Monday, June 09, 2008

Eelam declared

Well, at least that's what this should amount to. The government has made it a requirement for 'people of the north' to get special permission from the police to go to any place in the 'south'.

Here's a Sunday Times report,

Civilians in the north will be required to obtain Police passes to travel to Colombo or other areas in the south in terms of new measures introduced by the Government. This requirement will apply to those living in the districts of Vavuniya, Mannar, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu. Those wishing to travel will be required to make a written application to the Police giving reasons for the visit, places where they would stay, the duration and intended date of return. [..]

The pass system has already come into effect in the four districts,” Vavuniya’s Additional Government Agent S. Charles said yesterday. [..]

A Government official who did not wish to be named, said the new measures were intended to prevent infiltration of Tiger guerrillas into Colombo, its suburbs or other areas in the south. He said the string of recent bomb explosions necessitated the new move. “Now, any person in the north moving around without a valid pass from a Police Station will be liable for questioning or arrest in the south,” he added. [link] (emphasis mine)

In other words, all 'people of the north' now require a visa to come to the south. That should amount for something like a deceleration of a separate state, by the 'southern government'. I mean, even Indians can come here without a visa.

The constitution of Sri Lanka guarantees freedom of movement for all citizens, by denying this freedom of movement to people of the northern districts, the government accepts these districts no longer constitute the democratic socialist republic of Sri Lanka. If I was an Eelamist, I'd be partying today.

Sri Lanka now is one sad story. Rule of law is replaced by Rule of brutes, not even men. The constitution is ignored, elections are rigged, any Jack or Sunil on the road can strip search me if they wanted to. There's no privacy, no such thing called civil liberties and really, there's no dignity anymore. I've stopped complaining, because frankly I don't see anything changing nor do I know how to change things.

Maybe sanity will prevail and the supreme court will be made to intervene like the last time the Rajapakse administration decided to round up a bunch of Tamils in Colombo and give them a free ride to "where they came from". Or maybe, this time we'll just shrug and not say anything. Fear can do a lot to people. After all, you can technically argue that freedom of movement haven't been curtailed here, it's just been made really difficult and an ignoble exercise.


sittingnut said...

me thinks you are exaggerating too much about a understandable security measure . and elamists will not be partying imo , but perhaps you know better ? :-).
will sc intervene? may be, may be not. then we will know whether it does contravene freedom of movement or just a another form of identification.
(whether id cards are a infringement of privacy is another question, which depends on the evolving value of different rights according to circumstances.
which ones should we value most? privacy or life? movement of all to movement of some? etc etc . without addressing all that your post is superficial in that angle as well
fact that sc can intervene and has done so says that constitution is still active . in spite of your claims
same with all your other claims. most of which btw are common to almost all countries.( nor are they new here as you imply )
your exaggerations and lack of proportion, probably have more to do with your other personal frustrations perhaps
and do complain . who is preventing you ? a ghost of your own creation perhaps ?

anyway glad you are so concerned about right of movement of ppl in north . bc i have not seen you speak up for their human rights, justice , democracy and freedom all curtailed by ltte . when have you ever asked that ltte be bought to justice using force if need be to protect those rights?

and about elections - even imperfect elections ( not as bad as you without much proof claims ) is better than election where only one vote is cast .
but perhaps since you say this is worse, you prefer one vote ? or 90%+votes for one candidate?

Deane said...

Sittingnut, Your self-proclaimed libertarian credentials appear rather shallow each time you put up a knee-jerk defence of government policy, especially in circumstances when individual rights have clearly been violatd.

There can, possibly be a libertarian argument constructed for "A war" against the LTTE, who are, without doubt, a bunch of sophisticated Gundas, but what's been fought by Mahinda is not that war. This is not a principles law fought for "democracy, justice, freedom ladi da". I've seen you make this argument before, but surely, you realize that is just nonsense.

When you make such comparisons like "movement of all Vs. movement of some" you further loose credibility in your claimed principles, that's just elevating democracy over liberty, which amounts to nothing but mob rule. Mob being the weak choice between a terrorist and a pseudo-dictator. The fact that the dictator was elected (under trivial circumstances, as you may recall) matters little here.

A does barely hold, but not in areas where it should. A system of governance where the constitution is not supreme is a joke, especially if that country is run by morons. That's what we have.

Bottom line is this is wrong plain and simple. As someone who routinely advocates crushing the LTTE to safeguard democracy, justice,human rights, of the people of the north, I thought you'd be the one who should be writing this one. But surprise surprise, nothing of the sort.