Crime blown out of proportion
Unlike in the past, today we
often read about serious crimes such as murder, rape and child abuse in
the country. Incidents of this nature could lead one to infer that crime
is on the increase. Hence, it behoves us to take a closer look at these
incidents to see whether the police or the Government is reprehensible
as all sorts of allegations are being levelled by the Opposition.
There is a large number of radio and television channels, newspapers
and websites at present which blow up stories out of proportion for
reasons best known to them. In days gone by, we only had the Sri Lanka
Broadcasting Corporation and handful of newspapers which reported these
stories in a free and fair manner.
However, crime stories, dramatised by unscrupulous scribes and
radio/television presenters as if they had been eyewitnesses to these
gory incidents, are lapped up by gullible people. The manner in which
these stories are projected by some newspapers and radio stations,
rather than discouraging such incidents, glorifies them and rouses the
curiosity of the present generation of youth. Moreover, such stories are
tendentious and presented with ulterior motives.
In other words, most of the print and electronic media today give
undue prominence to such incidents, thereby luring those with a similar
mindset to follow suit. There is a popular demand for crime stories
today, especially rape cases. Some newspapers, radio and television
channels, in a relentless competition with one another, exploit such
stories to gain the maximum mileage and cheap popularity to increase
their market share.
On the other hand, there also is a marked increase in reporting such
crime cases to the law enforcement agencies in the country. The Police
Department has spared no pains to apprehend such miscreants and bring
them to book. Hence the police are now uncovering almost all crime
incidents reported in the media.
In this scenario, one could run away with the idea that there is an
increasing crime wave in the country. It has now come to light that
almost all major crime reported in recent times has been either due to
personal disputes or sudden provocation.
Disgruntled Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, in the mistaken
belief that he could gain maximum political mileage by exploiting
certain crimes that had caught public attention over the past few
months, has said that a woman was free to walk from Point Pedro to Point
Devundara when he was Prime Minister. By this, Wickremesinghe had
attempted to paint a gloomy picture of the current security situation.
It seems strange that the UNP and Opposition Leader had apparently
forgotten the fact that not only a woman but even a heavily armed
soldier could not walk freely from Point Pedro to Point Devundara during
the UNP regime as LTTE terrorism was at its peak. At the time, nobody
could go beyond Anuradhapura for that matter, let alone Point Pedro.
Wickremesinghe fails to realise that it was President Mahinda
Rajapaksa who created a peaceful environment for anybody to get about
freely in any part of the country.
Opposition politicians should desist from attempting to gain petty
political mileage from any untoward incident. The Katuwana incident has
been a blessing in disguise for the JVP, at a time its small vote base
is deteriorating further. Will the Government, even in its wildest
dreams, instigate any attack on the debilitated JVP, which poses no
threat to the ruling party?
Would any Government politician even dream of getting involved in
such incidents especially in Hambantota, the President's home town? True
to form, the Opposition blames the Government even for any isolated
incident in Hambantota. Does the Government need to suppress its
political opponents who are incapable of posing any threat to it?
People are more intelligent and certainly no fools to swallow
Somawansa's bait hook line and sinker. The JVP owes a debt of gratitude
to the main accused for giving it a political slogan. The masses are
acutely aware that Wickremesinghe, who is drifting in the political
wilderness, would stop at nothing to browbeat Sajith Premadasa, who is
posing an increasing threat to the UNP leadership.
Sarath Fonseka, who is languishing in the political arena, having
gained a presidential pardon, has jumped on board the bandwagon by
exploiting the Katuwana incidents for his political survival.
The police are doing its utmost to track down all suspects of the
Katuwana double murder. In the event the Opposition is sincere on acting
in a responsible manner, it should help the police to carry out its
investigations rather than jumping to conclusions.
The police, in recent months, have uncovered several mysteries
pertaining to crime. The law enforcement officers have done much to
check undesirable characters in a praiseworthy manner. It would be only
a matter of time for the police to end crime in the country.
Nevertheless, the police alone cannot eliminate crime. Public
co-operation is of utmost importance and public awareness programs
should be held to educate the masses against crime.
If one were to analyse the most serious crime reported in recent
times, it is crystal clear that most of these incidents stem from
Crimes committed in the North and the East were not reported prior to
the eradication of terrorism. Today, the number of incidents reported in
the country includes those of the two provinces as well. Since the total
number of crimes reported in the country in recent years is marginal,
nobody could point an accusing finger to say that the crime rate has
It seems that even an isolated incident in recent times had received
extraordinary public attention due to the intense publicity given to
Any right-thinking person would condemn the Katuwana and Kahawatte
murders in no uncertain terms. It is the bounden duty of one and all to
create more public awareness to eradicate crime.
Religious and social leaders too should play a greater role to change
the people's mindset to banish crime in the country.