Southern Lanka reaps what it has sown - Jaffna Daily
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 23 November 2004, 07:17 GMT]
Southern Sri Lanka is now facing "the unenviable and pathetic situation" of having to meet the consequence of its "blind pursuit of the policy of militarization and weapons acquisition" said the Jaffna-based newspaper Uthayan in its editorial Tuesday, referring to the re-introduction of the execution of the death sentence by the Sri Lankan government. Deserters from the Sri Lanka Army, numbering in the tens of thousands, are among the main sources of rising crime in the south.
The recent reintroduction of capital punishment follows the murder of high court judge Mr. Sarath Ambepitiya by gunmen allegedly linked to drug trafficking.
"This incident has jolted southern Sri Lanka. In a direct response to this, the government, headed by President Chandrika Kumaratunga, has decided to reintroduce death sentences in Sri Lanka. But, it is doubtful if the threat of death sentence will deter the underworld gangs", the paper said.
The editorial said that the threat of death sentences as a means to contain the underworld is a "misconceived aim".
"Although there is no reason to believe that the Underworld gangs are not blessed with longevity they are eternally exposed to death threats. Those who enter the under world 'survive' death almost daily. It is on reconciliation with the reality that death can visit them at any moment and the resultant mental aberrations, they readily resort to acts of crime. Hence, the threat of death sentences as a means to contain the underworld is a misconceived aim. It misses the central point", the editorial noted.
"The point is whether the question as to the cause, the fundamental cause for the proliferation, if the underworld activities and crimes has been addressed to by any one.
"The truth is that in the Southern part of Sri Lanka what was grown is now being harvested. It is the law of nature that evil begets evil", the edit said.
"When the liberation struggle of the Tamils in NorthEast gathered momentum sending storm signals, the 'chauvinistic approach' adopted by the governments of the Southern Sri Lanka, instead of treating the illness by finding its root causes, unleashed oppressive measures on the Tamil people. It is the governmental activities connected to this approach that generated the growth of the underworld gangs in unusual number, nourishing and bringing them up to their present 'glory'", the edit opined.
"The Southern Sri Lankan Governments amassed weapons for the purpose of suppressing the Tamil Liberation uprising. Elements of the Sinhala youth were blindly recruited to the Armed Forces. They were permitted the use of those weapons without control and accountability. The governments were complacent on the thought that those weapons are being used only against the Tamils. But now it has boomeranged in the South. The impact is so severe that the Southern Sri Lankan Society is being shaken to itís foundation as fears of breakdown of civil society looms", the paper said.
"The Prevention of Terrorism Act and the special provisions introduced under the Emergency Regulations and the connected military activities resulted in freely arming the youths of Southern Sri Lanka. They were permitted the free use of weapon without being accountable or answerable to anyone.
"The rise of a generation large in number and well organized youth which has acquired familiarity with weapons and skill in the use of them and above all secretly possessed of weapons obtained by illegal means", the paper said.
Comparing the situation in the NorthEast with the South, the paper noted that there were many organizations and groups amongst the Tamils that acquired weapons for the purpose of Liberation Struggle. "They have all now become defunct. There are no underworld elements now in those organisations or groups that once possessed weapons and believed that weapons are their only saviour. Even if some of them still survive they lack virility," the paper added.
"There may be sporadic presence of paramilitary groups or hirelings of organizations for Sri Lankan military intelligence in the Tamil homeland. But the Southern Sri Lanka is now facing the unenviable and pathetic situation of having to meet the consequence of its blind pursuit of the policy of militarization and weapon acquisition beyond limit", the edit opined.
20.11.04 Sri Lanka says death penalty for murder, narco trade, rape
19.11.04 High court judge gunned down in Colombo
13.03.99 Death penalty re-introduced