Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Growing lawlessness

A friend of mine told me what he witnessed at Union Place yesterday.

They were driving along Union Place and following a small Maruti car, a taxi. Without warning an old Peugeot 406, a government car, pulled out and rammed the Maruti on the side, denting the door.

What happened next was truly shocking.

Two thugs jumped out of the Peugeot and started beating up the driver of the Maruti. The Maruti was being driven by a young boy, a small made fellow who must have been a few years out of school, he stood no chance against the heavies. They slapped him and beat him around for a few minutes and then jumped into their car and drove off.

Mind you, the fault was entirely with the Peugeot, which pulled out without signalling or warning to the main road, so there was no justification whatsoever for finding fault with, let alone assaulting, the hapless taxi driver.

A friend of mine witnessed a similar incident a couple of years back when a Landrover without number plates ran a red light and crashed into a van coming from the opposite side. Again four heavies jumped out out, assaulted the van driver and drove off.

I had a less dangerous experience, again a couple of years back, with a police pickup truck which was overtaking a line of cars stopped at a red light and almost crashed into me (I was turning in on the left lane, but managed to stop in time). The policemen were glaring and mouthing inanities at me while they ran the red light. They were on the wrong side and running a red light, yet the fault was mine.

What does this tell us? No laws apply to the rulers, their families, henchmen or hangers-on and woe betide anyone who crosses their path, even by accident. In other words a breakdown of law and order.

The unfortunate taxi driver in the incident yesterday was trying to call the police but I'm willing to bet good money that the police will never take the entry. It has happened many times before when powerful people are involved.

Sri Lanka, paradise? More like Gangsters Paradise, where the rulers are all-powerful and the citizenry cowed and afraid.


Delilah said...

i know what you mean.

A friends grandmother's house was robbed recently.

She is 85 years old and lives alone a a walauwwa type house.

Two guys forcibly entered her house, tied her up and held a gun to her head threatening her with other forms of torture asking for keys to various cupboards and hiding places of treasures they assumed she had.

They ripped the place apart and took everything they could take.

Within a week the police tracked down two individuals along with the license plate number of the bike they came in.

But the case came to a halt when they realised the culprits were two notoriously famous personal bodyguards of a prominent minister.

Now the family is trying to cope with a severly traumatised old lady and their material loss while being utterly helpless to do anything about it.

Vindi said...

The frequency with which similar incidents occur and go unpunished is truly shocking.

Last year, following an insignificant collision I was witness to, the first words out of the offending driver's mouth was 'This is an army vehicle' (Despite the lack of any such indication on the vehicle itself).

A land like no other, indeed.

Jack Point said...

Thanks for the comment Delilah, glad to see that your still active, despite a hectic new job:)

Vindi: Yes, that happened to me as well. A motorcycle rammed into me and I stopped. The rider was an air force man, and he just waved dismissively, indicating that he was not be held responsible and rode off. He did not even bother to stop. Luckily the damage was small.

Offthebeatentrack said...

I concur, the lawlessness is insane here. The army, navy and ministerial drivers are just absolutely lawless. Whenever I see a report that one of them skidded off the road, etc first I hope no bystanders were injured and then I hope the PSD, army, etc drivers were killed.

Patta Pal said...

Welcome to the new world where the guilty believe they are the innocent and the innocent are treated as the guilty.

It is up to us to take this injustice on and try and get the docile to rise up as otherwise only when you are the victim do you think there is a problem

Jack Point said...

I think much the same, Offthebeatentrack and thanks for dropping by.

Goo point, Patta Pal.

T said...

ugh, things like this make me so sick. i'm told the colombo-kandy road is rife with incidents like these. there seriously needs to be some kind of people's movement against it, but where to start? i think the media needs to take it up as a priority issue.

Jack Point said...

Good heavens T, has it got as bad as that? I have yet to see a single news item on this.

I was on that road a couple of weeks back and the driving was terrible. At a traffic jam caused by an accident buses were opening 3rd and fourth lanes- on the wrong side of the road to get past the jam and creating a bigger mess in the process.

PP said...

i live somewhere along the colombo-kandy road so i have the great pleasure of using it twice a day. vehicles (not just buses) opening up 3rd and 4th lanes is nothing new. irritates me no end because everyone else sits in traffic while a bunch of idiots go and add to it.

t, imo what we need is someone to pick up from where the media leaves. ideally it would be the police but here i'm not sure who that could be.

Jack Point said...

PP, you raise the right question but it comes back the issue of who guards the guardians?

Corruption corrodes institutions, which means the courts the police and everything else does function fairly and equally. Ordinary citizens are then penalised or even victimised while the powerful (ie the rulers) have their way.

The state then becomes the tool by which the ruling classes oppress and victimise ordinary people.

lady grouch-a-lot said...

So so true.I really don't know what this country is coming to.Its just infuriating having to witness all this and yet not be able to do anything about it! :/