Editorial

‘Allegation Equals Guilt’ is a flippable fib

Summary

Hejaaz Hizbullah stands accused. Now, following the logic of those who love to hate those who do not love the UNP (or its new avatar the SJB), HIZBULLAH IS GUILTY! Correct? NO!

Pro-LTTE groups, anti-Rajapaksa groups, pro-UNP groups, pro-Yahapalana groups, nations which operate with ‘an understanding’ with such groups (e.g. the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom) and the multilateral organization dominated by such countries talk ‘war crimes.’ For them, allegation is equal to guilt. Indeed, allegations made by morally and politically compromised individuals/groups are treated as evidence of guilt. Reliability of witnesses is a non-issue for such people.  

The interesting thing about ‘allegation = guilt’ is that it can trip the advocates. Take the case of Hejaaz Hizbullah, the current pinup boys of the advocacy racketeers in the NGO sector. Hizbullah is under detention. He’s being held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. His case has not come up for trial. He could be held for years.

[Remember a guy called Pilleyan?  He was arrested on October 11, 2015 and enlarged on bail on November 24, 2020. Five years in the can. Those who have whined about LTTE cadres currently under detention not being charged/tried, didn’t utter a word about Pilleyan. Well, understandable. He was tossed in by the Yahapalanists. Friends. All good. All ok.]

Well, Hizbullah stands accused. Now, following the logic of those who love to hate those who do not love the UNP (or its new avatar the SJB), HIZBULLAH IS GUILTY!  

Correct? NO!

He is innocent UNLESS he’s proven guilty.

Now let’s flip the story. If accusation does not imply guilt (as the target of the aforementioned racketeers could and sometimes do claim), then the jury is out on Hizbullah’s guilt (and of course innocence). A case can be made for detaining him but a case cannot be made for sloth on the part of the prosecutors.

Of course in the first instance the mala fides is apparent. In the second, delay would indicate bad faith. In the latter case, there’s responsibility to protect the citizenry and a need to err on the side of caution (a thirty year war against terrorism wasn’t a joke and neither were the Easter Sunday attacks funny). Understood but that’s not an excuse that can be tossed out forever.

Unlike in the case of kangaroo courts and trials in absentia as such we see being deployed against Sri Lanka and key individuals in the current regime, in Hizbullah’s case, established institutions and procedures can be used to determine the truth one way or another.

The pro-UNP/SJB boys and girls in the NGO sector have got themselves in a twist. The Government, interestingly, finds itself bedding (procedurally) with these very boys and girls.

Funny, ain’t it?

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