There was a recent news story about the grusome murder of a planter.
This afternoon I met a friend who had known the gentleman. He told me the story of what had transpired.
The estate concerned was a difficult one. The managing agents had sublet it because it was too difficult to manage. The unfortunate victim had been hired to try and put the place right.
Apparently the Pradeshiya Sabha members would routinely walk in to the premises demanding, at various times; tea, timber and even land. They were in the habit of making off with stocks of made tea, felling timber and encroaching on the land.
This planter had started putting a stop to these activities, for which he was beaten up once before. He was provided with security thereafter.
He was waylaid outside the factory on Friday, the security were chased away and he was beaten up. He was then shoved into his own pickup truck and paraded around the village-presumably to serve as a warning to anyone else who may want to try to control the banditry. He was later stabbed and killed.
We have thus yet another example of the State, through its agents preying on the citizenry.
When people say that a culture of impunity exists, it sounds like an esoteric abstract concept; one that is of little concern to the average law-abiding citizen. This murder is a good illustration of what this means in practice, to the average law-abiding citizen.
The citizen needs to walk in fear of the politicians and their hangers-on; whether it is a schoolmistress or a magistrate.
When DIG's are engaged in running extortion rackets and hit squads this should not come as a surprise to us. Is it any surprise that countries should issue travel advsories warning their citizens of the growing lawlessness? Instead of summoning the ambassador perhaps the Government should stop protecting criminals?
Update: The planters held a protest march last Sunday and a news report states that a powerful politician was behind the killing.