Photo of a reported teenage grease yaka. Looks more like the Joker. Via the Sunday Times
I dismissed the whole grease yaka thing as ridiculous. The Sunday Times, however, is reporting that “At least 21 cases have been detected while 47 have been arrested”. What I don’t get is that the police are saying that the Grease Yakas are a myth, and that they’ve arrested all the suspects. “[The IGP] said that the public should not disrupt their day to day activities because of these fake people.” How is that possible? How do you arrest fake people?
To recap, Grease Yakas are supposed to be people that grease themselves up, break into houses, molest/accost women and steal stuff. The yaka thing (literally demons) also has supernatural overtones, hence people are freaking out.
There’s a recent Daily Mirror article that’s an interesting summary:
Uva Province senior DIG Pujith Jayasundere who was responsible in arresting almost all the suspects as the incidents were mainly reported from his province said that the public should stop calling all robbers and thieves ‘Grease Devils.’
“We investigated 21 such incidents in Badulla, Mahiyangana, Girandurukotte, Rambewa, Siyabalanduwa, Alawathugoda, Kantale, Ampara, Nuwara Eliya, Hasalaka, Ridimaliyedda, Bibila and Nawalapitiya,” he said.
Basically, there are a certain number of robberies in Sri Lanka every day. They may or may not involve grease. In a bit of mass hysteria, however, some Sri Lankans have mentally grouped these robberies into one category. They’re tying suspected robbers to trees, actually killing some, and the police have probably investigated more theft today than in the past month. They’re not really clarifying things, but I think that’s it.
Grease Yakas are not for reals. Robberies are.