Tuesday, October 6, 2015
With Police and Media like this – Is there any hope for this Land?
It is high time that we finally come to a consensus that both our Police and our Media are in need of a major overhaul. These are for different reasons, but in this case brought into a laughable situation by an insatiable need to get some credit where NO CREDIT IS DUE! Why is the public not denouncing this?
Whilst the circumstances of a little child’s murder are by itself quite unbelievable, the resulting investigations, and the conduct of both the Police and the Media are both reprehensible and unforgivable.
Let us deal with one at a time. Take the Police first.
The unprofessional attitude of our police is so apparent. When people are put into the police force by Politicians, and not by competence, you have a bunch of jokers, (of course there are a few god cops) who wear a police uniform, but who are in no way competent at their jobs. So instead of the IGP insisting on the resignation of an incompetent OIC of Kotadeniyaya, and offering to resign himself due to the disrepute this conduct of some of the investigating officers have brought on the Police force, they are still going about their business, continuing to make unprofessional assessments of police situations.
Put simply, basic Police procedures HAVE not been followed. If they don’t know the ABCs of Policework, what are they doing in the Police? Look at how these officers have joined the force. Look at the training they have received to date in carrying out their tasks. See if common sense actions have been taken in their investigations, and come to the conclusions. Instead another incompetent Political appointee has been ordered to head the Investigation, I think, DIG Western Province, Pujitha Jayasundera has been appointed to investigate the circumstances where two innocent men were taken for questioning and falsely accused of this crime, and who have been allegedly assaulted by the police.
For starters, someone out of this range must be appointed to investigate, as this person is NOT IMPARTIAL, as he will protect people under him, like the OIC of the Police Station. We are compounding one problem with another. Should the IGP have his head examined or should he also resign for making such a basic error of judgment? The problem is “surprise surprise” he does not know his mistake!
Now to add insult to injury the so called Kondaya, is saying he did not murder the child, after first confessing, which goes from the sublime to the ridiculous. Can you blame the public for not having any faith in the Police Force? It is vital that action is taken to instill confidence after this series of fauxpas.
Then comes the Media. There is a huge and insatiable appetite, whether it is created by the Media, or are reacting to public thirst for the macabre I don’t know at this stage, for the no holds barred gory photographs of a murder.
In my opinion, I think this creates further copycats, and the less reported the better, though be that as it may, reporting should merely be the facts, and NOT speculation, and kept to a bare minimum, without naming suspects, until sufficient time has passed, and there is incontrovertible evidence of guilt.
Being found guilty by Media, where the law has NOT taken its course, is irresponsible, especially if the subject is NOT guilty, further illustrates the folly of the death penalty in convicting innocent people, due to over eagerness of the media for a sensational story be it true or false. The lives of two innocent people have been permanently ruined by the Media in their over enthusiasm to convict, and the Police in their overly pompous way to find a culprit.
Just imagine how many innocent arrested people have died in Police custody, before they have come to trial, because the Police have killed them and there is NO ONE to investigate as the case is closed, and if innocent, the guilty are still roaming around the Country, unpunished! Frankly it is CRIMINAL that none in Sri Lanka has pursued this to at least insist that basic police procedures are followed even though the principal suspect is dead. Death by Police killing of a principal suspect DOES NOT relieve the police of due process to ensure there is NO guilty party still at large.
It is time the Media make amends. They can start this by beginning investigations into all unsolved crimes, starting with murder, and include those files that have been closed due to the Suspects Killed by Police while fleeing, from custody, when taken to a crime scene or to retrieve a weapon!
Just imagine, THE OUTCRY when one discovers that it was not the Guilty party that was killed! Then the Media would have earned their stripes, and receive a pardon from the public.
Unless we take this approach to crimes, releasing only essential information, and the media changing the culture of our people to yearn for positive, rather than criminal investigations, and accidents, we will forever wallow in the fascination with the gore of destruction.
ALL MEDIA MUST TAKE COLLECTIVE ACTION, as it cannot be done unilaterally and we can change the attitudes of our nation to better pursuits and more informative and productive news, aimed at prevention of crime, accidents and improvements to the quality of life of our citizenry.