Two friends of mine are dating. They were walking home from coffee along Marine Drive. A bunch of cops stopped them, harassed them and threatened to call their parents and place them under arrest. For walking together. They solicited a bribe but my friends got away without paying one. The cops had their info and called them the next day, looking for money. WTF.
Archive for the 'Security' Category
I think Scarface put it best when he said, “when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women.” Alternately, “then you take the women”. There are enough women that fawn over money or power that some men seem to think that anything else is just playing hard to get. In fact, it’s often not. They’re saying no, and you’re raping them. Like Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK).
To quote the Beatles, I used to get mad at my woman, I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved. Yes I was mean, but I’m changing my scene, and I’m doing the best that I can. This in lyrical form, is kinda what many social scientists are saying about large groups of humans beating and killing other humans. It’s getting better all the time. There is a steady decline in both the quantity of lethality of war. We are now living in what may be the most peaceful time in history, yet the weird magic mirrors trick of mass media makes it look like the most fearful.
It seems something of a tautology. Suicide bombers are suicidal. This is, however, not the dominant view. According to Mia Bloom at Penn State, “You don’t want to conflate the Western ideas of suicide with something that is, in the Middle East, a religious ceremony.” I still find that most western analysts of suicide bombing falter, however, when they make it a Middle Eastern or Muslim thing. The Sri Lankan example is proof that it isn’t and a scientific study of the thing has to go beyond the 9/11 bias of focusing on a strange Muslim threat. I once read a profile of a Sri Lankan suicide bomber in Marie Claire which talked about how she was repeatedly raped at 7 and how other LTTE bombers were from similar background. In that vein, these scholars Williams and Lankford may be on to something when they say that many suicide bombers have suicidal tendencies themselves. The bombing organizers they interviewed, for example, have none.
There’s been a debate on The Sunday Leader site about female sexuality, among other things. I thought this comment by Mohottige was interesting (in response to someone else) – ” ‘An educated man will not marry a prostitute from Sri Lanka… Because he has other options’ What about all these educated Sri Lankan men who also have had sex before marriage? And they are many ! (since no woman can loose her sexual virginity without there being a male”prostitute” present). So where should a Sri Lankan girl go to find a male “virgin” to marry? Not in Sri Lanka anyway, beacuse most men here have practised sex before marriage and are thereby, by the standards mentioned by several “thaliban” writers here, simple male prostitutes.” Virginity is a weird thing because it is demanded from women and discouraged in men. Yet, logically, this does not compute. Either both sides need to be virginal, or there needs to be a compromise.
There’s a slightly odd story on Ada Derana about a joint Army/Navy operation to rescue a beach ball some kids had lost at sea. It’s sweet that the Army guy swam after the ball and a Navy boat actually picked it up. It’s is, however, rather odd that there remains such a military presence that children are playing within distance of Army, Navy and perhaps Air Force. Foreign friends have found it a bit odd that there are so many armed soldiers, but I think many Sri Lankans find it reassuring. I actually do. The only security forces that weird me out are the Police. The military, however, has a generally good reputation and they are everywhere. This is not viewed as necessarily bad.
Lately the cops are out in force, parked around corners and waving people down. This is not necessarily bad. They’re not on checkpoint duty and it would be better to enforce some better driving. In many cases, however, that’s not exactly what they’re doing. Take the Green Path checkpoint for example. They’re basically fishing for bribes. My revenue license was expired and I knew it. Whether they’re allowed to pull you over for nothing is one thing, but they do and I was doing something wrong. So I asked them for a ticket. The guy takes my stuff, hems and haws, talks about how I’ll need to go to magistrate’s court (I don’t) and how difficult it is (it isn’t). I just shrug and say that’s OK. He gets confused, hands me my stuff back and asks me for a ‘small favor’. I smile and drive off. It took me another week to get my revenue license, in the course of which I got asked for bribes about three times before finally getting a ticket.
They can’t really assemble Parliament until Nawalapitiya and Trinco are repolled. What for the (extraordinary) violence there was. Perambara has a reporter down there now posting updates on the Twitter. Seeing as all the (limited) attention is on these few polling stations violence seems unlikely, but who knows. I suppose there are still scores to settle. I think Mano Ganeshan (leading Tamil politician) is running from there. I think he may’ve lost last time so it’ll be interesting to see how that turns out. The fate of recent/late UNP crossovers like SB and Keheliya Rambukwella will also be decided.
Over the last few days the government has moved to consolidate control over both the military and the media. In the Army, the Chief Of Staff was changed and 12 officials have been forced to retire. The latter I got view a JNW news alert and I can’t find the info online. In the media, the Lanka newspaper was shut and just now reopened. Even people within the state media are under investigation for involvement in a possible coup. I don’t think there was ever a serious coup threat, especially from Sarath Fonseka, but who knows what fissures there are deep in the military. What remains is a highly militarized country under consolidated control. Who knows what will happen to the media.
Let me describe the scene at the Cinnamon Lakeside. You drive in and one side of the road is closed. There’s a bottleneck at the roundabout. There’s a copshed right there, what look like riot police at the gate. As you turn in smart Army guys speak to you, politely check the car, take down IDs. After slaloming round the other stopped cars and some roadblock buses, you pull into an entirely normal hotel. General Sarath Fonseka is on the third floor.