|Wednesday, 6 August 2003|
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Politicos' bullying kith and kin
Some top politicians and their kith and kin are continuing to be in the news, but not for anything exemplary and ennobling. Here's where the rub is. Rather than remind the harried taxpayer that his payments to the public coffers are well spent when he votes politicians into office, this breed of terrorising politicians brings home the sad truth that a considerable number of politicians don't usually change their scandalous ways, whichever party holds the reins of office.
We are continuing with the theme of blustering and bullying politicians for the second day running on account of the outrages they are continuing to commit almost nonchalantly at public expense.
Hardly a week ago we had the case of a top politico's unruly son and the bodily assault he unleashed on a police constable who was trying to carry out his duties.
The unfortunate PC ended up with a torn ear. Apparently, the politico's son was at the helm of a brood of raving brats who were intent on spray painting obscenities on a convent wall in the heart of Colombo.
The public had hardly recovered from this outrage when it was given to understand that the close relation of another top politico had lacerated the ear of another constable who had tried to probe the damage caused by him to public property as a result of careless driving.
The venue was, once again, the heart of Colombo.
We are quite aware of the fact that there are a number of honourable politicians holding high office in this country.
We do not intend to class them with our breed of power-drunk, terrorising politicos but it should be plain to see that errant, blustering politicians could drag an entire administration into ignominy. This is the risk of suffering fools gladly. We urge that strong disciplinary measures be taken by party bosses against these politicians who not only abuse their own privileges and powers but fail to keep tight control over their kith and kin who tend to take the law into their own hands.
The UNP needs to set an example in this regard by implementing firmly the Code of Ethics for MPs which it has been talking about for quite some time now.
Concurrently, as suggested yesterday, complete protection should be provided to the police force against rampaging politicians, by the National Police Commission. We do not see how the law and order situation could be held intact if the police are expected to pander to the wild whims and fancies of politicians.
Besides, politicians should wield a restraining hand over their errant friends and relations.
Undemocratic behaviour on the part of politicians and their henchmen is not tolerated for long by the people. Past election results point to the people's sensitivity to undemocratic behaviour.
Come what may, the Rule of Law must be allowed to prevail.
If it is perceived that this is not the case, the chances are that some hotheads would take the law into their own hands. This would make everyone a loser.
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