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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Different Perspective

This post is about the profession in Sri Lanka where you never hear a good word about.

Guess what it is?

Yes, that's right.

Sri Lanka Police.

A post I saw in another blog inspired me to write this.

That story in short is, the blog writer had lost her NIC and had gone to the Police to give her statement in order to obtain a new NIC. And so it happened that she had to face a lot of shit just to give her statement.

Not a surprise for most of the Sri Lankans.

But, I faced the same situation once, and my experience was totally different. I also lost my NIC, and went to the Police to give them a statement. It was two days after I lost it.

When I went to give my statement, they said ( there was a young guy whom I guess not more than 30 ) "oh, you don't have to give a statement. Just give us a letter saying that you lost it"

I was like, "oh ok..."
But I didn't have any papers or a pen with me. So when I was going to go out to get some, the young guy said, "where are you going?"
"To get a paper and a per"
"Oh malli, no worries, here, come..."
He gave me a pen and some a paper, and even told me how to write it.

Then took it the the necessary place, did all that was needed to be done. And asked me to wait a couple of weeks just in case whoever found the NIC decided to post it to me, which eventually happened.

It may also have helped that I was a university student at that time. They got to know that, and treated me really well. Asked me this and that about the university and all...

So, all in all, it wasn't really what I expected. Because, just like everyone else I was prepared to face some shit when I went there. But, it turned out that not everyone in Police is an asshole!

Villans or Heroes? Neither.

Now, in a bit more serious note, I like to take a look at the Police, and why it is what it is today. I know that though my experience was good, there are a lot of people out there who are honestly frustrated with the Sri Lanka Police.
But, in my opinion, there is a reason for that.

Because, not the individuals, but the system is what that is so corrupt and leads people to behave that way.

Just look at the policemen. Most of them are normal citizens just like that. But in their profession, from day one they face nothing but shit. And they get a salary next to nothing. And even when you do good, you never hear any good though when something goes wrong you are blamed from head to toe.

Then, we are the first to criticize them in every possible time.
Yet, how often do we do the wrong and try to get away?

Please do note that I'm not trying to say that the policemen are saints. They aren't.
But we are no better.

If you do not know a person who did some traffic offense and tried to get away, I will have to believe you haven't been in Sri Lanka long enough.

Trying to get away...

Just think how we act in such a situation.
These are a few common things you'd here.

"Sir, policiye ahawala mage yaluwek"
"Manthri thuma mage yaluwek"
"Sir oka api godin bera gamu"

Am I not correct?
Aren't we the ones who try to bribe them and get away from a larger fine?

This is jsut a common example. There are many cases where we try to mislead them even before they try. And, as mentioned before, they get nothing of a salary. They have children to feed, families to take care of.
So... when there is the temptation, who knows what...

Again, I am not trying to make them saints.
I'm just trying to look at the situation in a different perspective.

It is the system that needs to be fixed...


  1. Police has its share of bad eggs. Its also, got it share of good, decent human beings.

    yea, world around police have to take a battering.

    Its the system, but someone needs to fix it. Who will do it?

  2. Good point.

    When you come to think of it, it is a deadlock - or rather a circle we keep going around.

    It is the system that makes the people corrupt, and those people manage that very system!

    Is there no way out?

  3. We need someone above the trend in power to correct this situation. We need the political will to do it. People in glass houses cannot, and should not, throw stones :'(