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Friday, 20 July 2018
Friday, 20 July 2018 | Sri Lanka Watch
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Lost sense of social responsibility in a post-war SL society PDF Print E-mail
A well-built man supported by four or five men assaulting a much smaller man using a large club while the man pleads not to assault him.

The man tries to keep himself from drowning in the sea as the waves take him further away by a few feet from the beach- more than hundred onlookers gathered on the beach watching the scene without uttering a word- and this writer for a moment thought the television channel was carrying a masala scene from a Kollywood or a Bollywood movie in the midst of its news bulletin.

Wait!!!!!!! It was not. Later realized it was a video footage sponsored by another television channel and the news was that the victim had allegedly been throwing stones at passing trains and vehicles.  The victim 26 years old Balawarman Sivakumar, a Tamil youth from Ratmalana then walked towards the sea to escape from the people who came after him to stop him. Police were called in to the scene later.
The scene was taken at the Bambalapitiya (a suburb of capital Colombo) beach. Later it was reported that the youth had gone missing and the police was looking for him- rather for his body as he was clearly forced to drown.

The writer just like many of the news viewers on Thursday night watched in shock wondering why none of the onlookers stepped forward to stop this daylight crime.

Well, the reputation of the local Police Department it seems is not charming enough for someone to refer to it as the police, but that does not under any circumstances encourage the ordinary people to take the law into their hands.

The saddest and the disgusting part of the news was that the victim was mentally unsound and had been treated at Angoda mental hospital twice. Obviously 99 percent of those onlookers who gathered to watch him being forced to death knew this fact as much as they knew it was him who had been throwing stones at passing trains and vehicles.
Unofficial reports said that the man had recently stoned a military vehicle where there were several army personnel on board. But realizing the obvious they did not harm the man- maybe attributed to the disciplines they practiced throughout a victorious war fought against one of world’s most ruthless terrorists’ organization.
However, later on Friday (30) the Navy divers found the body of the victim, took it ashore and the Colombo Crime Division (CCD) that undertook investigations soon after the video footage was aired indicating some sort of a police involvement, identified the main suspects as two police constables named Priyantha and Weerawardane in civil who were not on duty. Latest reports said that the main suspects surrendered to the police by Friday evening.  

Although, it is appreciated that the CCD was quick to arrest the culprits before a lapse of 24 hours, a huge question mark remains over the attitude of the ordinary public who insensitively ‘enjoyed’ the scene, this being a predominantly Buddhist country where you are encouraged to practice tolerance, kindness and love towards the vulnerable.

Hundreds of spectators watched the scene. But none had the courage to step forward to stop this incident that ended so tragically. Seeing these spectators the writer wondered whether the people of this beautiful country, renowned for their hospitality, in a land like no other have lost their sense of humanity and sense of social responsibility to not take the slightest possible step to stop this crime or to even utter a word against it at the time it occurred.

Was it because the victim was mentally unsound and not an equal to the culprits that the onlookers indirectly become offenders too? Shouldn’t someone have alerted the police and if the victim was a public nuisance let the police to arrest him and may be send him to an asylum for medical treatment later on?

By no means should the circumstances have allowed ordinary people to take the law into their hands and to take care of such people. What these shortsighted insensitive culprits did not realize is that such acts could be misused by the enemies of this country against the entire nation, given the current situation where continuous accusations against Sri Lanka been made about torture, human rights violations, police brutality etc.

Watch the the tragic scene

Video courtesy Daily Mirror 


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