in to the function and blew himself up?' (or something of that order). The fellow was buckle legged, he could have been stopped. He could have been shot at if he didnt stop. The army/police/navy don't seem to hesitate to shoot at innocent pedestrians/drivers. So why the hesitation now? How did this man gain entry into this high security event? An ex army commander, a leader of a province in the opposition was attending this event. How can we as the Sri Lankan public accept this?

As much as I oppose the war, Janaka Perera would have at countless times issued orders that have ensured the safety of the then minister MR and his pigmie followers. How is keeping his body at the Ratmalana airport for FOUR hours in the heat any show of gratitude? How is refusing his body the right to travel by air to his province any act of humaneness? How low have politics travelled in our country with this current administration? How can there be THIS much hate in this system?

Secondly, why would the LTTE target an ex army commander who works with the opposition when there is a sitting duck in the form of the current army commander? If it really was the LTTE who conducted this atrocity, then we really must question where do their allegiances lie? Perhaps its not just with themselves. Who prevented the Tamil population from voting to place the current administration in power? As mentioned by groundviews, who murdered Lakshman Kadirgarman thus placing MR in power? Why is a guerilla organisation that was considered the most organised specialist group in the world now suddenly losing and allowing the govt to enter their area?

These questions will always just be questions. It is not the people on either side in power that suffers. Its the people on either side that leave their families, that commit atrocicties that haunt them forever, the people who are left behind as parents, spouses and children leave them due to the unjustified cause that is war.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Law and Chaos: Galle Road Unit

On Monday, the Supreme Court gave an order to remove all barricades on Galle Road all the way up till Galle Face Hotel (why not further, I cannot fathom!). This I'm sure was due to the realisation that - these barricades are pointless, these barricades further exacerbate the traffic situation in Colombo and of course, these barricades are pointless. Having these barricades only protect those that are already protected and doesn't shield the general public from random bombings by unknown parties, kidnappings, and murders of political and otherwise natures.

On Tuesday, the barricades were removed. Partially. And what were we bestowed with instead? From 7am, approximately 10 policemen conducting individual searches of each and every car to pass the Galle Road from the Kolpetty area onwards towards Galle Face. What did it result in? Chaos . It took an hour to get from Bambalapitiya to Kollupitiya and about 5 minutes to get from Kollupitiya (past the High Commissions and his assness esteemed residence) to Galadari.

Imagine what this means. There is a bus depot near that check point. Therefore every other vehicle is a bus. There are three lanes formed on one side of that Galle Road partition. I assume an approximate 100-150 offices to be beyond that checkpoint (as WTC itself accounts for about 50). If we assume each office employs 300 people minimum and out of these, 1/2 arrive by individual vehicle and out of this 1/2 come by Galle Road, we have 10 policemen checking over ... 11,250 people and their cars. All these people need to get to work by 8 or 9am so that doesn't give the policemen ALL day to do this task, they must do this within a space of 2-3 hours (provided they've been imperiused and they actually want to do something that serves the public). Add in the usual incompetency associated with the Sri Lankan police force and what do we get... a MOTHER OF A TRAFFIC JAM.

WHO woke up on that Tuesday morning and went 'EUREKA I HAVE FOUND ANOTHER WAY TO INCONVENIENCE THE SRI LANKAN POPULATION!!!!' i can only but wonder. Idiocy is rife and common sense NIL in all those that rules us. There is only selfishness, pigheadedness and of course, ripe greed. No cars were strip searched prior to this on that stretch. Not even when Her Highness was living at TT. I'm not sure if any car checkings anywhere in Colombo, has resulted in a policemen finding a vehicle full of LTTE cadres without their IDs sitting with their rifles. I can only imagine with 28% inflation and rising cost of living combines with meagre salaries in the public service, that someone in the Registrar's dept would be more than happy to create a new IDs for anyone that asks.

So why continue with this charade? If you must 'protect' us, do your job properly. Those in power, use your brain. A war can only be 'won' so much before the other side returns. And a war that has gone on for 25 years will not be 'won' so quickly. I long to go back to the days when the ceasefire was strongly in place and we could drive around without having to be bothered with check points, bomb threats or stupid road blocks.

Tuesday is only but a reminder that those days are long gone.