Editorial

The gangs and gangsters that the SDIG forgot

Summary

How about the alcohol and tobacco industries whose operations are antithetical to the saubhagya (prosperity) of the President’s daekma (vision)?

DIG Deshabandu Tennakoon

Senior DIG Deshabandu Tennakoon has revealed some interesting stats regarding criminality. A total of 388 members in 25 gangs, 20 of which are categorized as ‘highly active.’ He states that 130 gangsters are in remanded custody. Phew!

Anyway, that leaves 258 gangsters roaming free. We do know that numbers can grow. What’s more, 123 gangsters are out on bail. Mind you, he’s speaking only of the Western Province. How about the rest of the country?

Now it looks like the relevant authorities are taking a serious crack at the underworld. There are arrests being reported. Arrests have led to other arrests. There is the disconcerting regularity of gangsters, especially those involved in drug-related activities, being shot dead. Disconcerting because we don’t really know the circumstances apart from what the shooters tell us. We hope shootouts or attempted escape and nothing else caused these deaths. It is more than a tad surprising that the gangs/gangsters haven’t shot back.

Anyway, our concern goes beyond the hora-police stuff that’s clearly happening.

Maybe SDIG Tennakoon was focusing on particular kinds of gangs. He was after all speaking at a workshop on tackling all organized crime and drug trafficking in the Western Province. Crimes such as drug trafficking, extortion, contract killings, one assumes.

That’s not the be all and end all of criminality, though.  

We’ve heard of bribe-takers. How about the bribe-givers? How about the organized exploitation of workers? What of the exploiters? How about the alcohol and tobacco industries whose operations are antithetical to the saubhagya (prosperity) of the President’s daekma (vision)?

We know that politicians have private gangs. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, when he was President, once traced it all back to the UNP-JVP bheeshanaya (period of terror) in the late 1980s when the then government urged politicians of all parties to sort out their own security. Desperate times, desperate measures. Understood. The gang-making didn’t end with the vanquishing of the JVP though.

An anti-gang policy cannot have holes. It cannot pick and choose which gangs to go after and which to go free.

One step at a time? Alright. Maybe they’ll get to the thugs roaming around engaged in non-drug operations one day. Let’s see it happening soon. Otherwise we will conclude, ‘The Government is turning a blind eye to criminals in other spheres!’

One thought on “The gangs and gangsters that the SDIG forgot
  1. so-called underworld links to the distribution systems of the tobacco and alcohol monopolies (are they really industries? what do they industrially make here?) are so glaring their generous ‘funding’ also makes the media look elsewhere. And it is not just tobacco and alcohol, it is multinationals, like Unilever (FCMG) and CIC (Agro), etc., to protect their “products”, and goes back to to the plantation game…to take back the country from gangs is to take it back from their ‘sponsors’….

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