Sri Lanka: Ramifications of denigrating the former intelligence chief

Mr Samaraweera, please note that if you are willing to, attacking professionally competent and well-qualified officers is an ugly act. This is not a problem of the Sinhalese or any other ethnic group; it is a problem of the very existence of the country.


The former head of State Intelligence Service of Sri Lanka has been the target of several baseless allegations. Some have called him a racist. Former Cabinet Minister Mangala Samaraweera has used his social media channel to teach the former intelligence chief how to carry out his duties. The Former minister states, “IGP (Inspector General of Police ) must tell SDIG ( Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police ) Nilantha Jayawardena that the job of the police is not to count the ethnicity of students entering law college inflaming ethnic animosities but to fight crime and bring to book the drug barons and other criminals who have‘ invaded key positions ’in the country ”.

SDIG Nilantha Jayawardena ( File Photo)

However, before Mr Samaraweera's criticism went public, some people used their social networks to make further invalid statements against former intelligence chief. It is noteworthy, to mention here that one of his coordinating secretaries were caught by the law enforcement agencies while carrying drugs when he was a cabinet minister.

Mr Samaraweera has announced that he had resigned from parliamentary politics voluntarily. But by seeing some of his vacuous statements like the one above one could realize that it would have been better for the country if he had resigned from politics many years ago.

The statement made by the head of the intelligence is based on an unusual development that took place at the Law College of Sri Lanka. However, some of the newspapers, in which his statement was reported, have taken off the essence of his message and carried out a half-cooked message. This is because most of the local media outfits are always tries to publish only the information that attracts the readers rather than the basic facts. This bad practice of journalism is not only diluted the essence of the true message but also socializes half-truth, as truth.

The number of Muslim students who passed the Law Entrance Examination in 2010 has increased from 9 to 51 and 78 in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Nilantha Jayawardena testified at the Presidential Commission that this increase was unnatural.

“Muslim students have secured the first three places in the 2012 Law College Entrance Examination. Also, 6 out of the top 10 and 28 out of the top 50 were Muslim students and 20 Muslim students with adjacent exam numbers passed the exam,” Mr Jayawardena has quoted a complaint that the police have received stating that this is more unusual than the previous pattern. It is the responsibility of the law enforcement agencies including the intelligence services to investigate such complaint.

However, According to the media reports published in the past, Rauf Hakeem as well as Wijedasa Rajapaksa, both served as the Minister of Justice respectively, did their best to cover up this unusual development occurred in one of the major educational institutes in the country.

Like many other political jesters, Mr Samaraweera too has captured Mr Jayewardene's statement on the surface and played his usual drama. It is understandable; Mr Samaraweera may not have been able to grasp the seriousness of this matter. This is because the subject of law and other theoretical subjects are different from fashion designing, which he has specialized. Therefore, he has (mis)understood Mr Jayewardene's statement as a childish statement and tried to advise Mr Jayawardena’s superior on a subject he does not know. This is yet another attempt to underestimate the service of a professionally competent officer. We thought Mr Samaraweera is different from most of the other politicians who are doing everything but not politics. But, at last, Mr Samaraweera too proving he is no one but one among them. Isn’t it important Mr Samaraweera to re-read the primary lessons of political dynamics before advising the intelligence services?

Mr Samaraweera and others who represented his government sold “good governance” did their utmost to absolve themselves from responsibilities and place the blame for the Easter terrorist attacks on Mr Jayewardene. They have initiated a Parliamentary committee and appointed members who do not know about intelligence or national security to investigate the heinous crimes allegedly committed by Islamic extremists. It is a shameless subterfuge. As yet another step, Mr Samaraweera and his gang refer to the complaint about unusual development in the Law College is provoking racism. This is another practical application of the most obscene and hypocritical politics.

In our understanding, the points made by Mr Jayewardene are significant. It is important to investigate them. Many similar cases have been reported in Western universities where some of the terrorist organizations used educational institutions in the West as tools to spread their hatred and extremist ideas. It was a covert project that was implemented with long-term objectives. The intelligence services in those countries have been investigated such deep social issues and substantiated the potential threats.

In Sri Lanka, it is undeniable that the extremists have created and enforced their legal system and educational system while Mr Samaraweera and others, so-called “the lovers of social coexisting” singing the song of reconciliation in multiculturalism. Did Mr Samaraweera and his groups oppose when extremists in one ethnic ground are finding every reason to be excluded from common society instead of protecting and promoting inclusive society? Not! But, they did not leave any room to label all those who speak on the potential threats are as racists. As a result, the nation was severely divided.

Will Mr Samarweera come out from the cage and loud for one law for everyone in the nation? Will he scream to abolish draconian laws implemented by some ethnic group to justify child marriage and undermine the rights of women? Will he launch another “Sudu Nelum” project to establish a single national education system is compulsory for every ethnic group in the country?

Mr Samaraweera, please note that if you are willing to, attacking professionally competent and well-qualified officers is an ugly act. This is not a problem of the Sinhalese or any other ethnic group; it is a problem of the very existence of the country.

It is a common responsibility to find a solution if there is any group of people who lie about living together during the daylight and throw every possible subterfuge to stay apart at night. To fulfil that responsibility, it is important to monitor the behaviour of society and its institutions. The empty arguments of politicians like Mr Samaraweera are maybe important for the dead world but certainly not for overcoming the prevailing social challenges.

Mr Jayewardena's statements and the service he rendered can be attacked with various type of mocking arguments. They can also do everything they could to undermine his professional dignity. That is the nature of the so-called most educated people in Sri Lanka. But, none of these cowardly politicians or vile critics will take responsibility when the things he mentions affect society. Then the unarmed civilians will have to pay the price.

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