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Law, society, power and morality


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On 28 November, I wrote a small op-ed which was received with mixed emotions, and hence I believe this follow-up will put the record straight. My sentiment throughout the article was that the state had the obligation to enact legislations which correlated with the public.

This can be same sex unions or even the legalisation of marijuana. This was not a progressive propaganda push, but a mere presentation of facts. It is and always has been my belief that the law should not be used as a source of control. 

Senator Ron Paul from the great southern state of Texas, once stated that the law is a representation of the society within which it operates. He followed this saying that the law does not define morality. 

We, as Sri Lankans, tend to be more conservative in matters of social discourse. That does not make us in any ways unworthy of being a part of a global industrial outbreak. There is nothing wrong with being socially and fiscally conservative. My only contention, however, is that we as nation believe that the law can be used to curtail progress. 

The millennial generations of the western and north-western districts of the country has grown into Hollywood lifestyle. However, the baby-boomer generation wilfully exerts its conservative ideologies through social policing and disenfranchisement.

This is where I have my concerns. Policing behaviour does not exert control, but alienates these individuals towards extremism. Morality is not defined by law but by the social boundaries that society has set. Thus, I believe that it is the duty of the elders of our wonderful nation to enforce social morality and not the law!

(The writer is a financial consultant, www.jemuelcj.wordpress.com)


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