Thursday, August 2, 2012

The shame of a nation willing to disregard basic rights of Individuals

It is only when an individual faces injustice, that he or she wants someone to complain to and do something about it. It is not until one is faced with that dilemma that one realizes that the system is stacked against you. The Court system is corrupt or it takes too long or costs too much. We do not have a legal aid system in Sri Lanka to protect the interests of individuals. When it comes to common issues that affect a segment of the population who have been affected, then there are NGO’s and public interest groups willing to bat for them.

Governments do not care on individual complaints as they do not believe it is universal enough to affect those who vote for them, and therefore make NO attempt to right a wrong, be it through the court system or otherwise.

Democracies are there to protect rights of minorities whilst giving the majority opinion the power. If minority rights are not protected and only majority decisions are implemented at the expense of the aggrieved minority, then it becomes an all or nothing system where minority rights are suppressed. It then goes to independent commissions created from all interested parties, especially minorities including opposition political parties to create a balance to ensure equity and justice.

In order for injustice daily meted out in local areas in Sri Lanka to be addressed there must be a body that people can complain to that is set up outside of the local area. The reason is that in most local areas, the local politicians and security forces control the people out of fear. There is nothing they can do about it. The tragedy in the local scenario is due to the lack of education most believe there is nothing they can do about it. They accept it as their FATE having to deal with the local bully, who controls, the drug trade, or moonshine, or protection racket. We then give rise to powerful politicians who have come up through these illegal activities outside the law. There is no body that goes to prosecute them as they are outside of the system.

It is time for a system of checks and balances, to prevent the occurrence and spread of injustice, where all incidents are reported to an independent body, that can keep confidentiality and prosecute where the law has clearly been broken. This is a signal to those engaged in unfair and illegal practices to be on notice to stop for fear of prosecution and imprisonment.

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