Hirunika Premachandra, paragon of political virtue, crusader for justice has been found to be- by her own admission- chitchatting with victims of abduction instead of liaising with law enforcement authorities.
Ms. Premachandra says she did nothing wrong and was only trying to prevent the breakup of a young family. Even if we are to take her at her word, it doesn’t sound right and she should have been the first to know that, having qualified as a lawyer.
Take your mind back a few years ago. Hirunika Premachandra was at the gates of Justice, appearing outside courthouses in Hulftsdorp and waxing eloquent about the lack of law and order and the failure of the justice system in prosecuting the killers of her father, Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra.
The daughter in distress, with her film star good looks caught everyone’s attention. They saw her as a fighter who was challenging the high and mighty at the time without any sense of fear- and they warmed to her cause.
When elections came along this year, they repaid her courage and tenacity with a ticket to Parliament at the expense of more seasoned campaigners, one of them being the equally if not more glamorous and outspoken Rosy Senanayake.
Unfortunately for Premachandra, she hasn’t lived happily ever after. Her escapade with abduction victims has got her publicity, but not of the kind she would have liked to have and we get the feeling that the young lady is not telling us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
That is because she first told us that she wasn’t aware of her vehicle being used for an abduction. Next, confronted with a statement from the victim that he was taken to meet her, Ms. Premachandra says she met him but that was only to ‘advise’ him to settle a dispute over a personal relationship.
Picture the scenario. The youth, allegedly abducted by several of her bodyguards, is brought to meet Ms. Premachandra. She proceeds to discuss her personal relationships with him and provides him with advice, all the while not realising that he has been abducted! Well, that is what the young MP wants us to believe.
Let us leave Ms. Premachandra aside for the moment. What have the Police done? They have used detectives to apprehend her bodyguards who have been produced before courts and remanded. The Police spokesman tells us that a decision regarding Ms. Premachandra’s involvement in the matter will be taken after ‘completing investigations’.
Just imagine, your average citizen whose vehicle is used in abduction with the victim saying that he was taken to meet the vehicle owner. What would be the ordinary course of events? Mr. Average Citizen would promptly be apprehended and produced before courts, don’t you think?
If that hasn’t happened to Ms. Premachandra so far, we have to assume that she is not Ms. Average Citizen. Then, we would also have to assume that the law, as it is administered in this country, treats its citizens differently with some being more privileged and immune from prosecution than others. Not quite the ‘yahapaalanaya’ that we were promised, is it?
This must compel us to look at the bigger picture. When we do that, we find that although we were happy that we replaced ‘Mahinda chinthanaya’ with ‘yahapaalanaya’ what we have really done is to change only the name boards and the leaders of the two ideologies, if you can call it that. The rest of the players have more or less remained the same. Therefore, not surprisingly, their actions have also remained the same.
If the government and its powers that be sincerely want to reclaim the moral high ground, they can do so. They can take action against Ms. Premachandra in some form or the other while allowing the law to take its course. It did so with Tilak Marapone but then, he was a senior brought back from retirement, not a young lady with her entire political future before her.
So, let us see ‘yahapaalanaya’ deliver what it promised: justice for all. After all, that is what Hirunika Premachandra herself was asking for only a few months ago!