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Survey at gunpoint


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Last week along the Galle Face Green road a strange kind of public survey was conducted.

Traffic policemen were stopping vehicles arbitrarily and directing them to a civilian who was conducting an opinion poll.

I was driving along this road for an urgent meeting. Suddenly a policeman ran across the road and stopped me by flashing a torch. I thought I had committed a traffic offence and was thinking it was really bad luck and my appointment would be missed.

But then I was directed to a small group of civilians who were either from the Transport Ministry or perhaps the Registrar of Motor Vehicles. They did not identify themselves. Instead they asked me questions like, “How much petrol do you pump every week? How often do you come to the city? How many miles would you do on an average day?”

I was really annoyed that these chaps rudely interrupted my journey to conduct an opinion survey. So although I pump only about Rs. 3,000 a week I told them I pump about Rs. 6,000!

It is very wrong to conduct surveys in this manner. The policemen add a touch of force or power to the exercise.

Whoever conducted this survey has no idea about opinion polls.

The policemen by stopping vehicles for no reason like this are obviously abusing the authority given to them through the law.

Gemunu Gunasekera

 


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