Police in Sri Lanka show their true saffron colours

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Lest we forget, the Sri Lankan police, who act under the orders and protection of the Ministry of Defence, are far from doyens of impartiality.

A few weeks ago, we noted that “it is quite clear that four policemen, no more than 3 feet away from and staring directly into the face of the Buddhist “monk” who is engaged in destroying private property isn’t quite enough these days for an arrest to be made”. There is evidence, from no less than the Government’s Minister for Justice himself, that the Muslim owners of the property the “monks”destroyed were forced to withdraw their charges against the perpetrators.

Contrast this Police inaction and collusion with fascist forces with their behaviour today in Colombo, against a peaceful vigil, as clearly indicated in a Facebook page that promoted the event. Sirasa TV captures the response by the Police in grim detail.

Clearly then, in Sri Lanka today, Buddhist “monks” destroying private property are kosher, but citizens attempting to light a candle, and walk peacefully in solidarity, are fit to be physically assaulted, hurled abuse at, arrested, intimidated and brutishly dispersed.

We feature below an audio interview with a participant at the vigil, who recounts his experience and the nature of the Police intimidation,

Channelled to us by @iromip Groundviews published a live account of the vigil on Twitter. @mhmhisham, @megtegal and others were also live tweeting the proceedings, including a number of updates noting that the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and others (possibly from State Intelligence services) were ardently photographing those at the vigil. The individual below was identified by participants as someone who wasn’t part of the vigil but actively photographing those who were present for it.

Photographer

Our tweets and retweets are reproduced below, and include links to several Facebook status updates as well that clearly highlight fear, concern and opposition to what is now mainstream ethno-religious extremism, condoned by Police and with complete impunity, openly supported by Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the government of Sri Lanka.

Click on each post for full text and associated media.

Update, 2.30am, 13 April 2013: A reader emailed and said that “by 8.30 Samuddha Jayanthi Mandiraya, the headquarters of the Bodu Bala Sena, had heavy army protection. Army, not police.” The peaceful vigil first congregated around the HQ of the BBS. The same reader flagged this photo of an individual, sporting a BBS t-shirt, who was also spotted taking pictures of the faces of those present for the vigil.

  • Esther

    My question is how come most of the people gathered were actually not Buddhists? I thought this was about Buddhists protesting against BBS?

  • http://thecarthaginiansolution.wordpress.com/ Mango

    The Buddha (allegedly) said, “Do no harm”. Why is it that when I see footage of these brutish, thuggish monks, that thought is replaced by great harm should befall these monks. There can be no doubt whatsoever that Gota (& MR) are complicit in the BBS’s activities. Have they actually lost their minds?

  • jeyakodi

    In 1958, 1977 and in 1983, SriLankan police watched and encouraged the yellow robed thugs and other Sinhalese thugs to kill and loot many tamils. A lot of them died. This is government sponsored all Sinhalese governments encouraged this type of behaviour towards innocent tamils. In addition now they have murdered more than 40000 tamils in 2009. The international community is still watching and have not acted.

  • Ediriweera

    @Esther…That is a LIE. The majority of them WERE buddhists. And how can YOU, just by watching a short video tell if the people standing there were buddhist or not. Do non-buddhist Sri Lankans look different from buddhist Sri Lankans? Even if some of them were not buddhists, what does it matter? Do you want to discriminate people even in peaceful protests? Your statement is clearly racist and you should be ashamed of yourself.

  • Sorinis

    Wish Sir John Khotalawela was around now to take care of the robed thugs.

    • galaxy

      Racist politicians enjoy political advantages by encouraging racist feeling among the communities.Very sorry Sri lanka