Policeman at Lasantha Wickremetunge’s funeral.
There’s a been a lot in the news about the cops executing people or, as the media generously puts it, drowning or getting shot while trying to escape. Recently a police constable and his wife were killed in Kamburupitiya by a brutal armed gang. That was a terrible event, taking place in front of their child. The police, however, seem to have gone completely around the courts on this one, with all of the suspects dying, well, suspiciously.
It’s actually a joke the amount of times suspects are killed trying to escape. You’d think they’d learn by now, but the media persists in reporting that suspects led police to a weapons cache, then grabbed one and were shot. Or that they somehow drowned themselves while running away, or decided to start a shoot-out once they were clearly surrounded.
One would think that suspects would read these media reports and not run away from cops but nope, they seem to keep doing it. Sri Lankan cops can be brutal and, according to the latest Global Corruption Barometer, are widely perceived to be corrupt. Cops will routinely beat or torture confessions out of people and are quite pliable in the case of influence. At the same time, small town cops can actually be quite helpful and the high ranking ones can be quite well educated and intelligent.
This getting away with murder, however, is pretty bad as it means that cops basically have a right to kill. I mean, we’re not really in need of Judge Dredd level policing just yet. If the cops can’t bring people to trial, then maybe they should be on trial.