Monday, September 13, 2010
Mervyn, the IGP and proof positive
The Sri Lanka Guardian – September 13, 2010
The views expressed at the author's own
I am sure that it is with much consternation to the ruling regime that the Sri Lanka Police Service has proved that they are not the complete idiots they portray themselves to be.
An editorial in a popular Sri Lankan newspaper reported the story of how the police were able to apprehend a heinous criminal and present her before court with sufficient evidence that the judge ordered bail in the sum of Rs. 100,000/=. What was the crime that called for such a stiff amount? She stole Rs. 5/=. Yes dear readers, you have read this correctly, it is not a misprint; a young girl with the most criminal intent stole five rupees! When the matter was reported to the police in Thebuwana, Kalutara, they sprang into action and arrested the culprit within moments.
Therefore, ergo and to wit, we all owe Inspector General of Police, Mahinda Balasuriya a heartfelt apology. Indeed, he should be commended by President Mahinda Rajapakse for proving once and for all that the Sri Lankan police can do their job with professionalism and honour.
Now that we have that out of the way the problems set in. Now that it has been publically acknowledged that the Sri Lankan police can do their job it is time for them to continue doing so and this is where President Rajapakse might not be so pleased.
They should immediately arrest Mervyn Silva for publically threatening the press for writing anything that he might consider offensive to the government. To quote the gentleman himself, ".... journalists should not write in a way which would ultimately force them to be hanged". They should also reopen the case in which Mervyn manhandled a Samurdhi officer and tied him to a tree as there is sufficient photographic evidence to prove this. The last time I looked the SLFP disciplinary committee, who found him innocent, is not a legally constituted judicial body and while they might have found him innocent a court of law might deem otherwise. They should also reopen the case against Mervyn for fraudulently issuing a cheque in the sum of Rs. 70,000/= in 2007 for which he was only asked to pay Rs. 2,500/= in costs. Okay, let us do the maths here: Fraudulently issuing a cheque in the sum of Rs. 70,000/= results in costs of Rs. 2,500/=, stealing Rs. 5/= results in bail of Rs. 100/000/=. If the survival of the world relied on my mathematical capabilities we would all be in serious trouble but even I can see a discrepancy here.
There is plethora of cases the police can sink their teeth into. The disappearance of Prageeth Eknaliyagoda, the assassinations of Sugath Nishanta Fernando and Lasantha Wickrematunge would be a good start. Using the same fervor and professionalism that they used in the arrest of the 13-year-old girl for stealing Rs. 5/= they should be able to solve these cases within days if not hours.
Dear Mr. Balasuriya, your officers have provided proof positive that they are capable of ensuring law and order and you may be proud of them. Now please ask them to do their job.
Stewart Sloan is the author of three novels and a collection of anecdotes about the Royal Hong Kong Police Force whom he served as a civilian from 1987 to 1997. He works as an editorial