For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
Sri Lanka’s rulers are entangled in a knot of cultural issues in a multiplity of sectors and taking various measures according to their whims and fancies creating a vicious circle.
In one scenario, the government has decided to ban the ‘adults only’ movies even for the adults of Sri Lanka. Before that, the government also initiated legal action against 12 websites the CID had identified containing ‘obscene’ material. It was not clear why these sites were handpicked among the hundreds of the thousands of websites of that genre. Some critics said that they
were the mostly visited sites by the CID officials.
Meanwhile, the state-sponsored commodity worship that is highly exhibited via the ways the mobile phones are used in Sri Lanka took the life of a grade 9 student of Museus Girls’ College, a leading private school in Colombo city. The girl was caught by school prefects with a mobile phone in her possession and the sources say that it contained some ‘obscene’ images. The embarrassed girl hanged herself in a school toilet and was admitted to hospital to succumb a day after.
The Ministry of Education issued a circular banning mobile phones in schools by students.
Meanwhile, the education sector came under severe criticism with the great number of errors in the mid-year test papers provided by the Education Departments of the Provincial Councils. The test papers were full of errors and the testing process also had many faults. Media and the critics pointed the fingers to the highly politicized bureaucracy in the education sector. The government is completely failing to uphold the standards of the education sector since most of the administrators and the senior educators are counter-productive political henchmen.
The government’s ‘pious’ policy is questioned also in its war against the underworld goons sparing one section that is known run by a notorious Minister close to the highest echelon of the rule. Many criminals including the underworld goons are being killed by police and the ‘unknown groups’ while the people have resorted to street justice against certain offenders.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Justice is polishing the old dialogue on the need of the implementation of the death penalty. Sinhala Buddhist religious leaders are also backing this policy that is condemned by the civilized world. They are ignoring the non-violent principles of the Lord Buddha as they did in many other cases also.
In this context, no wonder they are cruel to elephants as media reported two elephant cubs that were forcibly separated from their mothers living in Pinnawala elephant orphanage had been chained in a garage in Temple of Tooth in Kandy. The reports angered the chief prelates of the Buddhist Malwaththa and Siyam chapters and they accused the environmentalists that raise voice against cruelty against animals are the elements against the Buddhist cultural practices like holding parades for which the elephants are needed. Sri Lanka has only 120 tamed elephants while 90 of them are aged and the cabinet had approved offering the two elephant cubs, the chief prelates said in a statement.
- Lanka Polity