Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Court verdicts and national security

A week ago, the Supreme court of Sri Lanka ordered the defense secretary to remove all permanent road blocks in the city of Colombo. Supreme court issued the order after hearing a FR petition filed by a civilian. This controversial court verdict which was subject to much debate, has nevertheless been implemented and most (if not all) permanent check points in Colombo have now been removed. 

Today (7th) another restriction was imposed by the supreme court in a hearing related to the FR petition. According to the latest court verdict, security forces (excluding police) are prohibited from searching houses between 9PM and 6AM. If any searches are to be made during this time, security forces should be accompanied by a police officer from the appropriate police division.

Although the removal of road blocks have minimized the disturbances caused to civilian life, it is needless to say that both the above decisions have threatened national security to some degree. Currently the security forces are forced to use random roadblocks to check vehicles inbound to Colombo. Success of this method is arguable. And the latest court decision will prevent them from carrying out rapid search operations based on real time intelligence information. If the LTTE operatives use this window of opportunity to smuggle explosives into Colombo, consequences will undoubtedly be far worse than having permanent road blocks in place.

32 comments:

  1. I would argue that random road blocks are more effective than permenant road blocks. However in a time of attack, permenant road blocks can help in cornering off the perperators more effectively than random road blocks due to the fluid nature of random road blocks. I could like to see a central cordination of temperary road blocks to be more effective. My guess is that LTTE has used this temperary relaxation of security in the wake of court decesion to smuggle in explosives.

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  2. Sri Lanka Army Commander Calls Some Media as “Traitors”; IFJ Express Concerns

    Media in Sri Lanka faces another threat as comments attributed to the commander of Sri Lanka’s Army (SLA), Major General Sarath Fonseka, who labeled some journalists and sections of the media as "traitors" says, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).

    The Army commander in an interview with the state owned Sinhala daily Dinamina on January 2, 2008, "treachery" of the media was the only obstacle hampering the military’s fight to defeat the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

    "The biggest obstacle is the unpatriotic media," he said.
    I know 99 percent of media and journalists are patriotic and doing their jobs properly. But unfortunately, we have a small number of traitors amongst the journalists. They are the biggest obstacle," he claimed in the interview.

    "Attempts by senior power-holders to discredit journalists because they do not toe the line on government propaganda or because they resist intimidation and bullying seriously undermine media freedom and freedom of expression," IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

    "The tight control exercised over the media by authorities in Sri Lanka is obstructing citizens in their right to information. But the public have a right to know all points of view, even those that place the Government in an unfavorable light," she added.

    "Apart from physical threats, the Sri Lankan press has to deal with the interference in editorial independence, including the use of economic or legal sanctions, such as restrictions on newsprint, the indiscriminate use of search and seizure powers by the tax authorities or the freezing of assets, and even in the publication of a newspaper," a media rights group told TNS.

    The local media rights group, the Free Media Movement (FMM) alarmed by the Army commander’s comment. The FMM also extremely concerned that three journalists involved in a dispute with Labour Minister Mervyn Silva reported receiving death threats.

    Pointing the government and high official direct involvement, another rights group says, "The affront to free press freedom and freedom of expression follows a series of exceptional statements by a number of high officials in government, including senior ministers and the Secretary of Defence, who have grossly undermined press freedom, severely curtailed free speech, and stifled investigative reporting on defence-related matters and high-level corruption".

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  3. Tamil Tigers Establish Legitimacy in Sri Lanka’s War Without End

    The territorial claims of the Tigers preclude any logical settlement, according to the Sri Lankan government. The Tigers are laying claim to the entire northern part of the island, the East coast and part of the West coast. Stephen Cohen, a South Asia expert at The Brookings Institution, says there is no hope for peace in Sri Lanka. He believes the barbarous civil war will drag on for decades. In fact, he told me that he knew of no conflict as hopeless as the one in Sri Lanka. The Tamils are in the majority only in the north. But at least in their northern stronghold, the Tamils have won. There, the Sri Lankan government is forced to operate through Tamil agents – a de facto recognition of Tamil autonomy. Like Hizbollah in Lebanon, the Tigers have established legitimacy. The dilemma for the United States is recognizing that a group we have labeled as “terrorist” has become the legitimate expression of a people's aspiration.

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  4. I'm a bit dissapointed the Attorney General's department arn't making a stronger showing in these types of cases. Ask for a closed hearing, show the bench some of the current threats and take them through the pros and cons of counter measures available.

    These failings at a time the service chiefs are being called to give evidence by video link for trials overseas (and AG's dept in certain instances sending reps to attend) is pretty deplorable.

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  6. Supreme Court's Business

    It seems that the SC is stepping beyond its boundaries here. Setting up new laws and set the time security forces can arrest somebody is none of the SC's business. That shall come only from the legislature. I have my strong doubts that SC has any teeth to issue such directives. As far as I know, the emergency laws give police powers to the armed forces. Therefore, no local police is required. Can somebody knowledgeable of SL emergency laws enlighten us?

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  8. No night searches of houses, orders SC

    The Supreme Court yesterday ordered that night searches of houses should not be done, unless they were extremely essential and had reasonable basis.

    The bench comprising Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, Justices Shirani Tilakawardane and Raja Fernando made the order following a circular forwarded to the Supreme Court by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa with regard to road blocks and checkpoints.

    The Chief Justice said residences should not be checked between 9 pm and 6 am unless there was a specific reason. He said even during such search operations a police officer from the relevant police area should also accompany the party.

    The court also said permanent checkpoints could not be put up on the roads and after discussing with the local authorities, said at least one side of the road should be reserved for parking of vehicles.

    The Chief Justice said the newly implemented traffic plan in Colombo submitted to the Colombo Municipal Council by DIG-Traffic was contrary to the earlier Supreme Court order. The Supreme Court also said the chief occupant should be held responsible if any unauthorized firearms or explosives were found in any residence.

    The Defence Secretary had forwarded the circular relating to checkpoints and road blocks. Following an earlier Supreme Court judgment relating to a fundamental rights application filed by a motorist who was arbitrarily arrested and detained by a group of police officers attached to the Kirulapone police station.

    The Defence Secretary had said any shortcomings taken place during search operations, should be reported to the Officer-In-Charge of the relevant police station.

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  9. SC Judge allegedly threatened by monk

    A Viharadhipathi of a temple, who was arrested for allegedly making threatening phone calls to Supreme Court Judge Nihal Jayasinghe, was remanded till January 21 by Mount Lavinia Chief Magistrate Harsha Setunga yesterday. The Viharadhipathi of the Vijitharama Temple of Asgiriya in Gampaha had allegedly continued to make eight threatening calls to Justice Jayasinghe’s residence at Mount Lavinia despite being informed that it was the residence of a Supreme Court judge. Following a complaint to the Mount Lavinia police, it was found that the phone which was registered under the name of the monk had been used to make the alleged threatening calls.

    Attorney Laksiri Hettiarachchi appeared on behalf of the monk.

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  10. Is defenceline a moderator of defencenet?
    Are we supposed to read all pro-LTTE/anti-government news throgh this blog?
    Does anyone has any problem visiting other web sites read news of his/her choice?

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  11. Defenceline,

    The army commander did not brand all journalists as traitors; nor did he elevate them to the realm where angels reside either.

    The conduct of some journalists are despicable - mirror group, lankaenews and the like - and the commander chose the most decent word in his vocabulary to group them.

    Their agenda is bringing RW back to power. To achieve that hollow goal, they sacrifice the morale of the forces, their magnificient achievements on the battle field and the survival struggle of the nation as a whole, on the altar of political ambition.

    Can any responsible citizen, let alone the army commander, call those elements, a bunch of patriots?

    Norway tried to bully the successive governments by playing economic and diplomatic cards for some time; and they succeeded somewhat with that; in the end, whole mission backfired spectacularly; all wheels have come off that bandwagon.

    The fate of news organizations manned by these so-called journalists, is going to be the same; it shows, even in the bloody game of politics, it is motive that counts.

    The day they are forced to lick their wounds is not far; let's enjoy the rare spectacle of these journalists eating their own words in a collecitive way.

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  12. Guys,

    The funeral of Chales seemed to have taken place in darkness; very unusual for a funeral.

    Pottu has resurfaced after a long absence and so have Banu and Balraj.

    Please click this to see it.

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  13. I am glad that the courts and judges are coming to the aid of the suffering people. Due to utter disregard to the people who are suffering by the security agencies and arrogance shown by the politicians. the only comfort we get is from the courts. This day and age having road blocks is no way to fight the terrorists only harms the economy and livelihoods of the people. These insensitive and desperate methods are due to lack of proper intelligance,lack of effective procedures suitable to this day and age. Learn from the countries that effectivly track down the terrorists without damaging the infrastructure. Get their expertise, I say. Those who live in the developed world should know as to how they tackle this menace without midnight searches and road blocks.We must make a proper balanc between action that is required to stop terrorists and daily need of our infrastucture or we may play into the hands of the terrorists.

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  14. Sri Lankan opposition accuses government of "war-mongering"

    Accusing the government of "war-mongering", Sri Lanka's main opposition party Monday claimed the decision to scarp the ceasefire had benefitted Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) aspirations for a separate state, weakened the country and "disappointed" the international community, including India.

    "This self-serving decision of President Mahinda Rajapakse has weakened us (Sri Lanka) both internationally and domestically; it benefits only the LTTE's aspirations for a separate state," PTI reported here quoting Sri Lanka's United National Party statement.

    "Friendly countries such as the US, Japan and India as well as the UN have voiced their strong disappointment and disapproval of the current situation. Many donor countries are of the same view," it said reacting to the decision to scrap CFA with effect from January 16.

    The UNP said military assistance to Sri Lanka from the US, India and the UK "symbolized the international community's faith in the ceasefire agreement and their backing for the ongoing peace initiative".

    "It is clear that not only have the blood-thirsty and
    war-mongering rulers of this country lost touch with reality but they do not have the capacity to learn from past experiences -- both internationally or locally," the UNP said.

    The party sought to know how the President intended to conduct peace talks with the LTTE from "this weakened position".

    "President Rajapakse should explain to the people of Sri Lanka why he was abandoned the framework for a negotiated settlement to the conflict in the country.

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  15. Re:Sankanthi photo's

    In the last photograph of Charles' barrial you can see another grave dug next to charleses.Can we assume that another top carder was burried their subsequently.

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  16. Ninja bandara, defenceline is not a moderator. All members of defencenet team use the shared account 'defencenet'

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  17. defenseline is another LTTE pro terrorist supporter. All he does is post PRO LTTE, fake eelam, articles. He loves tamilnadu, India, his homeland.

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  18. Dear DefenceNet,
    Please do not remove any comments from defenceline as it shows the idiotism and bankruptcy of MAD Supports of LTTE Terrorists.

    In case of too long or too much comments, we can always create mirrored DefenceNet blog for defenceline and let the begger post as many comments as he wants there.

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  19. PATRIOTS

    anyone can write somehing and circulate an e-mail regarding this..(please attach this)
    becoz im not good in writing things

    http://patriotsrilanka.blogspot.com/2008/01/sirasa-news.html

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  20. Who says the they are not terrorirsts who died due to bombing Voice of Tigers Station?

    Tigers = LTTE.
    LTTE = Terrorists.
    So,
    Voice of Tigers = Voice of Terrorists.

    No nation let terrorists to broadcast there brutal ideas to world.

    Terrorism should be viped out in order to keep the law and order and Peace in anywhere in the world!

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  21. my my..Breaking News,
    "sri lanka to be invaded by 7th fleet within the week"..According to "influential" western sources(one guy having a "kapucha" in macdonalds 'n' packet of crisps-before going for his petrol station job)the 7th fleet, currently in pearl harbour will be leaving for SLanka shortly.It has been revealed that this is due to protests by citizens of those countries who have been taking to the streets in the 10s of millions to protest about the "human Rights" abuses in SLanka.Gentlemen we are doomed!!

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  22. Voice of Tigers = SIRASA TV
    First, SLAF Should bomb Depanama, Pannipitiya.
    If anyone have lot of money, you can buy Sirasa people for money, and can easily destroy the beautiful country Srl Lanka.

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  23. isn' t there a way to stop posting long articles guys... it's so irritating to so long tamilnet articles filled up in this valuable place.
    defenceline, u r not that clever having a misleading name but all in all u r a die hard bootliker...
    "nama wenas unata kotiyage pulli wenas wenne na"

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  24. ya i agrred the idea (I think all of us can come to that conclusion), it's un necessary to publish lots of Bla bla.. here...
    it makes the blog a mess..

    becoz most of the ppl come here in touch with those sites..
    if U guys reall want to point out something just put the reference + highlighted part only,

    anyway we must thank everyone who supports this site and visits

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  25. * Although the order was given to stop permanent check points, 75% off them are still in operations, including the major one's at the entry point to colombo.

    * I can't recall any suspicious vehicle been caught at a checkpoint. Most of them were by tip-off's.

    * Random check point's are more effective, as, LTTE pussies have to keep changing their supply routes daily.

    * Mass checking, by stopping all the vehicles is simply pointless, as they can easily turn back and try another day. Plus it is obvious that, they carry out these only on Poya-days and Sundays, so any supplies obviously avoid these days.

    * The order doesn't ban checking in the night, Merely requests a police officer to be accompanied.

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  26. blast in ja ela. keep an eye on new article for updates

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  28. Are we in LTTE territory ? Bec of one person's appeal 20 million is suffering. Check points shd be there

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  29. Chaarmax

    your comment
    * I can't recall any suspicious vehicle been caught at a checkpoint. Most of them were by tip-off's.

    I have to disagree.

    Just one example:Kotavehera 1000Kg bomb was discovered at a random check at a road block.

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  30. srilanka ranks as the 2nd worst place for journalists to work,according to a recent survey..topping the list is pakistan..folowing are iraq,afghanistan,i think..

    MR & co are dragging this country into a state of anarchy(it already is)..the government wants us,the gullible public,to ignore all their dirty deeds,by using their war victories,as cover..how pathetic..they also brand anyone who opposes the governments ill-deeds,as a traitor!!..as shown,by this weeks coment by the army chief,branding journalists,as traitors..

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  31. Renegade,
    That is nothing new. Every country involved in war, labels anyone against it as a traitor. It is even same in US too, even when that war is unjust. It is not pathetic. It is human reality.
    But it turns pathetic, when some people live in the relative safely provided by the military and complain about it at the same time.

    At the end of the day judiciary have rights to give their verdicts. But we have a place call parliament where we can implement or change laws accordingly. Parliamentarians get so exciting by passing laws for ban on selling animal protein in Poya day and things like that. If they really want, within the democratic system, they are able to provide the required power to the military. Even though I love to blame CJ for it, I think this is not his fault.

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