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A criminal in deputy minister`s clothing
Friday, 20 April 2007 - 6:29 AM SL Time

The government has launched a much-advertised crackdown on the underworld. It says it wants to rid the country of crime and narcotics. But, its campaign won`t yield the intended results, unless the links between politicians and criminal gangs are severed first of all. It is not only politicians who have risen above the law. Crime czars, too, enjoy legal immunity, thanks to political patronage.

Successive governments have created many criminals. Contract killer, extortionist and convicted rapist Gonawala Sunil (UNP), the baby-faced monster responsible for many murders and assaults Sotththi Upali (UNP), murderer and extortionist Beddegana Sanjeewa (PA), killer and robber Wambotta (PA) and many other underworld kingpins would have been nonentities in the world of crime but for their political connections. (The JVP, too, made use of the underworld during its second insurrection to eliminate political rivals, as that method proved to be convenient and effective.)

Those aforesaid criminals reigned supreme in the underworld until they became too embarrassing to their political masters, who finally had to ditch them thus exposing them to their enemies who eliminated them in no time. In some cases, their political bosses got their criminal pets liquidated, as they knew too much. They may be long dead but other criminals have moved in to fill the vacuum as is the way with the underworld. And they are going places with the help of politicians, some of whom make no bones about their links with those unsavoury elements. In fact, some criminals have become members of VIP security divisions like Beddegana Sanjeeva, who served in the Presidential Security Division (PSD) under a former President.

Yesterday, our sister paper reported that a gang backed by a deputy minister?name withheld on legal advice?had extorted five million rupees from a businessman at Kiribathgoda. Those criminals who had once confined themselves to the Colombo city seem to have expanded their operations to the suburbs as well!

The alleged involvement of a deputy minister in an extortion racket is a damning indictment of the government that claims to be on a crusade against crime. How can it achieve its objective while some of its politicians are in cahoots with criminals? The government had better give serious thought to throwing the whole caboodle of violent elements in its ranks behind bars before targeting criminals. Perhaps, if that were done, the underworld would collapse in a heap with criminals falling, as a local saying goes, like ticks off a dead stag.

Most victims of extortionists choose to suffer in silence, as they have lost faith in the guardians of the law. For, the police are full of khaki-clad accomplices of criminals. A gang that used to extract protection money from businessmen at some shopping malls in Colombo had the audacity to tell their victims that part of their spoils went to some high ranking police officers! Following our expose of that racket, an investigation was launched but that is sure to draw a blank, as the police don`t want to open a can of worms for their high rankers.

Sometime ago, in these columns we commented on an incident where a gang had ordered a victim to double the amount of protection money he was initially asked to pay?for building on his own land in Nawala!?as he had reported the threat to the police! He had no alternative but to part with the money for the safety of his family. The Mafioso concerned died a violent death at the hands of a rival gang a few weeks ago.

The city has come to be controlled by murderers and drug barons, some of whom have taken to politics under the tutelage of some ruling party politicians. They have become so powerful that they are in a position to disrupt even raids conducted by the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) and beat policemen with impunity!

Politically backed criminals are thriving on the anarchical situation in the city, due to the absence of a strong administration, by functioning as eminences grises. This is a serious situation, which warrants the attention of the government bigwigs as well as the Opposition top guns. The blame for this sorry state of affairs must also be apportioned to the Colombo voters who returned certain unsavoury elements at the last Local Government polls. (Is it a case of the people getting the politicians they deserve?)

The alleged involvement of some ruling party politicians in criminal gangs must jolt the government into probing the activities of its politicians. It must order an investigation into the Kiribathgoda incident urgently, if it is genuinely interested in finding out the veracity of the allegations in question. Its failure to do so will be tantamount to a cover-up. The victim concerned may not have made a complaint to the police for fear of reprisals, but that is no reason why the police should not act.

If the government attempts an ostrich-like posture, it will be making a very costly political blunder. All it takes to bring down a government is a handful of rotten politicos! It is from them that governments have to save themselves!

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20 Apr 2007 13:20:18 GMT  Report for Abuse   
A crackdown on criminal thugs. Who is trying to fool whom. Can these politicians in our country be exist without criminals or vice-versa. Politicians and criminals are inseparable twins.

And the deputy minister concern. Your guess is as good as mine. It should most probably the 'Pinacharya Dutugamunu'.
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20 Apr 2007 16:26:39 GMT  Report for Abuse   
God save our country from terrorism and corrupted politicians.

The difference between Mervin Silva and others is Mervin is doing it openly while all other 200 odd MPs are doing secreatly. Bottomline is all politicians are same, from president to villege council member and ordinary civilians have to suffer

The biggest question is what options we have?? what we should do??? to which party we should vote???

we know the answer for terrorism, fight and eradicate it, but what is the answer for corrupt politicians?????? We beat one corrupt man and bring another, but cycle goes on.
Edited By - dumindak - 21 Apr 2007 05:33:19 GMT
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20 Apr 2007 16:55:41 GMT  Report for Abuse   
The biggest criminal thugs in the country are the Rajapakse brothers.

Goat-bhaya showed his true colours in public by directly threatening two journalists a few days ago.

Can anyone imagine that a democratically elected government contains thugs who threaten journalists and who are behind abductions of civilians for ransom?

These buggers can only countered by violence and they are going to get it sooner or later at the hands of the Tigers.
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20 Apr 2007 17:29:13 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Armed gang's uninterrupted 5-hour robbery spree

This is not the first instance. Senior military officers have been caught in car jacking and being members of underworld gangs. I think it was a Sub-Inspector who was caught and charged for chain snatching (Borella - Maradana).

Every drug lord has political and police connection.

So Sl is redefining the term failed state.
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22 Apr 2007 05:08:50 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Good. At least now the politicians are doing it openly. What else problems the lankan's need. Terrorism.Political name it we have them all.
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22 Apr 2007 07:20:47 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Whether like or not, good or bad the only answer for corrupt politicians is a JVP government.
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22 Apr 2007 09:51:59 GMT  Report for Abuse   

Are JVP politicians free from corruption?
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22 Apr 2007 10:07:39 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Dumindak, at last you have seen the light.

Are JVP politicians free from corruption?
yes so far.
Why we stick into UNP and SLFP ? try another means.
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22 Apr 2007 10:17:31 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Criminals in all sorts and types of clothing and robes.

One who allow kidnapping and killing
One who stop food reaching people
One who allow the killers of aid workers, MPs and young children are all criminals.

One who kidnap an MP to stop him voting is also a criminal
One who shhot and kill a (popolar) Prime Minister is a criminal.
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22 Apr 2007 10:44:48 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Are JVP politicians free from corruption?


What we are seeing today is a mass scale, open corruption. It has come to an unprecedented level and each time we select a new UNP/SLFP government its multiplied by many times.
We are not talking about eradicating corruption becuse it is unimaginable, but at least we should see a downward trend. But unfortunately the trend is going upward and we are seeing robbing public so openly and in huge scale.

I dont have 100% guarantee that JVP is is free from corruption but they will take at least 20-30 years to come to UNP/SLFP corruption level. During that period we can expect another political movement will come into force if JVP follow the same route of SLFP/UNP. Then people can leave JVP and join the new political movement. The cycle will go on.
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