Presumed guilty until proved innocent?

As Sri Lankans, our society has the attitude that someone charged with a penal offence is presumed guilty until proven innocent. That is the mindset of Sri Lankans as a whole. In this frame, it is plainly offensive when an international organization initialize an investigation to find out weather or not there has been violation of international rules and regulations. But, in all the developed nations (except some countries like China) almost everyone has the attitude that “someone charged with a penal offence is presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

It is true that Sri Lanka is a sovereign nation and only the government has executive powers over its decisions and actions. And it is also true that Sri Lanka has agreed to certain agreements with international organizations that as a nation we have to keep our word to them. That is the nature of agreements. If a certain party comes to an agreement with another party or another organization it is usually in return of some kind of a benefit.

Anything good comes with terms of use. For an example, a marriage puts limitations on how one should behave afterwards. If either party would no longer wants to abide by the terms, either they have to rectify the actions or end the agreement. It is a package deal!

As a nation we don’t have the attitude to view the government and the individuals running the government exclusively. That is a big weakness we have and a reason behind lots of unnecessary conflicts. Living in a certain jurisdiction, we have to abide by the rules and regulations; or leave that country and find a jurisdiction where there are rules and regulations we could abide to. The trick is that, those who make the rules and those who execute the rules should also abide by those rules and regulations.

Let’s take an example of a policeman: If a policeman arrests a criminal suspect, the policeman is executing the law, and the orders he is given. It is not the policeman’s free will he is executing and he should not put any personal feeling or emotions on the process of executing his orders. Also the policeman is an individual doing his duty, and the human-being executing the role of the policeman is exclusive from the authority he holds behalf of the police department. When that policeman is off his duty, he is under the same jurisdiction he has been executing towards everyone else. And there is no point in protesting against the policemen yelling “I’m innocent”, where he too has no option other than executing his orders in the process of justice.

If a complain has been made to an authority about a violation of a law that is under the jurisdiction of that authority, it is necessary to hold a “fair trial” and bring justice, or else it becomes intellectual sloth. If such a complain is made, there has to be a fair process of justice. Someone who has not violated a law should have nothing to be afraid of a fair trial. If a suspect shows any resistance towards a process of fair trial, that is a very bad characteristic they are exhibiting. Someone who is not familiar with the typical Sri Lankan mindset of “presumed guilty until proven innocent” would come to an early conclusion that there should have been some violation of laws.

1 Response to “Presumed guilty until proved innocent?”


  1. 1 Binguwa August 5, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    u r missing from Sinhala Wiki for long time. we r waiting for you.

    /Binguwa


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