It was around 8.30 pm, a man was caught hiding behind a house, he ran away jumping dangerously down a steep hill and ran across the wasteland. A man bathing in a well heard the commotion and seeing a man running towards him caught him by his shirt collar.
The others who were chasing him searched him for any hidden arms. He had none and he was taken over by them to be handed over to the Police. He was drunk. He was questioned and it was found that the man works in a garage and after work he comes to the liquor Bar. He takes a drink or more depending on how much money he has. After the drinks he walks about looking surreptitiously into houses through open windows, taking a pleasure looking secretly at women.
He was handed over to the police who took charge of him. Later it came to be known that he had been visiting other houses and even stealing women’s underwear hung on strings for drying. That is a “milder” case of perversion. But yet they speak of a more serious wave of crime that has been reported lately. The Government in order to stop these sex crimes against women and children set up a special police force. In all reported cases of murder of women the police had found in the vicinity of the crimes empty bottles of liquor.
Therefore one should seriously think whether there is something other than a special police force to stop this situation taking a more serious turn. A man caught for acts of perversion is released by the police after a few days detention and immediately he gets some money he visits the pub for his daily drink of alcohol and returns to his nefarious activities which may eventually end by his committing a sex crime. How can these sex crimes be stopped ?
It is certainly not by mere detention of the miscreant by police., and releasing him.
In many villages in Sri Lanka to-day the men are kept away from the temple and their family by their habit of frequenting the liquor shops. These are the places that breed crime, but as most of the liquor shops are patronized by the local MPs and has made the liquor shop owners political confidants of the local MPs and influential men of the political parties, sex crimes go unchallenged. Unless a serious effort is made by the Government to close all liquor shops in the country, sex crimes will continue to menace our country and may take “another terrorist dimension”.
The Government taking cover under the establishment of a special police force to curb sex crimes will serve no purpose until a firm decision is taken to close all liquor shops at least at village level. All these sex crimes that have been reported lately had been committed by Sinhala Buddhists under the influence of liquor.
‘Stop Alcohol’ (Mathata Thita) is a slogan of the Mahinda Chintanaya, but it remains a slogan without any positive step to close down liquor bars, which are sponsored by MPs with a view to keep their voters in their favour whatever negative effect it has on the Sri Lanka Buddhist society.
Therefore, steps should be taken to bring a closer relationship between the people and the temple. In order to make this happen we should have a more active Ministry of Buddhist Affairs which is today a shameful nonentity in the Cabinet of the President Mahinda Rajapakse.
The JHU and the Buddhist Sangha should open their eyes to this problem and take an active part in uplifting the falling moral standard of the Sinhala Buddhists.