country, two systems?
The LTTE claims that there are two legal
systems in the country, and our law enforcement process seems to be
getting sucked in by the force of this argument. Events seem to bear
are the final arbiters on the ceasefire agreement for example, and
they alone decide who is right and who is wrong regarding violations,
even though their approach hitherto has been to let such minor matters
(as far as they are concerned) take their own course, while the
bigger issue of peace is negotiated. The LTTE is only too aware
of this Norwegian strategy, which has the wholehearted approval
of the Sri Lankan government. Again, the LTTE has got caught with
its pants down, but expect no flush of embarrassment from them.
(Our page 1 lead article has the story.)
We also had
the case of the two LTTErs who were arrested in the Eastern province,
for violating the law of the land, who were produced before the
Court of Appeal, where they were granted bail with great dispatch.
Their Lordships of the Court of Appeal were not at all happy with
this turn of events, and said so in open court. The accused were
ordered to report at the Kantale Police station every fortnight
as per terms of bail, but they have not done so (who expected them
to anyway) and are therefore now in contempt of court.
It as an incident that clearly had the Sri Lankan system of administration
of justice at sixes and sevens, and even though the AG tried to
show a semblance of proper law enforcement, all he was able to do
in the end was to enact a farce.
we have the Jaffna Magistrate inquiring from the Norwegian monitors
whether a man who was in possession of a pistol has violated the
MoU. Since when has the MoU become an instrument of law in this
country? The Magistrate seems to have not got any guidelines, and
he seems to be at sea with regard to these matters.
The Colombo High Court has now in the latest dramatic episode of
these courtroom dramas, sentenced the LTTE supremo himself to imprisonment
(effectively) for life, and issued an arrest warrant. The Vavuniya
police is now entrusted with the task of going into the Mullaithivu
jungles and bringing Velupillai Prabhakran to justice.
who claimed that Prabhakaran and he are the same, calls the High
Court judgment 'ridiculous' and says it goes against the spirit
of the peace talks, and the political secretary of the terrorist
organisation calls for a general amnesty for all LTTE "war
crimes". While Dr. Balasingham thus pontificates on the spirit
of the talks, his cadres get caught smuggling claymore mines on
Friday night even as they were smoking the peace pipe in Bangkok.
The US embassy issued a statement just this week saying their de-mining
mission has cleared all anti personnel mines in Sarasalai in Jaffna
and is now leaving. But they better be back very soon.
is not just about what flows from the Prabhakaran conviction, but
about what flows form all of these other violations. It has to be
determined what legal status the MoU has over the normal law of
has predictably been tight-lipped on the Prabhakaran conviction,
and the mockery of justice will continue, and the LTTE's claim that
there are two systems of justice in the country will probably be
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