A procession down my street last week
Woke up to like 5 cops in my living room, rifling through my shit. Literally, there’s a guy with a T-56 looking through my DVDs. Re-tie my sarong and sleepily locate my ID. No warrant, no nothing. This is emergency. Thank God we’re not Tamil. It’s a Tamil neighborhood, which is otherwise lovely. Last week we saw this whale [sic] procession down the street, women with harvesty things on their head. Now I presume they’re getting their underwear looked through at 5 am. Asking where they’re from, what their business is here. There’s a army female at least. Kinda cute. But I digress. The cops here can come into your home, they can lock you up for months, etc. Understandable with the LTTE, but my only problem is that I definitely don’t trust the cops. They are complicit in abductions, bribery, murder, etc. Don’t take my word for it, that’s the word of the IGP. The cops are undertrained, underpaid and overpowered. They’re not especially qualified or trustworthy to be looking through peoples homes at 5 in the morning, but that’s how it is. This is emergency.
I don’t really like the cops. They’re corrupt, they’re a hassle, and they’re everywhere. More than anything they just waste your time. Go into a cop-shed for a police report and they’re sit there sleeping over their ledgers for hours. There are like 500 cops around and none of them does anything. The only person who has any authority is the Officer In Charge, so the system runs on connections and grease. This system runs slow, annoying at best, but leading to outright torture and murder in the worst case. Take the Balloon Man case, for example. Someone called in a bomb threat to a school, the police arrested the man on the received calls list and ended up beating him to death. He was the balloon supplier for a party.
I’m sure there are a great many good cops. It is, by nature, a noble profession. Unfortunately, Mahinda destroying the peace process has made Sri Lankans less secure and safe. This means we need more cops. Mahinda throttling the economy through money-printing, corruption (bloated cabinet, high positions and graft from his family) and war has meant that these cops get paid fuck all and trained not so much. Mahinda’s alliance with the LTTE splinter Karuna and his tolerance of kidnapping in Colombo has corrupted the police force even deeper. I read in the Mirror that Karuna members are going to start joining the Police Force soon. So now people there can report the people abducting their children to… the people abducting the children. Sweet. Meanwhile, abductions and disappearances continue apace in the NE, as recorded by the Government Agent. There are probably more unreported.
HRW also inspected a report from the Government Agent (GA) of Jaffna, which had statistics from April to December 2006. During that time, the GA registered 354 missing persons. HRW visited Jaffna in February and interviewed the families of 37 persons who had â€œdisappearedâ€ over the previous year. Of these, in 21 cases the evidence strongly suggested the involvement of government security forces. In two cases the families strongly believed that the perpetrators were members of the EPDP (based on their accents, appearance and cars leaving in the direction of EPDP camps).
HRW asked the Sri Lankan government about the armyâ€™s authority to arrest or detain civilians in Jaffna, as well as the number of persons the army is detaining in its camps. The government replied that the army can arrest individuals under regulation 18 of the Emergency Regulations, and it is required to hand over to the police all arrested persons within 24 hours (Daily Mirror)
In the NE abductors have to pass through government checkpoints, as do people in Colombo. While the army involvement remains unadmitted up there, the IGP of police in Colombo has admitted that the forces are involved with the terror in our neighborhoods.
Inspector General of Police Victor Perera announced that the police had arrested over 400 persons since September 2006 on charges of abduction, including â€œex-soldiers, serving soldiers, police officers and underworld gangs and other organized elements.â€ (HRW
Note that things have gotten so bad that you can say soldiers, police officers and underworld gangs in the same breath. Organized elements. They’re all tainted with criminality.
Anyways, I woke up this morning at 5:30 like wtf. Sleepy, right? I got work in the morning and I’m trying to be functional. And it’s cops and Army filling my living room. Not even our cops, this is some special project force from Borella. Looking at my ID, opening my work bag, checking out my bathroom. They want ID from everybody. Doing their ‘job’ I guess, but this feels like tyranny to me. I do not want the state in my living room at 5 in the morning. Feel like I’m quartering troops here. I understand that the war is on, but I wish this government would take some steps to ensure integrity in our armed forces before they ask us citizens to make these sacrifices. I’m quite willing to make them. Is our leadership ready to sacrifice with me?
I know it’s tempting to use a paramilitary, but Mahinda needs to disavow the Karuna faction. It is corrupting our armed forces with their LTTE bullshit. These guys were LTTE last year. They’re still terrorists. He needs to crack down on Ministers and their sons who violate our laws and literally beat up policemen with impunity. He needs to do something about the abductions in our city.
More fundamentally, Mahinda needs to either honor the Cease-Fire Agreement or let it go. He says we honor it, but we’re obviously at war here. Under the CFA we didn’t have these widespread searches. We didn’t have the LTTE holding our airspace hostage. We had 4,500 more lives than we did last year. Life was better and it sucks now. Just for reference.
I’m glad we got Thopigalla though, that’s pretty sweet. I can’t wait till that LTTE faction joins the police force and starts searching Sri Lankan homes at 5 am. Any children in the house?