Friday, October 03, 2014

The Chris Nonis incident: The culture of impunity and due process

Critics of the Sri Lankan Government frequently claim that a culture of impunity exists in the country. What could they mean? I found a definition that is useful:

The term "culture of impunity" refers to a situation in which people in a society have come to believe that they can do whatever they want with impunity (which means without having to face any consequences for their actions)....This concept is pretty much 180 degrees opposed to the idea of the rule of law.  The rule of law is the idea that all people will be punished if (and only if) they break the law.  There is no impunity for anyone under the rule of law.
Mr Chris Nonis, the country's High Commissioner to the UK has been assaulted. Can we expect an enquiry, leading to punishment of the culprit? Most unlikely. There is no report of any enquiry, only of attempts to cover up and hide the incident, which is a strong indication that nothing will happen.

Yet, when Mr Nonis was interviewed by CNN,  he was convinced that :

we have had a vibrant civilization for 2,500 years. We have perfectly educated people and I think we're perfectly capable of carrying out our own domestic inquiry."
I wonder how many people will still believe this?

To test the principle, all we need do is observe the outcome of this incident.  I'm not holding my breath and I don't think even Mr Nonis is.

Perhaps if Mr Nonis wanted justice he should have lodged a complaint with the New York police instead?  


Anonymous said...

You've made a good point there..දීපංකො උත්තර.
That infact would be the first thing that CNN would be asking us..bloody shame!

Anonymous said...

Nonis was full of hot air. I wonder if he now regrets it. The saddest part is that nonis probably genuinely believed what he was saying. He thought mr would come with justice for him but he was clearly wrong about that too