Welcome felicitation of Child
attempt on the life of a medical doctor in one of Colombo's
suburbs ought to remind the local public that this country is
yet to register any marked progress in the decriminalization of
the Lankan body-politic. To be sure, the law and order machinery
is working to the best of its ability and has registered some
notable successes in recent times but weeding out criminal
instincts from the human personality is a task that cannot come
entirely within the province of law and order maintenance.
Decriminalization has more to do with emotional and spiritual
healing and inclines more to the areas of psychiatry and faith,
besides law, prison reforms, rehabilitation of prisoners and
However, we are compelled to observe that the attempt on the
life of the doctor also points to persisting intolerance and
hostility towards those with dissenting opinions. This is a
distressing societal trend which needs to be arrested because it
reflects badly on the democratic health of this country.
Accordingly, we call for a swift investigation of this incident
and urge that those responsible be brought to justice.
The onlooker cannot be faulted for tending to be downcast
over some current developments. Besides the rash of strikes that
we are witnessing at present over a multiplicity of causes and
the growing impatience among some to take their issues into the
streets rather than give negotiations a try, there is an
unsettling tendency among some sections of the public to take
the law into their hands.
Thus, law enforcers are often challenged by volatile sections
and this does not augur well for law and order maintenance. We
urge them to desist from doing so, for violence only begets
violence. If the public requires the best from its law
enforcers, the latter must be cooperated with in discharging
While the local body-politic should pursue the goal of
strengthening our democratic institutions to the best of our
ability, since this is a supreme national good which could never
be compromised, we cannot help but comment that there is much
this country could rejoice over, despite some of these negative
One of these is the abundance of brave and resourceful
children who may be even considered role models for our adult
population. Many of them were honoured recently at the National
Students' Bravery Awards ceremony, held under the aegis of the
Foundation for Civilian Bravery Awards. The majority of these
Child Heroes were conferred awards for their selfless heroism in
saving lives in perilous situations at the risk of their own.
Yesterday we highlighted some of these notable feats in a news
story. Some of them had even saved several lives in one go.
Exemplary lives such as these must make the older, adult
world sit up and ponder. Don't we owe it to our young to
bequeath to them a better world, brimming with immense
possibilities, rather than burden them with a world which is
lawless, cruel and directionless? Children are essentially
humane and well meaning, besides being idealistic and hopeful of
the best and ennobling things in life. We are duty-bound not to
disappoint them. Could we deliver on this hope?
The Child Heroes who were felicitated for acts of supreme
nobility, were no exceptions to a rule. The budding human is
rich with possibilities, but the iniquities of the adult world
do not permit the full flowering of the rich possibilities the
child is filled with. Every child has it in her or him to be an
example to the world but adult repression, besides other social
deformities, prevents the young from using their innate
capabilities for the betterment of the world.
We consider adult society conscience-bound to make the world
a better place for this country's children. The state should
play a principal role in accomplishing this great undertaking.
However, the issue must also be taken on by numerous other
quarters, such as, schools, higher educational institutions,
religious organizations, civil society and sports bodies, to
name a few. We need to launch a multi-pronged attack on