Colombo, Elections, Language, Media and Communications, Politics and Governance, Post-War

‘Uncivilising’ Sri Lanka

The SLPC Chairperson, Hudson Samarasinghe, is using vulgar telecasts and thereby contributing to the degeneration of language and public discourse within the country. The rudest forms of language used to refer to persons and the manner in which people are referred to publically are those which are considered in the language as most unacceptable. Such telecasts which last for hours are aired every day and the resultant adverse impact on the public discourse and the mentalities of person is enormous. This particularly has an adverse effect on young children who would use the language habits that they learned in the school by watching such public discourse. The language that is use is such that angry people use when they are quarrelling and is not the type of language that is used in civilised discourse.

The same type of degeneration is caused by the language of the Minister, Mervyn Silva who uses similar language even in parliament. It is the language of street thugs and is not suitable for any kind of public discourse. In public interviews telecast over the television a similar type of behaviour is exhibited by such politicians.

Meanwhile in the streets the dealing of illegal drugs is rampant and this is spreading into all parts of the country. There are no effective strategies to deal with the widespread distribution of drugs which once again affects the younger generation in particular in the most adverse ways. In much of such activities the connivance of the law enforcement agencies has been provided through the politicians and their influence in the government.

The electoral process is beset with ongoing violence. The accusation of the government’s abuse of resources and propaganda means are made endlessly. However, there is no attempt at all in any way to minimise or to undo the electoral violence. Everywhere the expectation is of the enormous odds that are created for the opposition political campaign and the possible use of fraudulent forms of voting in every possible form.

Throughout the country there is a cry against corruption of every form. The accusation of massive corruption involving the leadership of the government has been made in every corner and there has been no attempt by the government to deny any of the allegations. On the other hand there is no possibility of investigation into the massive forms of corruption that has spread all over. Not only is there corruption the likelihood of the spread of this corruption in every possible form has become the general expectation.

Making all this possible there is a complete state of lawlessness in the country and there is no agency that is capable of enforcement of the law. The powerful influence from the government works to subjugate the policing system and the police hierarchy is perceived by the public to be in complete subordination to the regime. No policemen are capable of taking appropriate action according to the law because of the repercussions they would face as a consequence.

Obtaining redress from the courts is marred by the absence of any form of protection for witnesses. Violence against witnesses has become part of the legal structure. Faith in agencies such as the Attorney General’s Department has been lost completely.

While the struggle in many nations is to overcome their limitations and to improve the civilised practices within their countries in Sri Lanka today it is a journey towards lawlessness and the abandonment of every possible convention that is known to civilisation. The political regime in power is doing everything in its power to ‘uncivilise’ the nation.