Protect the vulnerable!
This silence is
deafening, disquieting and shaming. A seven year-old-girl has
been raped and killed in a most inhuman fashion, apparently, by
boys who are still in their teens in the heart of Colombo, but
the brutal act is yet to be even condemned by any quarter that
matters. It is a great pity that human life has come to be
considered by some to be so trivial and cheap that bizarre
crimes of this kind are more or less winked at and taken as a
matter of course.
This is the Blood of the Innocents that is being shed and
history should have taught humankind by now that such crimes
should not be glossed over or ignored. They must not only be
quickly investigated and those responsible brought to justice,
but those sections which are considered civilized must be most
vehement, loud and eloquent in their condemnation of these
On this last count, most sections in Sri Lanka stand
convicted and condemned. We are yet to hear any condemnations of
the killing or calls for justice over it, although there are
numerous organizations, including those linked to the state,
which profess to work towards the wellbeing of women and
children and other groups which are seen as vulnerable and in
need of constant care and protection. For our part, this
newspaper unequivocally and unreservedly condemns this heinous
killing of the girl-child.
Therefore, this deafening silence on the part of adult
society is most discouraging. What compounds the sense of shame
which stems from the gruesome murder of the girl-child is this
apathetic silence on the part of those who should know better.
Just in case it is forgotten, it needs to be borne in mind by
all who matter that ‘Evil grows when good men/women remain
To be sure, the law enforcers are doing their best to bring
the criminals in question to book. In fact, we are told that
some suspects are already in custody. This could bring some
relief but having a law and order machinery which is in fine
trim is only one aspect of ushering and sustaining social peace.
What is of equal importance is the decriminalization of society.
This is a challenge which should be faced squarely and overcome,
particularly in post-conflict societies such as ours.
Of the more vital institutions of the local state, the Sri
Lankan Security Forces are alert to this responsibility of
decriminalizing our culture and the psycho-social support they
offer vulnerable sections is commendable. But this is an
undertaking that needs to be accepted by all responsible
sections of our polity. Sri Lankan society as a whole needs to
accept this challenge and overcome it if future generations are
to inherit a more wholesome Sri Lanka. We need to work as one
man towards social justice and peace because of the
inseparability of the two.
We note that numerous organizations that espouse the cause of
women and other sections which are seen as vulnerable, have thus
far been ineloquent over the killing of the girl-child but this
is a matter for all sections that count themselves as being
among the civilized.
Before it is too late, all sections with a conscience need to
stand-up and be counted in this momentous undertaking of ridding
Sri Lanka of brute violence.
Hopefully, there would be a proactive involvement on the part
of all who mean well to make Sri Lanka morally wholesome and
free of the scourge of crime. We know for a fact that the state
is highly conscious of this problem. But it would need the
cooperation of all to bring healing to this land.
Never a day passes without our being told of violent crime.
Women and children, in particular, seem to be under threat. But
the ability to alleviate the problem resides in the hands of the
well meaning who should work concertedly towards ridding local
society of crime. Society needs to bear in mind this thought:
‘When evil abounds, the good superabounds.’