Saturday, July 09, 2005

- Government of Sri Lanka Destroys Guns to Create Peaceful Atmosphere

Today, on International Day Against Illegal Firearms Day, the Government of Sri Lanka steamrolled over 30,000 small arms that had been recovered by the police over the last 14 years. Regarding the action, one newspaper reported this quote from a government official.

Minister Wickramanayake said, `We need a country sans the gun culture and we need the cooperation of the public as we have to confiscate all unlicensed firearms to make this country safe for everyone. We have to build a society that eschews violence so that our children could grow up in a peaceful atmosphere.'”

Another newspaper reported comments from another Ministry Secretary:

“Mr. Ranaviraja further said that the government is taking this opportunity to address the need to tackle the proliferation of illegal small arms, which are the cause of various types of crime.”

The newspaper article continued:

“Police had launched special operations at several intervals to recover illegal firearms. They also offered special amnesties but these have not yielded the desired results. The Ministry invited the public to cooperate by providing information on illegal arms which greatly contribute to the spread of crime. A reward scheme is in place for those who supply information leading to the recovery of such firearms.”

Other activities on International Day Against Illegal Firearms Day included those sponsored by the South Asia Small Arms Network (SASA Net). They were described as:

“organised media activities, poster and photo exhibitions, awareness programs and collaborated events with Samasevaya to encourage children to burn toy guns. SASA Net members were interviewed by Swadeshiya Sewaya, a Sinhala language programme of the national radio station, the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Cooperation.”

A recent report by the “National Commission Against Proliferation of Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (NCAPISA)” cited the following issues as causes of increasing gun violence:

"Increase in violent nature of conflicts
• Violence within different social and ethnic groups in the country has increased
• Rapid increase in armed clashes between rival political groups during pre and post-election time
Firearms are issued to politicians when they are elected but they are not monitored regularly and not returned at the end of their term in office

Increase in violent crime
• Increased number of army deserters and their involvement in organized crime
• Escalation in contract killings, rape, robberies, grievous harm and assault
• Proliferation of small arms is closely linked to drug trafficking and illicit liquor brewing

When asked about the twenty year insurgency of the Tamil Tigers against the government an unnamed spokesman said, “The Tamils used to be peace loving citizens that supported the government. It was only after they got those guns that they became criminals and started making guerilla attacks against the government and civilians.”

The official changed the subject and explained, “After the tsunami, we are trying to revive the tourist industry. It collapsed in 1983 when the insurgency began. Sri Lanka used to be known as Ceylon but before that it was called “Serendip”, which is where the word serendipity came from. We have not been able to stop the insurgency but we believe with the right marketing campaign we can revive tourism. We even have a new marketing slogan “Put the Serendipity back in your life, come see Sri Lanka”.

When asked about other issues facing the country the spokesman said, “While it is true that we have the highest suicide rate per capita and the highest death rates per capita due to snake bites and pesticide poisoning, there is nothing we can do about it. What do want us to do, kill the snakes and confiscate the pesticides. That won’t work.”

A spokesman for the Tamil Tigers said, “We are trading drugs and laundering money so that we can buy better weapons to defeat them. The only guns the government destroyed today were obsolete and rusty. It was just a public relations gimmick dreamed up by some do-gooder at the U.N. It’s like sticking your finger in a dike when a tsunami is coming.

It appears the Brainster did not realize that the appropriate blog for this type of post is/ was Armed Victim. Even sadder is how Armed Victim's world was crushed when he found the "Civilan Gun Self-Defense Blog" only two weeks after starting his blog and posting several gun self defense stories. At that point, he cursed the blog world and deleted all gun self defense stories from his blog vowing never again to dillude himself into thinking that he had an original idea without first searching the blogosphere.

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