A Police State Called Sri Lanka!

Have been hearing more and more horror stories of people being picked up by the police for no apparent reason. Otheer than of course, the cops decided in their infinite wisdom that these people were behaving in a suspicious manner!

Of course, this was brought home to me in a much better light, when I decided to take a late night drive last Friday night…..

Having thought to drive a certain distance, I soon realised that I was a little too drowsy to continue. So decided to turn around and make my way back home. This didn’t seem to be working too well either, so I decided to stop for a little while, have a smoke, and then get home. Little did I know that it would have been better for me to risk meeting with an accident than stop on today’s roads.

Having gone through half the smoke, I noticed a police jeep making it’s way towards where I was parked. I naturally switched on the interior light of the car in order to let them see that I was alone in the car and there was nothing funny going on.

This apparently wasn’t enough as they thought they would anyway stop and investigate. That of course, seems quite reasonable. When asked what I was doing, I informed them about the fact that I was stopping awhile and would be leaving as soon as i finished my smoke.

Having checked my licence and my car documents, they then proceeded to search the car. Again something that’s quite understandable. What happened next, however, was not.

I was asked to accompany them to the police station. When I inquired to the reason for this, I was told that they were suspicious of me. I then tried to reason with them, probably a mistake with people of such low intelligence, but it was to no avail.

Having no choice but to go along with them, I followed their jeep to the station. Having parked outside, I was quite udely informed to follow them inside. At which point they asked me for my mobile, which was then switched off and deposited in a cop’s pocket. My wallet too was taken from me and emptied on to the table top. Having further questioned me, and tried to pin everything from being involved in the drug industry to being a pimp, they said they would be detaining me overnight.

This was quite a shock to me, as I thought as a citizen of this country, I had the right to drive around and even stop on the side of a main road if I felt like it! This is obviously not the case anymore in Sri Lanka.

Having requested for a phone call to inform someone of what had happened, I was again quite rudely told that as I was a suspicious character (even though I possessed a valid identification, and my official visiting cards giving contact numbers), I was not entitled to a phone call.

The next step was to ask me to take off my shoes and empty all my pockets. Afetr which I was asked to step into the single cell they possessed. This of course was by now occupied by around 10 other people, so even sitting down, let alone trying to sleep was totally out of the question. Even if it hadn’t been so crowded, the smell emanating from the hole-in-the-ground toilet was not very condusive to sleep!

So, having stood from around 2 in the morning till around 10 in the morning, I was finally allowed a phone call. The person I called turned mighty quick, but was told that he would have to wait as my stement needed to be recorded. This meant me staying in the cell for another 4 hours as it was only the cop who had aressted me who could take my statement!

So after a 12 hour hotel stay courtesy of the police department of this country, I was released with my hands all covered in ink, because of course they had to fingerprint a suspicious character such as myself!

So, it looks like the former ‘Paradise Isle’ has been changed to the ‘Policeman’s Paradise Isle’ thanks to Mr. Chinthanaya and his war mongering. Decent citizens who are trying their best to get along and contribute in some small way to keeping this country’s economy alive are now at the mercy of Uneducated louts in khaki uniforms!

Well, what can we do but write a rant on-line? After all, trying to do anything more, will get you thrown in remand, as I was informed by a smirking cop who had a constant dribble of betel juice dripping on to his uniform….

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16 Responses to “A Police State Called Sri Lanka!”

  1. d Says:

    Pauly, I am shocked and so angry for you. That is out of order. No excuses. They should have given you the call at once. That is some serious shit!

  2. Acromantula Says:

    How stupid you have to be to stop out side a road during the night in Sri Lanka? Are you totally oblivious to the current situation in SL? Of course you come under suspicion… Night time stroll in Sri Lanka isnt the best idea thease days (unless of course you are the son of a politician..lol)

    If you just behave like a normal person would (as in how a normal person would behave in these troubled times) the cops wont have a reason to pick you up now would day??
    The night time law in SL….if you dont know some one powerful enough you need to be detained..lol…get used to it and live with it…it’s going to be there until the terrorists are defeated…

  3. sam Says:

    Those are the kind of things that make you bitter rest of your life and make you feel unsecure and make your legs to walk by itself to the nearest bus to Negambo and get the first boat to whatever the country they would take us.

    Similar thing happened to me when I was around 18 – just finished A/L. They pick me and two of my friends up, when we came out from a night tea shop in Nugegoda and walk to our parked vehicle close by. They packed us up in to a back side of a small police Jeep (well, it is TATA I guess. But we Sri Lankan call use JEEP for any suv) and give us a free tour all over from Nugegoda and Piliandala suburbs, till morning comes, and finally took us in to the Piliandala Police station. They made us sit on a long bench, next to the cell, 3 of us kids – and told us horror stories about how they going to detain us for two weeks and how that will record in our schools and how that could possibly stop us applying a job or go abroad. Accused us of been jewelry shop robbers, car thieves and what not. The kind cop advised us to “talk” to their superior and settle it down, which translate from police code to English as “Give us whatever the fucking money you have and we let you go – if not we keep you for two fucking weeks”. But at the end we come to a mutual agreement. As the part of the bargain one of my friends weep like a girl and others proved we are not rich, we just borrowed our father’s car for couple of hours. So we went our own way and we did the only thing we could possibly have done at this age, accuse those policemen have illegitimate sexual relationships with their mothers. But that left us quite bitter for quite some time.

    This kind of things happened to few of my other friends too. Worst story is, one unfortunate fellow had to spend two weeks in Ragama prison (He was doing A/L at that time too). They took him front of the judge and judge asked him something in low voice, which he could not hear at all, and cop standing next to him (the good cop) told him to say “Yes”. So the kid been a kid, said Yes to the question “are you guilty?”. Next thing he knew was he was a fresh young prisoner full of 5 prisoners in 10 x 10 rooms – Which they have to stand up & sleep. And eat on a shopping bag that you may find on the floor, if you are lucky enough to find one. If not wait, until somebody else finish eating, so you can borrow the shopping bag and use that as a plate. It took his parents two weeks to locate him and then it was Friday, so he had to wait till Monday to bail out. He said, he had a bath for 6 hours when he came home which remind me of those Hollywood movies that the rape victim taking a long bath and trying to washed away. My friend is still bitter about all this experience. I’m sure if this is a perfect world, he would have killed those cops, and kill those cop’s families and go to the funeral and kill all the moaners. But the world is not a perfect place.

    I don’t want to say it is just the SL police, because I seen NYPD too. While our buggers arrest us for their amusement, NYPD may use 50 rounds of bullets before ask any question.

  4. Malaka Says:

    Fuck dude. That’s horrible. You should find a lawyer and harass them back.

  5. sittingnut Says:

    i am sorry for your experience ( i had similar experience here in early 90s and was subjected to more brutality ) but i usually would like to hear other side too ( esp when you indulge in such comments as (people of such low intelligence etc. ) . you should file a fundamental rights violation case if you believe that is what happened. then we will know all sides of the case. and why not name names?

    nor is this a recent phenomenon or one confined to sri lanka though taht is not excuse.

    i disagree with your assessment of sl as a police state in fact by this measure of a “police state”, almost all countries can be called police states starting with usa. because records of such experiences are all too common

  6. d Says:

    Machan, You do know that we are in one of the most powerful industries in the world – media & communications. My knee jerk reaction was to get you to mobilise the industry and hold a media conference. Then I realised maybe not.

    I really don’t know on this one. Wish I was bloody there, this is so frustrating.

    Take care and be safe. Please don’t let this affect you adversely.

    Always
    d

  7. d Says:

    And no where in the world is it like this, definitely not in New York anyway. They may come and question you if you behave in a suspicious manner, but never pump you full of bullets.

  8. Me Says:

    Ironically enough, 100 policeman stood still today when the JVP rally was assaulted by government thugs.

  9. sam Says:

    D, They do in NY. If you happend to live in Projects. Atleast they pump full of bullets in to Sean Bell. Dont they?

    Two of my friends (deferent times) detains over night for not been able to show identity when they are visiting their friends in Project. I’m not talking about NY where Carrie, Samantha and Charlotte lives, I’m talking about the New York where Yellow cabs refused to go.

  10. thekillromeoproject Says:

    @ D – Thanks for the sentiments machang. And I’m sure a good drink and a fun night out should help put this behind me…. 😉

    @ Acromantula – “How stupid you have to be to stop out side a road during the night in Sri Lanka?”

    As a legal citizen of this country, having a valid identification on my person, and having verifiable details, I belieeve I have the right to go for a night drive if I feel the inclination!

    @ Sittingnut – Thanks for the sentiments, however, I really dont think an issue like this warrents a fundemental rights case. Not when there’s so much more happening in this country! (ref: Sam’s comments).

  11. shehan Says:

    machang i was travelling thru thimibirigasyaya road sunday early morn when i saw a family involved in a fatal accident. i haven’t seen anything head-on-collision like that. they had machang crashed into a building and their car was filled with smoke. glass bloody shattered everywhere and i took them for dead. there’s no way they could have survived that. i stopped as a good citizen of this country. the shattered glas and vehicle belonged to mr vijaya corea who was in the vehicle with his family.

    the bloody owner of the building that had their bloody fence shattered were bloody going on at the victims and i not knowing the corea family (personally that is) together with my friend who was on the way to rhtytm n blues thought it was FUCKING UNBELIEVABLE the way people reacted in the face of human life 😦 that too a decent/wellknown family at that

    there is no paradise island here man. i was bloody infuriated by your post and i’m still peeved by our people

  12. Jack Point Says:

    Arbitrary arrest and detention, the possibility of disapearing after detention, a lack of any kind of rights for the individual – this is what the emergency laws give the state.

    Since we live under permanent emergency we must admit that the reality is indeed a police state.

    If they don’t like you they can do exactly what they please with you.

    Therefore it is good to take Acromantual’s advice and play safe.

    These draconian powers have so far touched only a relatively small number of people. With the media cowed by the very same powers, the population at large does not realise what is happening. As the regime feels more pressure the screws will be tightened further.

    When they do, it will be too late.

  13. Janek Says:

    oh shit 😦 the corea family???????? they’re HENA decent 😦 any news on how they are??????

    killromeo a personal favour. i know this doesn’t usually happen but can u mail me “shehan’s” e-mail address so i can personally verify how the family is doing? 😦 thanx a million

  14. Chaar~Max Says:

    All your fault. Don’t you know that as a law abiding citizen of the democratic socialist republic of sri lanka, your supposed to eat your dinner watching maha-gedhara and watch 9pm rupavahini news and go to sleep? Serves you right for wondering in the night breaking the law, and smoking in public for that matter. (I hope u get the irony… not trying to piss you off)

    WTF is this country coming to? What happened to the phone call? This country has gone to dogs (who are disgrace to be called dogs in the first place). in deed this is a Police state, with permanent emergency rule, giving the power to any cop to beat up anybody, just because he doesn’t like his face.

    Ofcourse there will be ppl out there who will justify all this, calling it a must given the current situation. Atleast be thankful you weren’t packed off into a white van.

  15. thekillromeoproject Says:

    @ Jack Point – Absolutely true, and unfortunately it already seems to be too late.

    @ Chaar~Max – Totally get the irony….. 🙂

    @ Janek – Have it on good authority that Mr.Corea was unhurt, although his vehicle was a total write-off.

  16. Janek Says:

    thanks a million..

    thank God for that 😦 i heard he, his wife and daughter had been rammed into by a speeding vehicle and crashed twice with his family 😦 no one was sure how safe they were after all that injury 😦 n i had no way of finding out.
    thanks a billion for the update …

    please wish him and his family the best from me

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