The recent weeks have seen a litany of horror unfold itself in the unending spate of cases of child abuse and rape from all parts of the country. As a parent and a citizen of Sri Lanka, I have both helplessly and frustratedly followed the media coverage in this regard.
I place on record my grateful thanks to every media organization in this country for having brought this issue out in to the open. Yes, it is their civic duty to do so. And if they had not done so and will not continue to do so, we the public will never know.
Raping a child literally amounts to murder. He/she lives scarred for life, and the rapist (if unlucky) spends a few years in jail and is out again. We have read of how father and son have both raped the same teen-aged girl, of how a 16-year-old uncle raped his six-year-old niece, of how a policeman raped an already raped girl etc.
These are the very few cases that have come to light. I presume double treble quadruple that number has gone unreported and un-apprehended.
The rot is far too widespread and far too rampant to even contemplate plain imprisonment at this stage. The answer to this is nothing but the speedy imposition and effective implementation of the death penalty.
This is the only effective deterrent at this late stage.There will no doubt be a lot of argument against the death penalty but then how many more innocent little children are we going to sacrifice to the rapists until society decides to reform itself and become righteous ? Pure wishful thinking � alas. Let’s reverse the order and bring about the same desired change.
First the death penalty and then we address the other ancillary issues. Awareness should be consciously driven in at every possible level. It should start with parents who need to be vigilant about their children at all times – how they get about, whom they associate with etc.
We need parents / teachers to talk to their children and make them aware of being careful.
This of course depends on the age of the child and how they can be ‘educated’. We need civil society to be less apathetic and contribute to greater awareness.
We need our religious leaders to be less reclusive (yes please) and speak out. We need guest/rest house keepers to report incidents where adults bring under-aged guests. We need ‘van uncles’ to know that they are being watched. We need the police to get more and more actively involved in apprehending the culprits. We need laws to be relentless and far more stringent.
In short we need every possible level of society, from the home unit right up to the government to get actively involved against child abuse and rape. Minister of Child Development and Women’s Affairs Tissa Karaliyedde will no doubt have never-ending brickbats hurled at him from some quarters for moving for the death penalty. That is to be expected. He will also have thousand fold that number of bouquets for what he will be doing to save the innocent children of Paradise Isle.
Keep going at it Mr. Minister, please keep going.
Kumar de Silva,