Where are we heading? What is happening to our beautiful country? The news is full of stories of children being raped and murdered. Human life has no value. Abuse is rampant at every level. Why are we citizens silent? Why is the State silent? Why are the Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian leaders silent?
An official was quoted as saying that parents should take responsibility. It is the duty of the State to maintain law and order and make the country safe for everyone, children included. Others blame the media for highlighting cases of rape and murder. But the media should report the truth, both the good and the bad.
It is easy to say that mothers should be more watchful of their children, but what can they do when their children are kidnapped from school and raped? Why are we in this predicament? It is mainly due to poverty. With the cost of living spiraling, both parents need to work, and even with both parents working, most families cannot manage.
Now what is the law doing about it? Why are the perpetrators’ photographs and names not published? We now know that these people all have political connections.
Deserters from the three forces are roaming free and taking their frustrations out on harmless people.
Awareness programmes should be conducted at village level to teach families about the dangers surrounding them. Children should be warned about the dangers they could face. Gone are the days of the carefree child. Such is the world we live in now.
Education is vital. Teachers should tell their children that no one has the right to touch them, under any circumstances. This also applies to little boys, who are being abused by school masters and principals. Computers, the Internet and mobile phones have assisted in the rise of child abuse in Sri Lanka.
The National Child Protection Authority officers and the Women and Children’s Bureau are doing their part, but the leaders of the country and the Police too must cooperate and do their part by bringing the culprits to book. The law-makers should bring in tough laws with maximum punishment – life imprisonment or the death penalty. Only then will we see a decline in crime.