Monday, October 14, 2013

Mangala to be arrested! On what grounds?

In an unprecedented act of irresponsibility, a Matara Magistrate, Wasantha Ramyakumara has directed the police to take into custody Mangala Samaraweera and 11 others, but on condition that there is sufficient evidence against it.

It is not up to a magistrate so to do, even though names have been presented to court by parties with a personal agenda. It is up to the police to perform the necessary investigations, and determine if there is sufficient evidence of breaking the law, and then take the necessary steps depending on the gravity of the crime.

This kind of behavior on the part of the magistrate brings the whole criminal justice system to disrepute. Anyone can submit any names of people at the scene, and if he crime is the intent to commit a crime, even if they did not do so by only carrying the poles and sticks in their hands, both for self defense and attack, as even the pistol used by Herman Gunaratne could theoretically be used in the same context.

It is important the Justice system does not take sides, and mentioning that Mangala be arrested is also tantamount to more of a Govt. act of revenge against a staunch MR supporter. We have seen a complete breakdown of law and order where those elected on the Govt sides to any post appear to be engaged in all manner of crime and especially murder. The latter is particularly relevant at present over the Murder of the British National in Tangalle a few years back for which the wheels of justice are yet to flow.  

In this particular episode, it appears that the law enforcement authorities are only interested in Mangala and his supporters and not the crimes to which Maithri and his supporters are alleged to have done, as evidenced in the FB videos now for all to see. Only Maithri’s father who was caught acting like a gunslinger on TV has been taken in albeit chained to a hospital bed at the National Hospital in some level of comfort.

It is time to appoint another police officer from outside the area (Matara) to conduct an impartial enquiry and report on the alleged offences and who was responsible using both available video clips, mainly from channels partial to the anti Ranil camp, which further distorts the truth. That way the current perception that the Govt. is pursuing its own agenda using the anti Ranil faction, dividing an already fractious opposition can be put to rest and an independent assessment of where blame should lie. After all much more serious incidents have yet to be investigated. 

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