The Sunday Leader

High Time For Law And Order

With the most recent incident of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) surrounding the office of Industries and Commerce Minister Rishard Bathiudeen, the President has taken a decision to establish a special Police Unit within the Religious Affairs Ministry to inquire complaints on religious matters. When The Sunday Leader queried several members of local political parties, there were varying responses regarding the matter.


Dr Vickramabahu Karunaratne Nawa Sama Samaja Party Leader

There have been similar activities through out of the country where Bodu Bala Sena monks were involved in threatening and assaulting people but the police did not arrest any of them or take any action against them. They are terrorizing people.

They are creating media fascism and some kind of hysteria in the country and the people fall for that. Unfortunately, there is no force to combat them.

Even though their actions are being highlighted, there is no mass agitation against them. We, as a small political party, are ready to join any group to create an anti force to extremism. These kinds of behaviours are dangerous.

What I don’t understand is why we are tolerating such groups. The hysteria of the country has come to the level where tourists are ordered to be deported for having a tattoo of Lord Buddha. In a way, having a tattoo is a form of veneration not disrespect. This particular tourist did not have the tattoo on her back or in a disrespectful place.

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MP John Amaratunga United National Party

I do not approve of various parties walking into various institutes or gatherings and humiliating ministers and other officials.

There is always a way to solve problems in a gentlemanly manner.

If they are suspicious of any wrong doings or hiding someone illegally, they can report that to the police and let the police do their duty.

It is so much better if they can appoint a special unit to take care of matters related to these religious groups. It is the responsibility of the government to control these kinds of groups.

First, I condemn the government for encouraging these groups and waiting till they get out of control. I appreciate the step taken even at the latter stage to control these groups.

That is a good step.
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MP Sunil Handunnetti Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna

When these incidents continue to happen, it gives the impression that these groups are actually the special police unit. Even high rank police officers salute these monks when they try to break into places.

There have been many such incidents in the recent past and police have done nothing to stop them. If any other group acts in that manner, they would be arrested with no questions asked. These extremist groups keep breaching the laws of the country.

There is no point appointing a special police unit to take care of the matters related to these religious groups.

If they truly intend to control these groups, they need to stop encouraging and backing these groups instead of being silent. Besides, the fact that they suggest to appoint a special unit says that the existing police units are unable to control the situation.

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Asad Salley Muslim Tamil National Alliance Leader

The police so far have not been doing their duty.

We have been saying that there is no law and order in this country. Nobody can just walk into a state or private institute and insult and assault other people.

That is unacceptable. If they have any issues with Minister Bathiudeen, they should take legal action.

These monks have been behaving and using very offensive and insulting language.

Why do they have to be violent? We have taken a decision to go to courts against them. For over two years, BBS has been terrorizing people. We do not have any confidence in the police.

We will have to wait and see how these special police units are going to operate.
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MP Mano Ganesan Democratic People’s Front’s

The continuation of these sorts of incidents is a reflection of lawlessness in the country.

There is anarchy. At several occasions, BBS General Secretary Galagoda Atte Gnanasara thero gave advance notices that the BBS would be acting as the unofficial police in the country.

Nobody can take law into their own hands. His statement itself is a violation of law.

By being quiet and not taking action against the BBS, the government encourages them. We have to blame the government.

The President says that he will not let anybody take law into their own hands and will appoint a special police unit to take care of these incidents. This is a good sign.

I do not think that it will come to practice. These groups are violent, arrogant fundamentalists that act like terrorists.

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MP E. Sarawanabawan Tamil National Alliance

We need to look into both the sides of this chain of events.

There must be a reason for the BBS to constantly go after Rishard Bathiudeen.

We do not approve of any person attacking religious places and interfering into religious practices.

With reference to other incidents, we are trying to study the situation.

Higher officials, specially the Ministers, have the capacity to defend themselves.

Minister Bathiudeen must have done something to offend these groups.

When ministers try to take the upper hand in some matters, it may enrage certain groups.

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Susil Kindelpitiya Democratic Front member

This is a multi religious and multi ethnic country.

The country suffered thirty years of war based on such ethnic issues.

After the war ended, the government should have found a political solution to the issues.

Instead of finding political solutions, the government has joined hands with extremist political groups like Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) and has helped them promote extremism in the country.

The recent election is a fine example that the minor religious and ethnic groups do not support the government any longer. There has to be a political will to overcome these problems.

The initiative to promote such groups was taken by the government and now it has come to a point where these groups cannot be controlled.

The government can control these extremists and give back the right of minor religious groups the freedom to worship and follow their religion, if they truly intend to do so.

Appointing a special police unit is a joke. We already have a police and laws in the country.

It is a matter of letting the police act and implement the laws. It is only a temporary solution to deceive the people and the media.

2 Comments for “High Time For Law And Order”

  1. Sylvia Haik

    Thankfully nobody is above the law in our country. Therefore there is no need for a special police unit to deal with the lawbreakers in the BBS. The existing police should act. If the government is not careful, the BBS will become the Achilles Heel that will make them lose their unassailable popularity. If that happens we will all lose. In no time we will host a US military base and more.

  2. Nobody can do anything against BBS. BBS is a brain child of Gothabaya Rajapakse. Let BBS ruin our country. In the name of religion they are destroying our country with blessing of Rajapakses. Go on BBS you have the blessing to destroy our country.

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