Police Chief Pujith Jayasundera has launched a new concept of “community policing”. The idea is to get the people to play a bigger role in helping the Police to maintain law and order and minimise crime. The move is laudable but the biggest threat to such an exercise appears to come from politicians. Then there [...]


TNA politico orders release of Ganja suspects who attacked police


Police Chief Pujith Jayasundera has launched a new concept of “community policing”. The idea is to get the people to play a bigger role in helping the Police to maintain law and order and minimise crime. The move is laudable but the biggest threat to such an exercise appears to come from politicians.

Then there is the question of some of his own men, like Police Station OICs, most of whom are often arrogant, anti-social and confrontational in their dealings with citizens in their own areas. The latest instance to illustrate the role of politicians comes from Kilinochchi, once the heartland of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). At the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) office there, a special unit operates to conduct lightning raids and bring to book wrong-doers.

This week the unit received a credible tip off that a group of Ganja (Cannabis Sativa) dealers, dabbling in large stocks smuggled in through the northern seas to Sri Lanka, were busy packing stocks. The contraband is the notoriously known “Kerala Ganja” variety said to be in much demand not only in the north but also in the south.

A Special Unit team went into action. They raided the Ganja den at Palai, the area which encompasses a thin strip of land that links mainland Sri Lanka to the Jaffna peninsula. They were in for the seizure of a big haul but an ugly event overtook them.Special Unit members, including a Police Sergeant, were set upon by the Ganja mafia. Using poles they assaulted members of the unit and a fist fight ensued. Police reported the matter to a senior officer who directed that all those who were involved should be rounded up and brought to Kilinochchi immediately. They were told not to hand over the suspects to any other Police Station.

After the assailants were brought to Kilinochchi and the Police were preparing to charge them with the offence of possessing large quantities of Ganja, and also for obstruction of duty and assault. Just then, a senior officer received a call from a key player in the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). He barked orders to the officer, telling him that the men caught were close supporters and to immediately release them. So the men who possessed Ganja and assaulted police officers were, as a Sergeant quipped, “Summa Yanna dunna” purely set free. Summa is a word in Tamil that stands for free.

It turns out that one of the suspects was the brother of the politician’s driver. A gazetted officer in the area, who was angered by the conduct of the politician, quipped sarcastically “this is how they save democracy.”

They have brought the matter to the attention of Police Chief Jayasundera. He is now expected to take up the matter with the Ministry of Defence on the grounds that drug prevention efforts by the Police, particularly in the North, were being stymied by politicians.
As for the conduct of ugly behaviour by his own officers, the Police Chief has said he would initiate tough action against those thwarting the community policing programme. They will be punished after investigations, a police officer said.

Dayasiri blasts UNF, but mum on why he took over
Barely 24 hours after becoming the acting General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), former Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera, directed his anger at the UNF government.He told his first news conference that issues were mounting in the UNF. Minister Mangala Samaraweera had fought with his predecessor Ravi Karunanayake over a billion dollar loan being raised from the National Savings Bank.

The SLFP's newly appointed acting General Secretary hitting out at the UNP during his first media briefing in that capacity. Outgoing Secretary Rohana Luxman Piyadasa is on his left.

Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka and his onetime Deputy Minister for Wild Life, he charged, had turned into animals. They were exchanging barbs at each other. He said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe should bring down to Sri Lanka from Singapore the Central Bank’s former Governor Arjuna Mahendran. “He can bring his trustworthy friend but is not doing so,” he lamented.

Perhaps Jayasekera has not forgotten the days when he served a short stint as co-government spokesperson. So he spent more time talking about everything else except why he took over as acting General Secretary.



Not Auld Lang Syne, but free for all at New Year ball
At a city night club’s New Year’s Eve dance, some revellers insisted that the Disc Jockey (DJ) plays only Sinhala songs when they greeted 2019. The DJ had started off the night with a mixture of English hip-hop songs in order to get the audience going throughout the night.
The DJ, unwittingly responded that he did not play Sinhala numbers angering the group. They insisted on their demand for Sinhala number. The result was an all-out brawl ahead of the New Year.

The Sinhala-song seekers were handed a mighty blow by the DJ who had used a liquor bottle to carry out the attack, in which four people were injured. A club security officer who attempted to make peace between the two parties was among the injured, who were admitted to the National Hospital. One had a cut on his ear.

The next day, the DJ surrendered to the Cinnamon Gardens Police and admitted to carrying out the attack. The embarrassed club management has now filed action against the DJ. Those concerned will spend at least a good bit of their 2019 attending court.


PHU mocks Mangala but its formula also does not add up
Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) members mocked Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s ‘victory salute’ when he explained the fuel price formula at a news conference.
They went through the same motions to lay bare what they called the ‘bala soothraya’ (Power Formula) during a media briefing this week. A PHU member held a placard which said:
The formula was as follows:

  • Majority = UNP + JVP + TNA
  • UNP + JVP + TNA = Federal Constitution
  • Majority = Federal Constitution.

A journalist was quick to point out to his colleague that the three parties could collectively find only 123 members and were far below a two thirds majority of 150 to pass a bill for a ‘Federal Constitution’.

New Year Kiribath for Temple Trees guardians
They earned the sobriquet of “Guardians of Temple Trees” during the 52 days they stood vigil with the then ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

They were all special invitees for Kiribath (milk rice) with Premier Wickremesinghe at Temple Trees on January 1.
There were many others, too, including businessman, police officers, bureaucrats and UNP supporters

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