Shocking news emanated from Yakkala on Sunday. An intra-party tussle of the ruling UPFA had ended in the abduction of a 12-year-old boy, who was held incommunicado for hours before being released.
We reported yesterday that according to a complaint lodged with the Veeragula police, a gang allegedly led by UPFA MP Sarana Gunawardena had stormed the house of one of his former employees, named Primal and assaulted him mercilessly for switching allegiance to former WPC minister and aspirant to the chief ministerial post Prasanna Ranatunge. Failing to abduct Primal, who managed to escape, the gang had forcibly taken his son away.
MP Gunawardena has denied any involvement in the incident and accused his political rivals of trying to tarnish his image by levelling baseless allegations against him. The boy`s mother stands by her complaint to the police.
The abduction of a person, especially a minor, at gunpoint is nothing but a heinous crime and those responsible for the dastardly act on Sunday must be brought to book. There are eyewitnesses and a formal complaint in which suspects are named. Therefore, the police must make arrests forthwith. Let no lame excuses be trotted out.
If the ruling party politicians have no qualms about resorting to such brutal violence in battling one another, how savage they could become in dealing with the Opposition goes without saying.
It is a supreme irony that the political thugs of a government propped up by crossovers are trying to violently suppress dissent. Why don`t they recognise the right of others to disagree with them or break ranks?
It is not only the child abductors of the North who deserve a severe thrashing. Those who dare snatch children in the South, too, must be severely dealt with. True, the child abducted on Sunday was set free subsequently but let his release not be cited in extenuation of the flagitious act of subjecting him to trauma. His abductors must be made to pay dearly for their beastly conduct by way of deterrent punishment.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa is duty bound, both as the Head of State and leader of the UPFA/SLFP, to step in to have that incident thoroughly probed without letting it be hushed up and see to it that the thugs concerned are brought to justice without delay. The onus is on him to prevent the emergence of a bunch of Prabhakarans in the South at a time terrorism is being effectively neutralised and democracy rekindled in the North.
The South must be freed from the savage terror of the trigger-happy ruling party thugs.